Goblins by Philip Reeve

Goblins by Philip Reeve.  Scholastic Press, 2012.  340 pages. 

  • Reading Level: Young Adults, ages 12-15
  • Recommended for: Ages 12 and up

Bottom Line: The Hobbit meets Septimus Heap, with a dose of Lloyd Alexander-esque unlikely hero added.

Old Breslaw, the hatchling master, recognized something different about Skarper.  While treasure-loving Goblins have no use for “white crinkly stuff, covered in little wriggly black marks,” Skarper realizes that wriggly marks make words and soon teaches himself to read.

One day Skarper’s intelligence, quite literally, catapults him into the midst of an adventure involving an aspiring hero, a lost princess, three would-be-sorcerers, and a mysterious, magical tower.

Occasionally the story includes borderline humor.  For instance, the goblin king admires human underpants and has a pair:

Of course, he made sure they stayed safely hidden beneath his armor and his goat-hide trousers: It would never do to let his goblins see he wore pink flannel knickers.

With a dose of originality all his own, Philip Reeve spins a tale full of quirky characters, unlikely friendships, narrow escapes, and laughable moments.  This adventure will be enjoyed by fantasy lovers of all ages.

(Also by this author: Larklight and The Hungry Cities.)

Cautions: Vulgarity (occasional potty humor)

Overall Value: 4.5 (out of 5)

  • Moral/worldview value: 4
  • Artistic value: 5

Categories: Young Adult, Fantasy, Boys, Girls, Read Aloud

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Born in a library and raised by books, or rather, raised by a book-loving family, Hayley loves talking and writing about books. She lives in the middle of Wisconsin and works with children as well as with coffee.

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