In the sequel to The Gorillas of Gill Park, Return to Gill Park by Amy Gordon, millionaire Otto Pettingill has bequeathed the titular park to 13-year-old narrator Willy Wilson. The teen follows clues that the former park owner promises will lead to a treasure. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Because he was made owner of Gill Park, as the result of events in the prequel, The Gorillas of Gill Park, Willy Wilson must now leave his home, parents, and the school in which he never felt that he belonged and solve adult problems. Not that he minds, really, since he has found friends, creative expression, and a love of the place at Gill. Responsibility calls, and Willy must respond, even though he is only thirteen-years-old. Living with Aunt Bridget again and resuming friendship with Gareth and Liesel holds great attraction for the young entrepreneur. However, dealing with the vandals of his beloved piece of real estate is much more of a challenge than he cares to assume, especially since he suspects the Sharks—a rather tough group with whom to reason—of the mayhem. Willy and company rise to the occasion, employing unique means of acquiring support in nabbing the delinquents, and making surprising new allies in the process. Although readers will enjoy this title without prior knowledge of the first book, reading each is recommended. Appreciating humor, nurturing individuality, building community, and recognizing the value of art, drama, music, and sports all play significant roles in this fast-paced story. 2006, Holiday House, Ages 8 to 12.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-Eccentric, deceased millionaire Otto Pettingill left Willy Wilson a community space complete with fountains, baseball fields, and assorted eclectic denizens in The Gorillas of Gill Park (Holiday House, 2003). Here, the boy discovers that public places are difficult to maintain. A band of blue-masked hooligans, led by his rival, Dillon Deronda, has been vandalizing the park and it's up to Willy and his friends to stop them. Meanwhile, he has moved in with his aunt, is attending a rigorous alternative school, and is participating in community theater. Willy also finds himself on a treasure hunt set up by his late benefactor. To understand the clues, he must get to know the Deronda family and obtain Dillon's help. Gordon picks up Willy's story without a bump or a jolt and carries it along with the same good-natured flair exhibited in the earlier title. Kids who like mysteries and oddball characters will find much to love in this amusing sequel.-Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Living at home, Willy Wilson, 13, inherited owner of Gill Park, knows he cannot implement the posthumous wishes of millionaire Otto Pettingill. Willy misses his new baseball pals, "The Gorillas," from last summer's visit with Aunt Bridget. Now, failing miserably in school, he convinces his parents that returning to the city of Gloria to live with his aunt will afford him the opportunity to do better while attending the private and specialized Gill Park Gallery School, as well as to oversee the park's vandalism issues. Gordon continues to add quirky unconventional characters in a new mystery/adventure sequel centered in an eccentric world within the limits of normal city life. Villains, thugs and good guys delineate themes of right vs. wrong behavior and responsibility, as Willy and his two good friends, Liesl and Gareth, work together to solve clues to a mysterious treasure hunt and uncover the real culprits behind the park destruction. Gordon adds an extra facet to her storyline with side elements of art and music history and a subplot involving a community children's play. Intriguing, idiosyncratic and fun to read. (Fiction. 9-12)