Hop, the goblin, is having a rough day. The battlefield is strewn with bodies. He’s been hiding under one of them but now the battle is over and he has to get away. The goblin army is on the run, and he doesn’t want to be caught by the victorious Hanorians.
Billy Smith is also having a rough day. It’s his first day in a new school. Billy has been in lots of new schools, and he hates it. He feels insecure and unlikable. True to form he embarrasses himself in front of Lexie, the only cute girl who is ever paid attention to him. When he tries to get to know her, he makes another mistake and becomes the enemy of Kurt Novac, the school’s star quarterback. Lexie and Billy end up running from Kurt and the three of them fall into a cavern, a goblin cavern.
The book is reminiscent of Tolkein, but written for middle grade students. The characters, Lexie, Kurt, and particularly Billy are people young readers can identify with. Many middle grade students long to be heroes but see themselves as clumsy and insecure as Billy. The goblins are delightful characters. Hob tries to remain in the background, but finds he can’t when the issue of the Goblin Crown becomes important.
I recommend this book for middle grade students. It’s filled with magical creatures, wizards, giants, bats, and, of course, goblins. The story is fast paced, and the characters are well drawn.
I received this book from Turner Publishing for this review.