Sunday, September 13, 2009

Book Review: The Gollywhopper Games by Jody Feldman


Gil Goodson's future happiness depends on winning the Golly Toy & Game Company's ultimate competition. If Gil wins, his dad has promised that the family can move away from all the gossip, false friends, and bad press that have plagued them ever since "The Incident". Inside the toy company's fantastic headquarters, Gill will have to master trivia, solve puzzles, and complete physical stunts--and he'll have to do it better than all of the other kids competing.

Oh, and did we mention that Gil's every step--and every mistake-- will be broadcast on national television? Hold on tight, because the ride of his life is about to begin!


I really enjoyed reading this book. It reminded me a lot about "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". Gil's dad was accused of stealing money from the company that he worked for, the Golly Game & Toy Company. Gil just knows that his dad did not do it but doesn't know how to prove it. He competes in the Gollywhopper Games against 25,000 other kids from around the world. What is very good for Gil is that a lot of the contest competitions have to do with how much they knew about the company. The book became really exciting when Gil made it to the final rounds with some friends that he met there: Rocky (his dad had worked for the company too), Lavinia, Bianca and Thorn. Also, there was a woman named Carol who was in charge of the contestants who was really funny.

What helped Gil a lot was that since his dad worked for the company, he had kept a scrap book of all of the news articles and things about the Golly Toy Company since they first opened. Even though this was very helpful, he still had to beat his new friends who were very smart and also knew a lot about the Toy Company. The contest made the kids solve a lot of puzzles and made them find things all over the inside of The Toy Company's headquarters. In the finals, every round ended with one of the kids leaving.

Gil lost a round and was kicked out of the competition. Then one of the boys that was competing against Gil and the other few remaining contestants was disqualified for cheating. It was a good thing that the whole competition was on T.V. everywhere. This gave Gil another chance to win.

I will not tell you whether or not Gil wins because I don't want to spoil the book for you, but I will tell you that by the end of the book, the Golly Toy & Game Company find out that Gil's dad did not steal the money from them. He is offered back his old job because he was honest.

The book was really funny and the characters were very different from each other. I found Thorn the funniest. He was a very rich boy, who got into the competition because his dad bought $100,000 worth of toys to finally find an entrance ticket to the games. He was very funny because he did not know how to do many things. For example, climb a tree. He was so used to people doing things for him. He even had a very expensive hidden speaker in his ear to help him cheat to win. Gil found it and made him not use it and play fairly.

I think you should read this book if you are around my age, 9. It was about 300 pages, but not too hard to read at all. It was fun and I hope that they make a Gollywhopper Games part 2 book.

Thank you!



  1. Well, this does have many similarities Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but on the other hand, it also has enough differences to sound fun in its own right. Thanks for the enthusiastic review that's really whetted my appetite to read this! :-)

  2. This sounds like a fun book. After reading the synopsis I immediately thought of Charlie and the Chocolate factory as well.

  3. This sounds like it would a fun book to read. I didn't know of it, so I'm glad you reviewed it!

  4. I have never heard of this book before, but it sure sounds cute. Great review.

  5. If this is indeed a lot like CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, I'm sure that my grandsons and I - would enjoy it very much.

    Thanks for the review.

  6. Great review! I've heard of this book but I've never read a review of it. It sounds interesting, so I might pick it up the next time I'm at a library.

  7. This book sounds so fun. Thanks for the review! I'll put it on my reading list.