Tuesday 29 November 2011

The Not-So-Goblin Boy

The Not-So-Goblin Boy by Ezekiel Kwaymullina (Walker Books)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN 978-1-921720-15-4
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Samuel has lots of questions about his life. The twelve-year-old hates everything about himself. Abandoned as a new-born by his birth parents, he was adopted and raised by goblins. He is the only human boy in his world of rival goblins and gnomes.  

His life is a struggle to prove himself. He is a misfit amongst creatures who see him as easy prey. Although lacking in magic skills, Samuel is highly intelligent and inventive. He has created a fart forcer which is his strongest weapon, and which proves a constant life-saver.

Entry into the Goblin Academy appears to be the solution to his lack of esteem, and with his Uncle Magtal as the co-ordinator he doesn’t see why he can’t win. But being human is again his greatest obstacle. Uncle Magtal tries to convince Samuel that perhaps he was born for greater things, something the boy sees as inconceivable.

A frustrated and totally disillusioned Samuel falls into the hands of the Dead Bottom Pirates led by Captain Bockles and the beautiful Scout Master, Jet. The pirates have joined forces with Uncle Magtal to save the Goblin Empire from being destroyed by evil forces led by Drake, and Tolle, Jet’s former best friend who was believed dead. Samuel believes Drake knows something about his real parents. Is this the reason he was abandoned and why Drake has him targeted?

Being human might just prove to be Samuel’s reason for being born. He is faced with great challenges when his family is kidnapped. He calls upon all his resources, mental, physical, and the goblins to back him up.  He proves he is more than he thought, and much more than others expected when he battles for acceptance and a place in the world.

This story is cheeky, gross and a highly entertaining adventure with its magical fantasy for the 12+ age group. In a note from the author at the end, we learn that life experiences usually produce the best writing material. Ezekiel’s revelations are inspiring and encourage young writers to dream and never give up, regardless of the personal obstacles they may face.

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