Page Length: 183 pages (paperback)

Published: November 9th 2017 by New Wrinkle Publishing

 

I received Gregory and the Grimbockle from the author, Melanie Schubert, in exchange for an honest review. I will be honest, I was a little hesitant at first because Gregory and the Grimbockle’s target is middle grade (8- 12) and you never know what you’re going to get when you don’t really fit the target audience. But I wanted to be open minded about it and the fact that the author had chosen me, viewing my Instagram, knowing that I wasn’t her suggested target. BUT I am so happy that she did reach out to me because, you guys, it was a really fun, fascinating and creative story!! You know when you smile when you’re reading because you can feel the story is so genuine and heartwarming and you just LOVE the concept of it? Yeah, that was Gregory and the Grimbockle for me.

{Synopsis from Goodreads}

Ten-year-old Gregory is about to find out that the enormous mole stuck straight beneath his nose is not just a mole, but is actually a humpy crumpy portal of skin that hides a creature called the Grimbockle.

What’s more? The Grimbockle is just one of the many strange little creatures called Bockles tending to the mysterious threads that connect all humans from one to the other. It is a very important job and one that has long been carried out with incredible secrecy…

…that is, before tonight.

*****

First Impression

Alright so I’m not going to lie when I first read that the Grimbockle lives in Gregory’s mole under his nose I wasn’t sure if I was going to like the story. However, once I got into it I found out that there is a reason the Grimbockle uses Gregory’s mole and it’s for a very endearing reason. In this story, Gregory doesn’t really care about his mole, he wonders why he has it but he never feels ashamed of it. In fact, it’s just others around him that are bothered by it. I really liked the authors approach to acknowledging that there are kids with moles and in turn, other various skin attributions that exist and that they really aren’t a big deal and in this story’s case are actually really cool!

Unique Reading Experience

What’s especially unique other than the story is that Gregory and The Grimbockle has a musical soundtrack that goes with it. How cool is that!? Abigail Kraft worked on signature illustrations throughout the story and Jared Kraft composed the soundtrack which includes a song for each special moment. This is not something I’ve come across or heard of before (especially for middle grade books) so it was really interesting that it had a more dynamic experience.

Main Character

Gregory is the main character of this story. I think Gregory is a very relatable character. For one, he’s a kid. Two, he’s struggling with a bunch of different things while dealing with ‘growing up.’ He doesn’t have a strong relationship with his family- his parents are busy and his sister either ignores him or calls him names so he’s alone a lot of the time. He often makes food for himself and plays games by himself. He doesn’t seem to mind but as the reader you feel sympathetic and a little sorry for him.

The concept was my favourite part

I love this story and the concept of it really tingles all the good parts of my heart. So, the Grimbockle turns out to be a Bockle, a strange creature that tends to the threads that seemingly connect all the ‘hoo-mans.’ These threads are called exoodles. Gregory accidently meets the Grimbockle as he’s tending to an exoodle. However, this exchange ultimately changes Gregory’s life forever and while I love that part, it’s the exoodles part that I really love. The exoodles are described as spiderweb like threads that are unseen to the human eye that drift, reach and connect from one human to another. One person could have 5 exoodles attached to them or one person could have 20+. I don’t want to give too much away especially because The Grimbockle can explain exoodles much better than I!

I think this is a wonderful story for kids (and adults or any age, really) to read because it is a story about understanding the value of each other and how our actions affect those around us, at least, that’s what I took away from it. It can really show kids how various actions influence the bond between them and another person. I think the message will encourage anyone to take a look at how they are treating others and how they can strengthen their own exoodles.

My favourite part

I loved pretty much all of this book but there was one chapter that really gave me all the feels. Not giving any of it away but it was to do with Old Ethel. That’s all I’ll say!!

Rating Time:

Action/Adventure:  9

Fantasy:  10

Overall rating: *****/5

Recommend?

YES. Yes I do recommend. Do you ever judge a book by its cover or in this case, a book by its genre? I’ll admit I do. BUT I’m so glad that I read Gregory and The Grimbockle regardless of it being targeted towards middle grade children. So, that’s what I’m saying to you, just because a book is not targeted for your age doesn’t mean you won’t love it! I’m actually thinking right now of which nieces and nephews (maybe friends, hehe) I can buy this book for! Gregory and The Grimbockle was a wonderful, creative and heartwarming story that I absolutely adored. I hope you all will go out and read it!! And if you do, please let me know what you think, I’d love to discuss it with you!

As always, Happy Reading and happy, healthy exoodles to you!

Paper Dreams Review on Gregory and the Grimbockle by Melanie Schubert

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