Zorgamazoo, by Robert Paul Weston (2008)

Genre: Fantasy
Interest Level: 6-10 with strong appeal for adults too!
ZorgamazooAn absolute gem! Written entirely in Seuss-like prose, this is a genre-bender that appeals across the ages. Katrina Katrell, an adventure-loving girl who hasn’t let her tough past trouble her, teams up with Mortimer Yorgle (a zorgle) to find out what has happened to the zorgles of the underworld who have disappeared without a trace. Threats of lobotomies, a secret map, aliens and even a key eyeball throwing incident are just a few of the zany elements that combine into perhaps the best verse novel I’ve read. Certainly the best for kids. It’s heart-warming and heartbreaking, thrilling, often gross and occasionally quite tense. Excellent to read aloud, but not for kids under age 6, I’d say – just a bit too scary at times. Adding to the text are remarkable illustrations by Victor Rivas Villa (hard to find that credit – he deserves more) and delightful variations in font, type size and layout. One of my students in a children’s services class included this gem in her reading diary, and intrigued me with the summary. I’ve no idea how this got past me, but I’m here to help spread the word. This is Weston’s first novel – he’s a UBC graduate of the MFA in Creative Writing, and has gone on to write more. Start with this one, and I dare you to resist reading this out loud – my feet were tapping and my lips were moving even when reading in public! I loved it! Here’s an excerpt to tempt you right out the door and off to the library:
Above, in the stairwell, Katrina was still,
her fingers and throat in the grip of a chill.
This stranger, she sensed, by his timbre and tone,
was the sort to send shivers that shook to the bone.

More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/3284192-zorgamazoo

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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

One Response to Zorgamazoo, by Robert Paul Weston (2008)

  1. Zenobia says:

    This sounds fantastic – you have *definitely* persuaded me. I want!

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