HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: George and the Goblin Hole
Author: Chadwick J. Gillenwater
Illustrator: Josh Smart
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2016
Related website: http://www.professorwatermelon.com (author)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 8-12
Rating: **** 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Gillenwater, Chadwick J. George and the Goblin Hole (published in 2016 by Watermelon Press). George Ewing, an African-American boy, is a fifth grader in Mrs. Woodruff’s class at James Whitcomb Riley Elementary School. He lives with his dad Denny Ewing, a groundskeeper at Crown Hill Cemetery, and his Granny Betty Ewing on Martin Luther King Jr. St. in Indianapolis, IN. His mom Wendy had died when he was in Kindergarten. On a tour of the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home, George realizes that he is the fifth great grandson of the famous poet’s butler Dennis Ewing. He also uncovers a diabolical plot in which the Squidgicum Squee, a creature that swallows and erases books from history, was trapped in Mr. Riley’s cigar box for a hundred years but has been stolen by the Goblins who plan to release it. Only George can stop them. But will he be able to do it in time before they carry out their wicked plan? What does he have to do? And who will help him?
We visited the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home in Indianapolis this past summer, and the gift shop had a copy of this book. It is a well written tale that will easily hold a young reader’s attention. The word “bum” is used once to refer to a person’s rear end. Of course, there are goblins, several ghosts appear, references to magic and casting spells are found, but for most people who understand the fictional nature of the story, these things should not be a major problem. Several of Mr. Riley’s poems are used to drive and thicken the plot, and this will help to increase appreciation for his unique style of poetry. I enjoyed reading it. Author Chadwick Gillenwater, a.k.a. Professor Watermelon, travels the country inspiring elementary students to use the written word as a joyful way of creative self-expression. “An’ the Gobble-uns ‘ll git you Ef you Don’t Watch Out!”