Lloyd Alexander The Gawgon and the Boy

ISBN 13: 9780142500002

The Gawgon and the Boy

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9780142500002: The Gawgon and the Boy

After a life-threatening illness keeps him out of school for months, David is given a tutor to help him catch up-his elderly, tough Aunt Annie, who is as frightening to him as a monstrous, snake-haired Gorgon. He even secretly nicknames her "The Gawgon." But, to David's surprise, a bright heart lurks inside the old woman. She challenges him more than any schoolteacher ever could, opens all sorts of possibilities in his life, and the two of them-The Gawgon and The Boy-develop a very special friendship. Loosely based upon Lloyd Alexander's own childhood, this jewel of a novel will be treasured by readers of all ages.

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Review:

Eleven-year-old David nearly died of pneumonia. ("New Monia," as his Aunt Rosie called it with her heavy British accent, not unlike the "Spanish Influenzo.") But all that bed rest would have been worth it if it meant he could escape Rittenhouse Academy and continue on among the rogues' gallery of eccentric friends and relatives that passes through his family's Philadelphia home. David (also known as "Bax," "Skeezix," "Skinamalink," Snicklefritz," and "First Sergeant," depending on which grownup is doing the addressing) decides that he'd be more than happy to wile away his days with some fresh air and "mild exercise," as prescribed by Dr. McKelvie (who, incidentally, calls David "laddie-buck").

But mild exercise turns out to include more than lounging around reading books about pirates, sneaking into theaters to see "the new films that actually talk" (this being right before the Depression), and writing up clever cartoons about the "Sea-Fox," the devilishly devious scourge of the Spanish Main. No, David is to have a tutor. (A "tooter," says Aunt Rosie, to keep him from becoming an "ignoramiss.") And it could be a worse fate than David ever imagined, maybe even worse than Rittenhouse: his stern, elderly Aunt Annie volunteers for the job. "In a tone that made me think of the Almighty commanding Abraham to sacrifice young Isaac, she said: 'Give me the boy.'"

But this horrible old Gorgon (Aunt Rosie translation: "Gawgon") proves to be David's perfect foil, an ingenious mentor who so impresses David--whom she takes to simply calling "The Boy" after she learns about her nickname--that she begins to co-star in his time-hopping, globe-trotting adventure stories. The Gawgon and the Boy offers excellent period details, hysterical dialogue, and convincingly funny and authentic 11-year-old imaginings from Newbery Medal and National Book Award winner Lloyd Alexander. (Ages 10 and older) --Paul Hughes

About the Author:

Lloyd Alexander is the undisputed master of high fantasy and has won nearly every major award for children's authors.

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