Genre: Middle Grade/Paranormal
Approximate word count: 30-35,000 words
Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: NO Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
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A former hospital worker, M.A. Golla escaped that boring job for a life as a writer. In addition to this book and a sequel (The Fast and the FAERIEous), both part of The Goblin’s Apprentice series, Golla has also written two shorter works featuring Kyte Webber, the protagonist of this series. For more, visit Golla’s blog, cleverly titled Gnome de Plume.
When you live miles outside of a town called Nowhere, excitement is hard to find. At least that is how eleven-year-old Kyte Webber feels. She’s afraid the highlight of her summer will be searching for the garden gnome that has disappeared from her backyard. Finding the gnome (named Rory, we discover), sets off more adventure than Kyte had bargained for.
Kids in the age range targeted for middle grade books such as this have great imaginations. They may not talk about their imaginary friends as much as they once did and recognize that super heroes don’t really have super powers, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still letting their imaginations run wild.
To Gnome Me is to Love Me has a plethora of paranormal creatures to fuel the imagination of your middle-grader, just like in many of the books their older siblings are probably reading, but these characters are mostly friendly. The one evil-ish character, while scary, especially in the climactic scene, is no more so than those in the many fairy tales they first heard half their lifetimes ago. Protagonist Kyte’s age and maturity is at the sweet spot for the target age (roughly nine to twelve-ish), so younger readers will look up to her and those on the higher end will relate well.
The story in To Gnome Me … does a great job of establishing what I believe will be continuing characters in the series, with plenty being left to explore as the series continues, yet doesn’t leave the reader feeling cheated out of a good story the first time around. Hopefully, your middle grader has their own Kindle, or yours might not be returned anytime soon.
A small number of typos and proofing errors.
Rating: **** Four stars