February 25, 2018

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The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice by Andrew S. Chilton | SLJ Reveiw

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redstarChilton, Andrew S. The Goblin’s Puzzle: Being the Adventures of a Boy with No Name and Two Girls Called Alice. illus. by Jensine Eckwall. 288p. Knopf. Jan. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780553520705; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780553520712; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780553520729.

Goblins Puzzle_cover

Gr 4-8 –In this clever fantasy, readers meet a slave boy with no name, a princess and a peasant (both named Alice), and Mennofar, a tiny green goblin who surely cannot be trusted—because everyone knows goblins are sneaky. When the boy finds himself unexpectedly free from the bonds of slavery, he is determined to discover his heritage. Mennofar knows the answers he seeks, but the goblin only answers the boy’s questions with riddles, creating ever more questions. During their travels, they meet the father of Plain Alice the peasant. Unfortunately, she has been captured by a dragon. The boy, hoping a heroic deed will lead him to his own destiny, promises to rescue Plain Alice. He and the goblin set out to do just that, but the dragon really meant to capture the Princess Alice, which obviously confuses things for everyone. The plot turns and twists at a marvelously fast pace as this motley crew find one another through various adventures. Readers will have a great time trying to solve the goblin’s riddles. Though the narrative contains many characters, all of them sparkle with life. VERDICT Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes brimming with sarcastic, cheeky, laugh-out-loud humor, this is a smart, original, and completely engaging adventure.–Mandy Laferriere, Fowler Middle School, Frisco, TX


This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2015 issue.

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