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Alligators Overhead

(The Adventures of Pete and Weasel #1)

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  67 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Alligators, witches and a spooky mansion aren't your average neighbors unless you live at the edge of the Ornofree swamp in the backwater town of Hadleyville. The town's bad boy, Pete Riley, may only be a kid, but he's up to his eyeballs in big trouble, and this time he isn't the cause. This time the trouble arrives when a legendary hundred-year-old mansion materializes ne ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published June 29th 2012 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
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Kevin. Mckernan
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read for kids
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Pete Riley loses his parents and is shipped off to live with his Aunt Lizzie, he doesn't think life can get much worse. Hadleytown is down-right boring. The only excitement comes from pranks and hanging with his friend Weasel. That is, things are boring until the Hadley Mansion, which hasn't been seen in 100 years, appears out of nowhere. Now Pete is hearing Harriet Hadley's voice in his head, making wishes come true, and talking to alligators. And what is all this about Aunt Lizzie being a ...more
Neesha Hosein
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I downloaded this book for fun last week after seeing the offer on the author's facebook page. I read this book in six hours. It was an absolutely adorable story and lots of fun.

Pete Riley, the young bad boy of Hadleyville, stumbles upon an unbelievable find one day when he bolted to his usual meeting spot, an empty lot next door to his aunt's house (where he's lived since the death of his parents), to meet his buddy Wilbur, a.k.a. Weasel. The whole story revolves around this boy going from tro
Christine Rains
Aug 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pete Riley thinks life in the swamp is incredibly boring. He's gotten quite the bad reputation trying to make things more interesting. When a mysterious 100-year old mansion appears in the empty lot next to his aunt's house, life in the swamp got a hundred times more thrilling. Ornofree Swamp is set to be demolished for a shopping complex, and the alligators want to stop it. It's weird enough talking to an alligator, but then to find out your aunt and all her old bridge friends are witches helpi ...more
Jan 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A series of crazy things happen to 12-year-old Pete Riley, starting with a strange telephone message, then a rumbling of the earth, followed by the magical appearance of a two-storey house with an alligator-shaped iron knocker.
Pete should know better than to interfere. Being the problematic scamp that he is, and despite his aunt warning him to stay away, he cannot resist! So he decides to investigate. From this point onwards, there is never a dull moment!

Everything about this story is charming,
Lexa Cain
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy
The town where everything takes places is called Hadleyville and couldn’t be more quirky, filled with strange rumors, scary legends, and the strangest of characters. And did I mention the town’s full of witches?

None of that is too much for our hero to handle. You might even say Peter was born to handle it. He and his friend Weasel are shocked when an entire mansion appears out of thin air in the lot next door to his home. That’s only the start of the weird goings on that plague the area. The boy
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
C. Lee McKenzie’s mid-grade book, Alligators Overhead is a delightful, fast-paced adventure story of Pete, a 12-year old kid with a good heart but who gets into trouble without even trying (and he delights in the getting into trouble part, even if not so much the consequences of his pranks) and his grumpy but brainy sidekick, Weasel. The book has a spooky old house, witches, magick and, of course, alligators, which should please young readers age 8-14.

I really liked the storyline of this well-wr
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As an experienced adventures (fiction) reader I truly liked the story’s decent evolution. Pete and Weasel do seem familiar. I had the feeling I could have met them anywhere. They were both that real. C. Lee McKenzie lets reality meet magic (‘magick’) and you cannot help but buy into this story. I actually held my breath several times. And I was unable to put my eReader down. ;-) All characters are very convincing and fit perfectly into the plot.

C. Lee McKenzie ( suc
Aug 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads-win
I was so excited to read Alligators Overhead because it was my first givaway win from Goodreads first reads. I danced at my mailbox when it arrived and, to make it even better, it was autographed.
I really enjoyed the book. It wasn't the most compelling story I have ever read, but it was a book that I've been looking for. My fifth graders are a big fans of suspenseful books, but I want to push them beyond Goosebumps books. Alligators Overhead is much meatier and more satisfying than a Goosebumps
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting book! I loved the kids in this book. Their personalities were engaging and entertaining, from all species covered in this book. The magic and witches were interesting enough, parts were a bit weird and goofy at times (like the whole ceiling fixture thing?).

I think my favorite part was the environmental impact the swamp had on this community. I haven't read many children's books that were environmentally friendly without being too preachy at the same time.
I had some slight
Susan Swiderski
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I appreciate that I'm way outside of the target audience for this book, so I'm going to rate it as if I'd read it 60-some years ago. As a kid, I'm sure I would've loved it. Witches, talking alligators, a smelly swamp and a prank-pulling 12-year old who has to come to the rescue? What kid wouldn't love it?

As an adult, I also like that the writing is good and the author doesn't dumb down the vocabulary and may, in fact, teach kids a few new words. There's also a satisfying underlying tale of conse
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: giveaways
Pleasantly surprised by this book! (I honestly did not have high hopes from the title.) But the characters are well-defined and relatable (my son is most definitely a Weasel, always befriending the Petes of the world, the plot is fully resolved (in 2 pages), and it is a fast-paced, fun-filled (and gator-filled) read. I think that in a few years, when my kids are a little older (ages 2 and 5 right now), they will really enjoy this bewitching tale!
Pop Bop
Jun 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Basic Magical Action, With Some Clever and AppealingTouches

The plot here is pretty straightforward, and the author doesn't break any new ground. But, the story is well told, the characters are engaging, the narrative is brisk and economical, and there are a number of clever and touching angles that set the book above average, and that led me to believe that this would be an excellent book with which to introduce magical-fantasy-adventure to a younger middle grade reader.

Middle Grade readers are in for a treat with Alligators Overhead by author C. Lee McKenzie. Take one twelve-year-old who seems to be constantly losing the battle to be good and stay out of mischief, give him a brainy, not-so-adventurous sidekick and a town full of out-of-practice witches, and you have a fun read full of misadventure. Toss in the witches’ familiars, a swamp and an underhanded politician and you have the makings of even more trouble for young Pete and his buddy Weasel. Did I menti ...more
Beverly McClure
Jul 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What happens when you mix witches and warlocks, a mansion and alligators, mental telepathy and two twelve-year-old boys on a mission? You end up with an adventure, a mystery, a cast of unique characters, and a whole new attitude about alligators, that’s what.

ALLIGATORS OVERHEAD, Author C. Lee McKenzie’s novel for mg/tween readers, takes the reader on a fast paced, never dull journey with Peter Riley and his friend Weasel in their attempts to save the Ornofree Swamp from being destroyed. On the w
Darby Karchut
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alligator Overhead is like Savvy meets Hoot

Just imagine: A cast that include two boys, a coven of witches, some talking alligators, and a small town full of loony characters, and you’ve got the makings of a perfect middle grade book.

Pete Riley is all boy: he knows he shouldn’t do something, but then that devil whispers in his head, and suddenly he finds himself in the midst of a war between the town folks, some developers, and a swamp that needs protection. I really enjoyed the plot twists the a
Reviewed at:

3.5 stars

Alligators Overhead begins as you meet Pete Riley, a 12-year-old who is always getting in trouble, but it isn't always his fault. He soon begins to learn that there is a lot more going on in the swampy town of his than just a bunch of pranks.

In a book that starts out as a seemingly realistic fiction novel about a troublesome young boy turns out to be a fantasy novel where the real problem is the lack of respect for the Ornofree Swamp
Jessica Haight
Sep 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alligators Overhead by C. Lee McKenzie is a mysterious adventure that will keep you guessing. Pete may like to get into trouble, but he is a typical 12 year-old with a best friend who tries to keep him doing the right thing. Poor Weasel! He gets a little frustrated trying to keep them both from getting into serious trouble. I think kids between the ages of 8 and 14 will love this book if they like old houses, witches, animals, and nature. Pete is a good main character because his desire to do th ...more
Sep 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Alligators Overhead. It is a great story,with an excellent plot. It is very exciting with plenty of action. There is a great message along with many interesting and captivating side plots. The author did a wonderful job with imagery in this book. She painted a marvelous picture of the small town behavior in Hadleyville. A great example is when a piece of gossip, "...spread through the Whisper Circle at warp speed." I grew up in a small town and this is not an exaggeration of how things w ...more
My Thoughts - 3 out of 5 unicorns - I liked it!!
**Received the ebook free through Story Cartel for an honest review.

Both the cover and title will attract boys who like alligators which is all the rage on many TV show themes.

I liked that story, but there were parts I thought were slow. However, I think a middle school boy interested in alligators would love this story, and I will probably re-read this story with my son if we have time. The story’s main character is Pete who is a troubled orphan
George Polley
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When twelve-year-old, recently orphaned Pete arrives at his Aunt Lizzie's house to live in the little town of Hadleyville on the edge of Ornofree swamp, fought boredom by getting into mischief. Not alone, though, because he dragged his buddy Weasel along with him as a reluctant partner. When a 100-year old mansion suddenly appears in the empty lot next door to Aunt Lizzie's house, life for Pete, Weasel and others gets downright scary. Not only that, there's a plan (conspiracy?) afoot to drain pa ...more
Jamie Z
Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Want a wild, swampy adventure? One that involves alligators and witches, one town troublemaker and his brainiac companion? How about a mysterious mansion that pops up after being gone for a hundred years? If escape into a fantastic world where all of those oddities exist and where all things are possible, then Alligators Overhead is the read for you.

I enjoyed the quirky town characters and the fast-paced adventure that pitted the alligators against the bulldozer and sent the main character scram
Medeia Sharif
Jan 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pete is a rambunctious twelve-year-old boy living with his Aunt Lizzie after his parents’ deaths. Odd things occur in the small town he now calls home. A mansion materializes next to his house, he’s hearing voices, and he learns witches surround him. The witches aren’t bad though, because along with Pete and his best friend, Weasel, they’d like to save the Ornofree Swamp and its alligators from destruction. I enjoyed Pete and Weasel’s friendship, Pete’s budding powers, and the other magical elem ...more
Sep 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won a copy through the Goodread's Firstreads program.

This is one of those 'cute' stories. A nice twist on your typical witchy business. For younger kids, this might be amazing, but it really moves in a boring way to the more avid reader.

The main character Pete Riley is a troublemaker who grows responsible and has latent genetic powers. Animal lovers unite is another underlying theme, and backyard adventure to boot. The ending is not wonderful, and basically I will probably forget about this
Juneta Key
Feb 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pete's bored, but life is about to get a lot more interesting and all starts with a dream. Haunted mansions, witches, alligator's all mixed with local hi-jinx. along with greedy developers, and a city council that may or may not have the community's best interest at heart. I was intrigued by the title and I was not disappointed. The story delivered, very imaginative and unusual take on alligator's with lots of adventure and trouble, Definitely worth a read.
Sandra Farris
Aug 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alligators Overhead is a book for middle graders, but I am adult (probably twice over). I won a copy of the book and started reading it soon after.
It sucked me right in and I was that age again, right there with Pete and Weasel.They are so true to life. It had me on the edge of my seat most of the way through, especially toward the end. It is a great book to read with your middle graders, or even older.
A fantastic adventure tucked between the pages of this book and I highly recommend it.
Sep 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012, ebooks
Cute middle grade read filled with some great quirky characters. Witches, talking alligators, a creepy swamp and two great main characters that will be loved by both the male and female readers out there. I am not sure if this is the start of a series, but I would love to see more books. I definitely recommend this one for any adventure loving middle grade readers out there!
Pam Torres
Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I always like to share when I find a great boys read. The action is very fun with lots of twists and turns. I really liked the messages of environmental responsibility and respecting habitats. It was difficult imagining talking alligators but I believe that is just my own weakness in the imagination department. It was a fun read. See complete review on SoImFifty@
Bish Denham
Sep 04, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-lit
This is a very enjoyable read. It's got a swamp, alligators, witches, and plenty of mysterious happenings. What more could you want? Oh yeah, a boy who seems to be always getting into trouble, it's got that too. But is the trouble he gets into always HIS fault? You'll have to read this charming and humorous story to find out.
Kim Piddington
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think MG students will enjoy this novel. The protagonist, a boy who is living with his aunt after the death of his parents,is both mischeveous and courageous. The plot is engaging. Voice is solid and humorous. Rich word choice-i especially loved the creative names! A quick, easy, fun read.
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