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by Linda Urban ; illustrated by Mariano Epelbaum

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-544-41951-3
Publisher: HMH Books

When a boy is magically transported to Ogregon, a world of gigantic but mostly small-brained ogres, he must figure out not only how to escape before being eaten, but also how to rescue a group of captives and plug the hole between worlds.

In the course of Urban’s thickly plotted, humorous novel, aimed squarely at middle school boys, protagonist Milo Speck grows physically, mentally, and emotionally as he faces challenge after challenge: amusing a gigantic baby by doing the chicken dance, escaping from said baby’s even more gigantic mother in a repairman’s pouch that contains, yes, a stinky rotting sandwich, and finally (gasp!) confronting the evil whazzit. In doing so, Milo, a mechanically minded boy, draws on skills and talents he didn’t know he had, makes friends with Tuck, a bossy girl who turns out to be his father’s boss, and becomes a Tuckerman Agent. The plot doesn’t always make complete sense, but it’s a fizzy ride, and readers who like a combination of silly comedy and fairy-tale fantasy should enjoy it. Despite the action-heavy emphasis, Milo is a well-detailed character with a strong moral code, making him easy to root for.

Imaginative, kooky, but too devoid of reality to be fully engaging, this story is likely to score with its demographic but will not find converts outside it.

(Adventure. 8-12)