Welcome to the book world the Class of 2k8's March launches, Jody Feldman's The Gollywhopper Games and Elizabeth C. Bunce's A Curse Dark as Gold, two very different stories about young people trying to salvage a family legacy.
In The Gollywhopper Games, young Gil Goodson hopes to redeem his family's good name after his dad was falsely accused of embezzling from the Golly Toy Company. If Gil wins the Gollywhopper Games, he'll show the world that Goodsons aren't cheaters, and will win enough money to help his family make a new start far away from the cloud of scandal hanging over them. Gil's an engaging young hero with a quick wit, a friendly personality, and a tenacious determination to make good. Readers can solve the Gollywhopper Game puzzles along with Gil--they're challenging enough to be fun, but not so difficult that you feel like putting your eye out with your pencil. Great for puzzle-lovers, punsters, and fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory--and for you adult readers, the writing and characterization are MILES ahead of that recent best-selling puzzle book The DaVinci Code!
A Curse Dark as Gold is a fascinating re-telling of the Rumplestiltskin fairy tale. Young Charlotte Miller struggles to keep her family's woolen mill running after the death of her father. Charlotte is a practical young woman. She doesn’t believe in curses or magic until a series of weird and inexplicable disasters force her to rely on a mysterious little man who can spin straw into gold. All her instincts tell her to turn him away, but Charlotte feels responsible for the townspeople who depend on the mill for their livelihood. It's not just her own income at stake; Charlotte won't relegate her neighbors and friends to poverty. Meanwhile, she has to contend with an uncle who seems bound and determined to bankrupt her. Everything comes to a head when Charlotte realizes that to save her mill, her friends, her family, and her infant son, she must figure out how to right an ancient wrong. When the story's villain’s secrets are finally revealed, their heartbreaking stories make them as sympathetic as the main characters. A great read, but keep a box of kleenex handy!
Find out more at the Class of 2k8 web site, or on our Class of 2k8 blog, where Elizabeth will be guest-blogging all week.