My Rating: 89%
As someone who hasn’t read a middle-grade book in a while, I must say, I’m so glad that I got the chance to pick this one up. I am so excited to be posting my first review of a book sent to me by a publisher (Thank you, New Wrinkle!), and I had so much fun reading it (Which is good. Because if it wasn’t, think how awkward this would be...). This is a great book if you are looking for something to interest a young boy between the ages of eight and twelve.
When I started reading this book, it immediately reminded me of Roald Dahl’s The BFG, except in my mind it would be a little more appealing to boys over girls. It has the everyday kid, living a less than desirable life when a mysterious being comes haphazardly into said kid’s life. The boy gets whisked away for a little while to help the Grimbockle with his life’s work. The concept isn’t super original, but the author is able to take the idea and make it her own.
I absolutely love Grimbockle and the relationship he makes with Gregory. He is such a cute character, and the way Melanie Schubert incorporates lots of dialect and mannerisms within the Bockle characters really stood out to me. Although there isn't very much world building due to the fact that this story is geared towards a younger audience, I am happy to say that every ounce of it is done efficiently and effectively. Every part of the Bockle “land” and its peoples’ ways are written spectacularly.
I also have to mention how wonderful all the illustrations are. After strictly reading young adult for so long, I find I have more of an appreciation for a few drawings sprinkled throughout a story. Middle-grade books are special in that regard. Nothing makes a book better than pictures; am I right? (Side note: I would also like to petition to require all books to have small illustrations along with their chapter headings. Does that make anyone’s else’s reading experience so much better? Because it sure does mine.)
This book was also published with a book soundtrack, which was composed by Jared Kraft! It is an awesome addition to the story that would be great to play in the background of a read aloud or to be used in a book report. New Wrinkle does this with all of their books, and to my knowledge, the only publishing company who does this. If you know of any other publishers that do something like this, please let me know in the comments.
I think this book would make a fabulous Christmas gift for a little boy (or girl) in your life. It might end up being one for a boy in mine...
As she gets back to books for her age,
Disclaimer: New Wrinkle Publishing sent me an ebook copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.
Hoo-mans is also in different shapes and sizes, is they not? But they is all still one and the same. All hoo-mans is hoo-mans just as all Bockles is Bockles.
- Melanie Schubert, Gregory and the Grimbockle
Ashton is a high school girl with a passion for books. She also participates in other activities such as sports and musical groups.