Tuesday, May 02, 2017


32333231Holt, K.A. Gnome-a-geddon.
May 2nd 2017 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Lizzie and Buck are waitin gin line at a release party for the newest book in the The Triumphant Gnome Syndicate series, and hoping that the reclusive author, Harold Macinaw, will attend. He does, but there is an explosion and the store is evacuated. Lizzie and Buck realize that they don't have a copy of the book, but Buck's sister, Willy, is able to read a copy on their mom's e reader. This is, of course, unacceptable, and the two travel back to the bookstore the next day. That's about the last time things are normal-- soon, Buck and Lizzie realize that there are robotic doubles of them trying to take over, and Willy disappears with a group of children. Desperate to get her back, the two get sucked into the world of the book. They meet Smith (who is NOT the same as the hero of the novel), who makes Buck think that he is the answer to the prophecy, and that he must find the Troll Vanquishing Mace in order to save Macinaw and keep Flipside and its inhabitants safe. Since Buck has the books memorized, he sees the sense in this, and he uses his knowledge to navigate the dangerous world and to try to figure out what is going on between the gnomes and the trolls.
Strengths: This was a solid fantasy book, and creating a world of fandom was a nice twist. I can see parents who grew up with Harry Potter getting excited about this one. Buck and Lizzie are fun characters, and there is an ending that I didn't quite see coming. Probably a sequel in the offing.
Weaknesses: Horrible cover, and a few slightly twee moments. (Buck Rogers? What parent would do that to a child?) The target demographic will care about the cover but not the twee.
What I really think: This reminded me of The Other Normals, but for middle grade. I also kept thinking of Brick from the television show The Middle, and how he will occasionally go on and on about a fantasy series he is reading. I will probably buy this one for my hard core fantasy fans, but the cover is really awful.

Since this is Scree-Free Week AND I will be in Washington, D.C. with the 8th graders from my school, I will not be approving comments, posting on social media, or checking e mail all week! I don't have a smart phone, so it gets cumbersome. Also, it's a great example for my students.

Be here now!

Ms. Yingling

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you like The Middle! We watch it every week and our daughter grew up with that show. Brick is my hero. (Unfortunately, the parents' lives hit too close to our own lives--especially last night when Frankie couldn't remember where she hid presents)