illus. by Paul Kidby. 272p. (The Enchanted Files: Bk. 2). Random. Oct. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780385392556; ebk. ISBN 9780385392570.
Gr 4–6—Gerald Overflight is a poetry-writing, cowardly griffin whose anxiety and siblings get the best of him. Griffins are supposed to be fierce, regal, and fearless, but Gerald defies typical griffin stereotypes. The first egg laid but the last to hatch, he runs away when even his father states that he is ashamed of his son. With the prodding of Master Abelard, a gnome with ulterior motives, Gerald soon enters the world of humans, where he befriends Brad Ashango. Despite their obvious differences, the two soon discover their similarities, establishing trust and confidence and ultimately saving a secret community of gnomes. Coville brings his signature wit and humor to this fantasy story. The text is composed of diary entries, letters, articles from enchanted books, and more, forcing readers to independently put the pieces together. The inclusion of the personal writings of Gerald, Master Abelard, and Brad allows for strong character development. The only major flaw is the rushed climax and falling action, which feel abrupt and too easily accomplished. However, this second installment adds authentic and engaging, multidimensional characters to a strong series that finds heroes in outcasts.
VERDICT Recommended for medium and large middle grade collections looking to add high-interest fantasy.

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