The Gollywhopper Games: The New Champion - Jody Feldman

The Gollywhopper Games: The New Champion by Jody Feldman
Genre: J Adventure/Realistic Fiction

Hope you all had a Happy Fourth of July!

Blurb (on back of book): Some people are born winners.
Not Cameron. His older brother, Spencer, is the one who always wins. Cameron is the loser.
So what is Cameron even doing in the second Gollywhopper Games? Solving puzzles, that's what. Doing stunts. Racing against the clock. But it's not as if he has a real chance. Not like Spencer. Not like the 999,999 other kids competing — on national TV inside a giant toy factory! — for one million dollars. Plus instant fame. Plus bragging rights for eternity.
Cameron won't be the winner. He knows that for sure. But there are a few things Cameron doesn't know...
For fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Mysterious Benedict Society, here are brain-scrambling puzzles, nonstop action, and surprises around every comer.

MY OPINION: ****

I think this might be one of my first four-star reviews, if not the first. It's not that this book wasn't enjoyable. It's just that I didn't feel the same action and interest in this book than in the first book. I liked solving the puzzles, but I felt as if the author didn't put as much spirit into this book. I also don't like how the characters changed, though the author does bring back some of the older ones. I know that they had to grow up, but I felt as if Gil Goodson and some of the other characters technically still had a chance. It isn't as if they all are past fifteen years old. From what I read, it felt like this book took place one year after the first one, and I'm pretty sure Gil wasn't fourteen.

I also didn't like how these puzzles were basically the same thing as in the first book. It was not exactly the same, but the characters used the same strategies, and the puzzles also related to the first ones. I feel like completely new puzzles would have been more interesting.

I did like how the characters solved them, and how it showed that you have to believe in yourself since you can still make it.

SPOILER ALERT

The ending was really predictable. I knew from the start that Cameron wasn't going to win. I also knew that Spencer was going to make a silly mistake sometime and also be eliminated. It was so simple. I also didn't get why they didn't make Clio more noticeable if she was the winner.

Also, some things in this book did not make sense. I will not name them all, but please comment below if you would like to add something or name one of the things in this book that were loose ends.

Overall, this was a pretty good book, though not as enjoyable. I would recommend it to fifth- and sixth-graders.

Main Character: Cameron Schein
Sidekick(s): Spencer (in a way), Clio, Estella
Villain(s): Some of the team members (in a way), being quiet
Adventure/Realistic Fiction Elements: All of this could happen, though there is a way bigger chance that it will not.

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