Goblin Secrets by William Alexander
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read this to my daughter's 3rd grade class, selecting it because of its NBA win. Though while the story was an interesting one (a child searching for his lost brother becomes involved with a troupe of performing goblins), I found it to be, in some ways inaccessible to the nine year old set (and sometimes, even to me). I never felt I had a full grasp on the rules of this world. It seemed I was always trying to process some new and strange detail about the fictional Zombay and its inhabitants (creatures made of gears, masks that replicate rivers and cities, pigeons inhabited by the cruel matriarch from whom Rownie has escaped). This took away from the genuine thrill of Rownie's search for his brother.
I don't typically read fantasy novels, so please take these comments with that in mind. This might prove to be just magical to some readers. (And certainly, some children in the class to seemed to enjoy it more than others.)