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“Never discourage anyone...who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.”
Publisher: Greenwillow Books, Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,
Material: hard cover
Summary: For 50 years, the Golly Toy and Game Company has sponsored a “mind and muscle” competition in Orchard Lake. Gil Goodson, a local 12-year-old, has been training all year to qualify for the competition, because he has two goals. First, he wants to get back at the community who made him an outcast and hurt his family when his dad was accused (then acquitted) of embezzlement. Second, he wants that grand prize so his family can afford to leave Orchard Lake. This is an illustrated chapter book where readers participate in the puzzles the main character solves.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader, reluctant reader
Recommended Age: read together: 10 to 14; read yourself: 10 to 14
Interest Level: 10 and up
Reading Level: 5.2
Age of Child: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: This book is a compendium of creative and out-of-the-box problem-solving challenges. The author engages the reader by including them in the activities. This is a fun read and will spark a lot of interest in finding alternative solutions to problems.
Pros: Everyone can enjoy and participate in this engaging story about the challenges adolescents experience in their day-to-day lives. This is a valuable resource for teacher, parent, and child.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. First, get it because it is fun to read. Second, get it because it is full of ways to engage students to think creatively.
Educational Themes: This is an excellent resource for supplemental ideas and exercises for engaging students in solving problems creatively.
Notes: Flesch Kincaid reading level 5.2
Literary Categories: Fiction - problem solving, family, games
Date(s) Reviewed: June 2008
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