With Goblins!: An UnderEarth Adventure, author Royce Buckingham has answered some of these dilemmas.
He begins with an action-filled opener – a goblin has escaped the UnderEarth. He features identifiable protagonists - twelve-year-old Sam on the brink of juvenile delinquency and seventeen-year-old PJ, stuck in a nowhere small-town while he visits his policeman father. These two form an unlikely, but appreciable, dynamic duo as they follow the Guardians of UnderEarth on a battle to keep the goblins from finding the tunnel that leads to our world.
Additionally, author Buckingham, propels the reader from one battle scene to the next. Goblins! action not only begins fast, it is spooned out in small doses. Chapters are kept short and descriptive language is limited. There are bloody battle scenes, bravery and death. Still, before the story ever gets a chance to venture into a weighty realm, the author throws in a few laughs.
And though the telling might flow easily and prove enticing to even the most reluctant of readers, Goblins! hides some decent themes within it. PJ and Sam demonstrate fortitude and make the right choices when making the right choices count most.
Goblins!: An UnderEarth Adventure, aimed toward the middle-grade male – even though the cover art appears to be too juvenile for that crowd, is a story many reluctant and action-adventure story enthusiasts will devour.
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Genre: Fantasy. Age: 9-12. Pages: 240.
Themes: Hero Quest, Action-Adventure, Making Decisions
Thanks to Jessica at Planned Television Arts.
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile. Date: September 2008.
ISBN-10: 0399250026 - ISBN-13: 978-0399250026
Buy Goblins!: An UnderEarth Adventure Here
Royce Buckingham is also the author of the popular Demonkeeper novel. He is available for school and library visits. You can read more on his website.
Here's the book trailer for good measure:
© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti for www.ReadingRumpus.com
Review also posted as National Reading Examiner.