BY THE GRACE OF TODD by Louise Galveston


Age Range: 8 - 11
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Can a kid who killed his hermit crab through neglect save a brand new civilization?

Sixth-grader Todd Galveston Butroche just wants to survive the new year at Wakefield Middle School. He and his best friend, Duddy, have always been bullied; this year’s got to be different. Todd and his home-schooled neighbor, Lucy, discover an entire civilization of tiny humanoids living on a sweaty gym sock under Todd’s bed in his disgustingly unclean room. The Toddlians see Todd as a god; Todd sees them as his ticket to coolness after he’s paired with uber-bully Max for the science fair. Max wants to train the Toddlians to do dangerous tricks. Will Todd give up his friends and destroy a civilization just to be cool? No need to guess why Galveston decided to use a pseudonym for this unfortunate waste of an entertainingly gross premise. The frame story, related by Toddlian Lewis, doesn’t work particularly well with Todd’s first-person narration. The tiny Toddlians are microscopic when Todd first discovers them, but fairly quickly he’s able to see them with his naked eye, and they can juggle marbles and ride chameleons. Dated and unfunny jokes about such figures as Nixon and John Wayne will be totally lost on the target audience, and there’s a serious problem with relative time in the narrative. This entry in the little-people subgenre should be avoided like a moldy tube sock.

The “to be continued” on the final page reads like a threat. (Fantasy. 8-11)


Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-59514-677-9
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 2013


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