Hiya everyone, it’s Sarah!
I have no idea where I found this book or how I heard of it…though it is possible that it came across my radar when I was furiously looking for mock Newbery books. I listened to and read this book.
Riley’s mother disappeared four months ago and he was the last one to see her. While the police keep questioning Riley about the last day he saw her, Riley cannot believe how inept they are. Riley’s decided that the whispers, or magical beings, will help him, so long as he has a decent tribute in return. First, Riley has to find the whispers, all before he gets attacked by the hobgoblins. Riley is an outcast in his town and family because of his two conditions, but his best friend Gary, trusty (nearly human) dog, Tucker, and his redneck superhero, Dylan are coming along to help.
I enjoyed this novel, I thought it was an interesting intersection of mysticism and reality. I enjoy finding LGBTQ characters in tween and children’s novels because there are so few. I do want to caution the reader to not skip to the author’s note before finishing/getting to the twist…kinda almost sorta ruined it for me…though it is kinda sorta totally my fault for looking at the end pages. I am also in a weird place with Riley because he makes fun of the detective Frank for being fat and equating it with stupid and while some of that prejudiced bologna makes an appearance with his friend Gary, he also makes a point of noting that calling someone the “f” word (fatso) is a horrifying thing to do to a friend…so he must have some understanding that fat does not determine someone’s character. I believe this gets to a good place, but it distracted me from getting fully invested in the story. I will recommend it, though I don’t necessarily know if this speaks to Newbery.