Saturday, May 18, 2013
Goblins! An UnderEarth Adventure by Royce Buckingham
240 p. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2008. 9780399250026. Purchased.
Twelve-year-old Sam lives in a town, way up north, near the Canadian border, in Washington state. He's a good kid who gets in trouble a lot. In fact, he probably has a better relationship with the Chief of Police, Officer Myrmidon, than his own father. He actually doesn't mind spending the night in a jail cell.
Seventeen-year-old PJ Myrmidon might disagree with Sam about how cool his father is. He has just arrived in town rather reluctantly to visit. Shortly after his arrival, PJ's dad is called away and Sam is left in PJ's care. A border alarm goes off and the two decide to steal a police car to investigate.
They discover a huge, tusked and furry creature and accidentally run it over with the police car in their panic. They drag the unconscious creature into the car and back to the cell. As they argue what to do about it, two strangely pale people show up claiming to be guardians and take command of what they say is a goblin. Apparently all of humankind are now in danger since a goblin made its way to the surface - an event the guardians are pledged to prevent.
The boys decide to follow the guardians through the trap door and discover a labyrinthine world beneath the surface, one as dangerous as it is awe-inspiring. The goblins are a brutish lot, led by General Eww-yuk and they like nothing more than tasty humans for a snack.
The action is fast, furious and humorous as the boys get separated, captured, deal with man-eating grasses and fight giant insects. There are gruesome deaths and honorable heroes. The UnderEarth is a vivid, creepy, claustrophobic place. This is a great book for your students who want a little humor with their action.
Goblins has been languishing on TOM, my tbr mountain since its publication. Sadly, it seems to have gone out of print.