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The Gollywhopper Games

(The Gollywhopper Games #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  3,857 ratings  ·  418 reviews
Gil Goodson's future happiness depends on winning the Golly Toy & Game Company's ultimate competition. If Gil wins, his dad has promised that the family can move away from all the gossip, false friends, and bad press that have plagued them ever since "The Incident". Inside the toy company's fantastic headquarters, Gil will have to master trivia, solve puzzles, and comp ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by Greenwillow Books (first published March 1st 2008)
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Emily There are 3 Gollywhopper Games books. "The Gollywhopper Games: The New Champion" is number two. "The Gollywhopper Games: Friend or Foe" is number 3.

Community Reviews

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4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,857 ratings  ·  418 reviews

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Gwen the Librarian
Jul 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit, fantasy
This is one of the most fun and easy to recommend books I've read in a long, long time. It's like a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for a new generation, set in a toy factory, rather than chocolate, and with much more satisfying games.

Gil is trying his hardest to get into The Gollywhopper Games, a contest sponsered by Golly Toy & Game Company. The winner gets all kinds of money and great prizes, but what Gil is hoping to win is some self-respect. His dad used to be an employee of Golly bu
Jan 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a fun read. It reminds me of both Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Westing Game. Lots of fun word and number puzzles to solve along the way. Put it in the hands of any 10-year old boys you know.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Y'all. So. This one is a serious contender for Emily's Favorite New(ish) Children's(also ish) Book. Right up there with The Mysterious Benedict Society, with a large margin over Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library.

Inspired by a young reader looking for a comparable book to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, this book takes the reader on a similar journey of said Charlie Bucket, but with a modern twist. Child with sad backstory? Check. Supporting children with one glaring personality aspect and
Andrea Chapman
May 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I picked up this gem of a book Monday night and finished 2 hours later. This fast paced, 308 page, children's fiction book revolves around Gil Goodson and his hopes to be able to participate in the Golly-Whopper Games. This book had a VERY familiar feel...Charlie and the Chocolate Factory came to mind, and in the back of the book the author says she wrote it because a child wanted a book like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and nobody could find one for him.

Keeping in mind this book is set in
Oct 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile, 2014
Interesting puzzle, adventure book for juveniles. Reminiscent of Willie Wonka in that the children compete in a surreal environment for the ultimate prize.

This might have been a book where the reader could work on the puzzles along with the contestants but more often than not information was not given in order to do so. Still, it was interesting to see the children's thought process in arriving at the solution - or not.
Frank Bierman
Mar 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
The gollywhopper games is an interesting fiction. Unlike most books I usually read. It is geared more toward a younger group but I never got around to reading it at the younger age so why not now? The plot is so interesting I read the first half of the book in a day. The main character, Gil, thinks in ways I don't and problem solves ways I never thought or even dreamed of. It makes him a fascinating character to dive into. The way the book is written is a bit simpler than others I have read but ...more
Jun 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-lit
Boys and girls who loved reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" or who like to solve riddles and puzzles will thoroughly enjoy reading "The Gollywhopper Games." Young Gil Goodson has a strong reason for why he wants to win the 50th annual Gollywhopper Games, sponsored by the major toy company in town, Golly Toy & Game Company. His father, who used to work for the toy company, was accused and acquitted of embezzling company funds the previous year, but many people still thought he did it ...more
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lara Ivey
Twelve-year old Gil Goodson is ready to join the Gollywhopper Games. After months of being in the shadows of his father being wrongly accused of embezzling money from the Golly Toy and Game Company, the time has come to set things straight. It’s the 50th anniversary of the company and Gil thinks that if he can win the grand prize his family will be able to move out of town and be rid of “The Incident” and start fresh. Through challenging puzzles and riddles, tricky trivia, and crazy stunts, he c ...more
Glenn Conley
Oct 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
My wife recommended this book to me, and I thought there was no way that I would actually enjoy it. But, I started in on it anyway. See, I'm not a fan of puzzles. Hate 'em. And, she told me that there were many puzzles and adventures in this book. I kind of glossed over the puzzle bits, but enjoyed the adventures and the vivid characters.

So, yes. It's a good book. A nice, fun story. But, I have to say, If I had known that the actual adventure doesn't start until after the 10th chapter, I would h
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was really interesting.It's about hundreds of kids who all want to win 1 game.The winner becomes a millionaire-and famous.Out of all of them,ten get selected.Out of ten,five.One of these 5 will become rich,while the rest-bye bye.I was WAITING to see who it would be,and was near screaming when Gil got knocked out.I recommend this book to anyone who likes realistic fiction and fantasy.
Jeff Raymond
Jul 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Take Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, put it in a toy company, and add in a dash of social commentary, and you get this book. Not a bad read, even with the obvious nods to past ideas, and it’s one I’ll give to kids in a flash.
Feb 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
One Sentence Review: If I could slap a big label on any book with the word "Fun" it would be this one, no question.
 Pam Browning
Jan 20, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kid-books-read
I really liked this book. It reminded me a little of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but was different enough to be orginal.
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Myah's reading this for her literacy class & told me she really thinks I should read it too. :) So I did, and it was actually quite good!
Nov 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Ages 9-14
The Gollywhopper Games, by Jody Feldman is a great book for a light fun read or just a book to read and get into. Because the book is pretty much straight forward it would be more difficult for experienced readers in book clubs to talk about but for 3rd-4th grade level book clubs, it’s fine. Although the book is geared towards kids it is fun for parents to read along with. The Gollywhopper Games is mystery/realistic fiction. This book is the first of a three book series; The Gollywhopper Games, ...more
May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
I read this novel with a seventh-grade boy who seemed to enjoy it. I found the plot to be quite lacking. The plot doesn't matter, of course, because the point of the story is to solve puzzles and win the game. There's supposed to be intrigue about the protagonist's father being guilty about something, etc. That's all really flimsy to me, especially the big reveal at the end.

There's supposedly suspense over whether or not the protagonist with get into the competition in the first place and whethe
Sep 03, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a cross between The Westing Game and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in flavor. Not quite the classic level of writing as these two, but pretty good nonetheless for an older middle school reader that likes solving puzzles. It is the story of a boy whose father was wrongly accused of theft and fired. The boy became alienated from his friends and classmates because of the subsequent teasing. The family does not have the funds to move away. The boy now has a chance to be in a competition ...more
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A year and a half ago, Gil's father was accused of embezzling from Golly Toy & Game Co. Although he was found not guilty, Gil's been a social pariah ever since. He's been studying the company obsessively for months, waiting for his chance: the Gollywhopper Games. That extravaganza of trivia, logic, and physical feats that will give one kid fame and glory. Gil's main goal is to win enough money to move away for a fresh start, but the friends he makes and things he learns might make him recons ...more
Vyshonne Cato
May 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Could you imagine how cool it would be to move into your dream house and be richer than you have ever imagined? Gil has that opportunity in this book but first he's got to outsmart every other kid in a nationally televised competition put on by his toy company. I think this is a very good read for kids that are transitioning from shorter chapter books to more challenging reads.
A fun book about a puzzle-based competition that was recommended by one of the kids. The general consensus was the beginning was too slow and they wanted more of the actual puzzles in the story, but it was a very good book and they liked the character development.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cute mix of Willy Wonka, Lemoncello and the Candymakers (if I’m remembering correctly) but I feel like all the puzzles are doable as a reader and although the ending was slightly predictable it was the okay kind of predictable :)
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent middle grade romp. Very clever, cleanly written, engaging plot, and almost magical in many elements. Charlie and the chocolate factory meets maze runner. Fun!
This was fun. I would recommend it for fans of Mr. Lemoncello's Library.
Henry  Haile
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a very fun book, in related news... I will be reviewing soon and in longer reviews. Henry out!
Feb 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Puzzle mystery, games, wrongly accused, plot driven, fast paced, millionaire

Similar to Mr. Lemoncello. Fast and fun, puzzles to solve and likable characters.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Perfect for a young boy who loves adventure and doesn’t love to read. It kept my son engaged and excited. We’ve enjoyed talking about the Gollywhopper Games together.
Emily S
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very intresting
Kyle Pucciarello
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
If you like "Mr. Lemoncello's Library" or "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." An obvious, fun "next read."
Mar 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman

This book is about the son of a suspected criminal who has to win the Gollywhopper Games if he wants to win a bet with his dad. The Gollywhopper Games is a competition for kids ages 11-15 run by Golly Toy and Game Company. There are multiple disqualification rounds, getting harder each time until there is only one winner left. All of the rounds are themed around Golly Toy and Game Company.

I liked that each challenge/task showed the strengths and weaknesses
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Jody Feldman never knew she always wanted to be a writer when she grew up. If you’d cornered her as a kid, she’d have mentioned doctor or teacher, but that was just an answer. Her passions ran more toward treasure hunter, codebreaker, movie director, or inventor, but her practical side couldn’t imagine how to get there.

Her path to writing meandered through the University of Missouri School of Jou

Other books in the series

The Gollywhopper Games (3 books)
  • The Gollywhopper Games: The New Champion
  • The Gollywhopper Games: Friend or Foe