The Gollywhopper Games come back for a third round of puzzlers and prizes, with the main contestant a kid who is totally into football.
Sidelined by a concussion, Zane is smart, loves math and strategy, and is deeply afraid his football days are over. For him, competing in the Gollywhopper Games is a chance to regain his edge. In this iteration of the games, contestants work alone for some tasks but must pair and team up for others—but never with the same people, creating situations in which contestants are both cooperating and opposing one another at the same time. In the games, Zane is always thinking about how he can optimize his chances, but hindrances abound to make it tough. Zane is a good-looking, popular kid, but he recognizes the assets scrawny young genius Elijah can bring to the contest. In the background, game sponsor Bert Golliwop frets about sabotage to this spectacular publicity stunt for his company. Rule twists aside, readers will find this edition of the games similar to the first two; as before, the fun is in the puzzles and being inside Zane’s head as he works out his answers. Zane is all about the strategy and what is needed to help each team member bring their best work.
It’s this altruism, combined with a competitive spirit, that will have readers rooting for these kids. (Fiction. 8-12)