A biography-writing assignment takes a sixth-grader from the eerie depths of New York’s Grand Central Terminal all the way to Troll Mountain.
Being a troll isn’t the only secret hulking Ned Thump, a night security guard at Grand Central, nurses…nor are young Cody’s paternal grandparents both of Finnish—or even human—descent, as he’s always been led to believe. So, hardly do the two come face to face before revelations and general weirdness start to flow: Cody is suddenly talking to cats; meeting an irascible brownie at his cousin Alexandra’s (see Cursed, originally published as Diary of a Mad Brownie, 2015); and learning that there is an Enchanted Realm. There, both his long-absent grandpa and a certain troll’s intended (sleeping, for the past century and a half, in a glass coffin) are in urgent need of rescue from the choleric king of the trolls. The airy tale jets along on frequent mention of farting, which not only is a sine qua non of troll poetry and, apparently, prophecy, but plays a crucial role in the climax. The narrative is delivered in Cody’s and Ned’s alternating diary entries, interspersed with email, handwritten letters, chat transcripts, folk tales, and trollish lore. Cody seems to present as white; Ned is depicted as green on the cover.
Holy heckenlooper, as Cody is wont to put it—families can have strange secrets. (Fantasy. 9-11)