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1 Beaverton Children's- Science Fiction and Fantasy

Goblin Secrets

by

Goblin Secrets Cover

ISBN13: 9781442427266
ISBN10: 1442427264
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A boy joins a theatrical troupe of goblins to find his missing brother.

In the town of Zombay, there is a witch named Graba who has clockwork chicken legs and moves her house around, much like the fairy tale figure of Baba Yaga. Graba takes in stray children, and Rownie is the youngest boy in her household. Rownie’s only real relative is his older brother Rowan, who is an actor. But acting is outlawed in Zombay, and Rowan has disappeared.

Desperate to find him, Rownie joins up with a troupe of goblins who skirt the law to put on plays. But their plays are not only for entertainment, and the masks they use are for more than make-believe. The goblins also want to find Rowan,because Rowan might be the only person who can save the town from being flooded by a mighty river.

This accessible, atmospheric fantasy takes a gentle look at love, loss, and family while delivering a fast-paced adventure that is sure to satisfy.

Review:

"In Alexander's debut novel, set in the magical, steampunk-inflected land of Zombay, a young orphan named Rownie lives in the household of Graba the witch, running errands and scavenging food where he can. His older brother, Rowan, used to live with Rownie and Graba's band of 'Grubs,' but Rowan was arrested for putting on a mask and acting — in Zombay, citizens are forbidden to pretend to be other than they are — and has disappeared. When a troupe of goblins arrives to put on a play, Rownie sneaks away to see them and angers Graba enough that he's forced to flee. He accepts sanctuary from the goblins, joining their troupe and mounting a search for Rowan, but Graba is hunting Rownie, and there are dire warnings that long-prophesied floods are coming to wipe out Zombay. Alexander has an intriguing central theme, in which masks and theater create actual magic, but the story is slow to develop. The result is a (sometimes gruesome) fantasy stuffed with interesting ideas that don't quite have room to breathe. Ages 8-12. Agent: Joe Monti, Barry Goldblatt Literary." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"Rownie’s search for his brother turns into an unlikely heroic quest....Though highly textured, it’s tightly woven and reassuringly seamless. The result is wryly humorous and bearably yet excitingly menacing: Even while much is left unexplained, Rownie’s triumph is both gripping and tantalizing." Kirkus Reviews, (Starred Review)

Review:

"The appeal here lies in Alexander’s careful construction of a distinctive world: touches of steampunk can be found in Graba’s geared-up legs and the Mayor’s automaton guards while a more ancient, primal magic seems to guide the goblins and their powerful brand of storytelling....The bittersweet ending remains true to the story’s overall dreamy, melancholic tone." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Review:

"The story weaves a many-webbed tale, rich in imagination with a fairy-tale feel." School Library Journal

About the Author

William Alexander studied theater and folklore at Oberlin College and English at the University of Vermont. He currently lives, writes, and teaches in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His short stories have been published in many magazines and anthologies, including Weird Tales, Lady Churhill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Interfictions 2, and Fantasy: The Best of the Year 2008. Visit him at WillAlex.net.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

nrlymrtl, March 6, 2013 (view all comments by nrlymrtl)
I enjoyed this book far more than an adult should! There’s fun steampunk like gadgets, including human limbs, through out the book. The town of Zombay itself has it’s own character, with a north side bound over the river by a large bridge to south side. The river ends up playing a key role in the book, showing the power of nature. The citizens of Zombay have all sorts of tales and fears concerning the goblins, who do look quite fierce at times. It’s eerily possible for a human to be changed into a goblin.

The story has just enough seriousness to be a little scary for kids, and to hint at darker personalities for adults. The flaming pigeons definitely left an impression. Throughout the adventure, Rownie also learns of the cruel, and sometimes horrible, source of coal �" a piece of which is needed to animate various mechanical beings, such as the equine that pulls the goblin wagon. Overall, a very fun, engaging book.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Rebecca Johnson, November 22, 2012 (view all comments by Rebecca Johnson)
This was a really charming book and I recommend that parents buy it for their kids who love fantasy. This book was set in the colorful world of Zombay, a city where no one was allowed to act or "wear masks" by decree of the mayor. However, there are some that find a way around these rules, the goblins. This book is more than an adventure story though, it's about finding a place to call home and protecting the people you care about, regardless of social status. I think it would make a GREAT Studio Ghibli film too! It has everything a Studio Ghibili film needs: likable, young characters, a colorful setting, interesting and imaginative magic and a great plot conflict! This book is also notable because it is a national book award finalist. I hope others enjoy this YA Fantasy.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781442427266
Author:
Alexander, William
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Subject:
Science Fiction, Fantasy, & Magic
Subject:
Children s-Reference Family and Genealogy
Subject:
Children s-Science Fiction and Fantasy
Publication Date:
20120306
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in
Age Level:
from 8 up to 12

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Related Subjects


Children's » Action and Adventure » Adventure Stories
Children's » Middle Readers » General
Children's » Performing Arts » Theater
Children's » Reference » Family and Genealogy
Children's » Sale Books
Children's » Science Fiction and Fantasy » General

Goblin Secrets Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 240 pages Margaret K. McElderry Books - English 9781442427266 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In Alexander's debut novel, set in the magical, steampunk-inflected land of Zombay, a young orphan named Rownie lives in the household of Graba the witch, running errands and scavenging food where he can. His older brother, Rowan, used to live with Rownie and Graba's band of 'Grubs,' but Rowan was arrested for putting on a mask and acting — in Zombay, citizens are forbidden to pretend to be other than they are — and has disappeared. When a troupe of goblins arrives to put on a play, Rownie sneaks away to see them and angers Graba enough that he's forced to flee. He accepts sanctuary from the goblins, joining their troupe and mounting a search for Rowan, but Graba is hunting Rownie, and there are dire warnings that long-prophesied floods are coming to wipe out Zombay. Alexander has an intriguing central theme, in which masks and theater create actual magic, but the story is slow to develop. The result is a (sometimes gruesome) fantasy stuffed with interesting ideas that don't quite have room to breathe. Ages 8-12. Agent: Joe Monti, Barry Goldblatt Literary." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "Rownie’s search for his brother turns into an unlikely heroic quest....Though highly textured, it’s tightly woven and reassuringly seamless. The result is wryly humorous and bearably yet excitingly menacing: Even while much is left unexplained, Rownie’s triumph is both gripping and tantalizing."
"Review" by , "The appeal here lies in Alexander’s careful construction of a distinctive world: touches of steampunk can be found in Graba’s geared-up legs and the Mayor’s automaton guards while a more ancient, primal magic seems to guide the goblins and their powerful brand of storytelling....The bittersweet ending remains true to the story’s overall dreamy, melancholic tone."
"Review" by , "The story weaves a many-webbed tale, rich in imagination with a fairy-tale feel."
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