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Posts Tagged «contests»

The Gollywhopper Games

Friday, November 26th, 2010

gollywhopperBy Jody Feldman, 332 pages Grades 5-8

What is as exciting as a candy company that hides a few golden tickets offering a lifetime supply of candy and a tour of the mysterious factory?  How about a toy factory with a puzzle and stunt contest where the winner receives untold riches and fame?  The Gollywhopper Games starts with a stadium full of children and teens answering questions and brainteasers, in hopes of becoming one of the ten semifinalists.  To twelve year-old Gil, the contest is also a chance for his family to have the money they need to leave town and find a fresh start.  Once inside the magical world of the toy company, the contestants are faced with life-sized mind games and physical challenges, initially requiring teamwork but eventually singling out a winner.  Are you ready for a few brain teasers?

Connections:  The magical toy company setting and contest will appeal to those who enjoyed Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  For those who enjoy the puzzling mind games, try reading the Puzzling World of Winston Breen series by Eric Berlin, The Mysterious Benedict Society books by Trenton Lee Stewart or Blue Balliett’s art mystery books that start with Chasing Vermeer.  Be sure to check out the Jody Feldman’s fun website.

The Potato Chip Puzzles

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

potatochippuzzlesby Eric Berlin   p. 227  Grades 6-8

Want a puzzling puzzler?!  Seventh grader Winston Breen and his two best friends enter a contest at the local pototo chip factory to win $50,000 for their school.  All they have to do is be first to solve all six puzzles which take them and their obnoxious chaperone all over town and beyond.  The biggest puzzle, however, turns out to be figuring out who is cheating.  Someone has been sabotaging some of the teams by causing flat tires, locking people in bathrooms, and stopping the ferris wheel.  The reader is expected to solve puzzles as well as solve the mystery.

Connections:  Another Winston Breen title is The Puzzling World of Winston BreenThe Westing Game by Ellen Raskin and Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliet are other good puzzle mysteries.

The Hunger Games

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

the-hunger-games1by Suzanne Collins, p. 374 – Grades 7 & Up

In this book, for mature readers, what was once the United States is destroyed by climate change and war and is replaced by Panem with its wealthy rulers in the Capitol controlling twelve neighboring districts.  Each year the districts must pay tribute to the Capitol by sending two of their teens (12-18) to fight to the death in the Hunger Games, which is televised and must be watched by everyone (think Survivor with weapons and a manipulated environment).  Sixteen year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers to replace her younger sister as the tribute from District 12 (the poorest district) when her sister’s name is pulled in the lottery for the 74th Hunger Games.  Since her father’s death in a mining accident, Katniss has had to work hard so she and her family could survive, but in the Hunger Games she will be facing tributes who have spent their lives training for this event.

Connection:  Other examples of survival fiction that will keep the reader on edge are  Deathwatch by Robb White and The Dead & the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer.  –CRW

Highlight:  Watch this video interview with Suzanne Collins.