Review: Elliot and the Goblin War by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Elliot somehow finds himself appointed King of the Brownies (not the kind you eat--the kind that likes to clean your house as you sleep. I'd be happy with either of them in my house). He first came to the Brownies' attention after he saved one of them from some evil Goblins on Halloween night. That night, Elliot also started a war between the Brownies and the Goblins, so I guess it's only fair that he has to lead the Brownies. The problem is that the Brownies have no concept of how war should work. They just go about their business as usual, expecting to be eaten or scared to death by a Goblin at any minute. Well, Elliot might be young, but he knows that something has to change.
This was cute. It really was. My biggest problem was the frequent breaks for "Now, Reader, if you don't like to read about people being scared to death, you might want to stop reading right here. For serious. You've been warned. The last person who continued reading was eaten by a platypus." (Not an actual quote) It was kind of funny the first time or two, but it seemed like there was one of these in every chapter. Kids might like it, but I thought it got tedious.
Other than that, it was a fun little story. Elliott and the Brownies (sounds like a pop group from the '50's) got themselves into some tight spots, but it was amusing to see how the Goblins mostly managed to defeat themselves. I have to own up to a very juvenile sense of humor when it comes to smelly feet jokes and the like, so I actually thought it was pretty funny in parts.
I really liked that hidden inside this fun little story was a message about bullies and finding the strength to stand up for yourself. That doesn't mean fighting, but it does mean drawing the line. There's even a bit about forgiveness and second chances.
Recommended for the 9-12 year olds who can appreciate the humor.
Read an excerpt.
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