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The Riddle of the Gnome (Further Tales Adventure Series)

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Overview

Riddle me this: A gnome suddenly appears.with a proposition for a young boy — "Help me and I'll cure your curse."

Twelve-year-old Tom lives alone on an island in the middle of a river. Nobody dares approach him because the boy is cursed — he brings bad luck to anyone around him. One day an odd little man — a gnome, perhaps — comes to see Tom, ignoring the boy's warnings to keep his distance. The hot-tempered, shifty gnome makes an astounding offer: He'll rid the boy of his hex, ...

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Overview

Riddle me this: A gnome suddenly appears.with a proposition for a young boy — "Help me and I'll cure your curse."

Twelve-year-old Tom lives alone on an island in the middle of a river. Nobody dares approach him because the boy is cursed — he brings bad luck to anyone around him. One day an odd little man — a gnome, perhaps — comes to see Tom, ignoring the boy's warnings to keep his distance. The hot-tempered, shifty gnome makes an astounding offer: He'll rid the boy of his hex, if the boy will embark on a mission for him. If Tom agrees will it really mean the end of his lonely existence?

With no answers and nothing to lose but bad luck, Tom sets off through the green valleys and peaks of Londria, but he quickly realizes the stakes of this gnome's game are high. And time is scarce. As the chips stack against him in a land riddled with obstacles, Tom wonders if he could be trading his curse for something far worse.

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Meagan Albright
This is the story of an outcast, a boy cursed to bring bad luck to everyone around him. It is also a story of fortune, family, and redemption. Throughout the story, many preconceptions are overturned, with bad luck used for good, good luck manipulated by evil, and the lines between life and death becoming blurred. The traditional family unit is contrasted with adopted families, with the two ultimately combining for the benefit of the children. Readers will likely enjoy this story as they read it, only to find the characters and specifics of the plot fading from memory shortly after the last page is finished. This is by no means a necessary addition to your library collection, but it is a fun tale from the fantasy genre.
VOYA - Melissa Moore
Red-haired Tom may be just twelve, but he has lived alone for several years to protect his adoptive parents, friends, and neighbors from the curse of bad luck with which he was born. When a mysterious gnome that only he can see appears one day, promising to lift the curse in exchange for a favor, Tom wants to believe but refuses to leave his parents and follow the creature. Then the Marauders torch his hometown, his parents disappear, and the likeable youngster is swept up into an adventure full of nasty creatures. He can rely on nothing but his own wits as he tries to satisfy the shifty, angry gnome and finally live free of the curse. What makes the retelling of fairy tales enjoyable is the development of the unexpected and the thoughtful and seeing familiar characters fleshed out into believable creatures. This fifth Further Tales Adventure disappoints. Although a few creative twists reward the persistent reader, most of the story is predictable and plodding. The development of Rumplestiltskin (the gnome) and most other characters is two-dimensional, the monsters literally unimaginable. The setting is vividly developed and the pace is fast and might draw in reluctant readers, but the story itself will disappoint most readers.
KLIATT - Sherry Hoy
In fractured fairy tale style, Tom, cursed with bad luck, has been living by himself on an island in the middle of a river for most of his 12 years, trying to avoid passing his bad luck on to innocent passersby. Then one day, a very odd little man by the name of Rumpel-stiltskin offers to rid the boy of his problem for a little bad luck visited upon an enemy—the ruler of a neighboring kingdom. And the adventure begins... With some neat twists and plot turns, this takes ole' "Rumpelstiltskin" to a new level. Give this to those who enjoyed Ella Enchanted or The Ratastrophe Catastrophe.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416912521
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 3/6/2007
  • Series: Further Tales Adventure Series
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,452,171
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 730L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

P. W. (Paul William) Catanese was born in New York and grew up in Connecticut, where he lives with his wife and three children. When he's not writing books, he draws cartoons and works for an advertising agency.
Interestingly, the letters in "P. W. Catanese" can be rearranged to spell "want escape?" Paul figures that's why people read books like his.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2007

    A reviewer

    I got hooked on PW Catanese's novels when my son brought home The Eye of the Warlock and read it four times straight. This is another really exciting story - maybe not as good as his very best, The Mirror's Tale, but still a great read. Like all his books it has a fast pace, great characters, lots of action and stuff that makes you think. There are also some plot twists that i can't even hint at because it would spoil the fun. My son is not the most avid reader but he's devoured every one of this author's books. But they're great for us grown-ups too.

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