Tuesday, July 4, 2017
38. The Matchstick Castle by Keir Graff
2017, G. P. Putnam's Sons
Middle Grades Realistic Fantasy
Goodreads rating: 3.59 - 138 ratings
My rating: Probably, personally, a 2, but please read below
Setting: Contemporary Boring, Illinois
First line/s: "It was supposed to be the perfect summer. I was going to camp out, build forts, have adventures, and score the championship-winning goal in the New England All-Star Under-12 Soccer Tournament. When I wasn't doing those things, I was going to stay up late with my friends, eat as much junk food as I wanted, and pretty much do whatever I felt like until sixth grade started in September. It was going to be epic: the all-time, best summer ever."
My comments: This book reminded me somewhat of the books I read and loved as a kid - Gone Away Lake and The Lemonade Trick, The Four Story Mistake and Half Magic. I can't remember anything at all about those books except that I loved them. This gave me the same feel. Except....now I'm old. And I didn't like it at all, it was just too far-fetched and ridiculous. So I'm betting there's lots and lots of youngish kids out there that are going to love it like I loved those old titles of long ago. So I can't rate it, really. Or I shouldn't. I'd rate it a 2, but that's an old fogey's rating. I'll leave this to the experts ... and the kids.
Goodreads synopsis: Brian can think of a few places he'd rather spend his summer than with his aunt and uncle in Boring, Illinois. Jail, for example. Or an earplug factory. Anything would be better than doing summer school on a computer while his scientist dad is stationed at the South Pole.
Boring lives up to its name until Brian and his cousin Nora have a fight, get lost, and discover a huge, wooden house in the forest. With balconies, turrets, and windows seemingly stuck on at random, it looks ready to fall over in the next stiff breeze. To the madcap, eccentric family that lives inside, it's not just a home--it's a castle.
Suddenly, summer gets a lot more exciting. With their new friends, Brian and Nora tangle with giant wasps, sharp-tusked wild boars, and a crazed bureaucrat intent on bringing the dangerously dilapidated old house down with a wrecking ball.