4 out of 4 stars
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Will of the Hill
Will of the Hill is a children's book. The first part of a series. Short, witty and entertaining, the writer takes us into the mind of the very lovable protagonist. The author depicts the struggles of a 10 years old boy in the person of Will. The story is set in a very odd town called 'The Hill': It is so named because of the presence of a very steep hill in this aforementioned town, on top of which, the only school in the town is situated. A school Will and all the other students in this town attend.
Will is a very interesting character. Very inquisitive, and quite discerning, he
often wondered at why his little town was so unusual. Being introverted, he is a boy who loves comic books. He likes one especially that is about a fictional story of a beetle, with the name, Edgar. Volumes upon volumes of stories of Edgar, he kept. He has his partner in crime in his one and only friend, Dillon, who shares this same interest with him. Will loves reading them so much that he would rather smuggle and stash them where no uninvited eye could ever peruse than stay apart from his beloved Edgar Series. for long periods. And this he did, till he found himself in the clutches of the most 'fearful' being he'd ever known called Gertrude. She was better referred to as 'Intrude', quite deservedly so, as she did make Will's life, a living hell.
The story revolves round Will trying to survive each day under the watchful stare of Gertrude as she holds over him this little secret for something she wants in return. It lasted till Dillon, his smooth-talking friend swoops in to his rescue. They hatch a devious plan that will put dear Gertrude in her place.. Forever. And they did, but were rewarded with more tongue lashing, among other things, by Ms. Early. They had their day, though.
I cannot remember my childhood being as eventful as Will's. I guess it helps when you are a parent, just like the author, in writing stories like this. From the flying school bus to suspicious lone factory in the whole town, the writer infuses mystery into this story and still manages to get our focus trained on Will. The mystery remains unsolved but I liked how the writer successfully teased us with what will dominate the next book and still make the reader enjoy the other part of the story. The level of creativity and sprinkle of mystery and suspense can only come from a mind that lives in a world of children. You don't get that every where.
I also loved the style of writing. Appropriate for kids and adults who want to have a good laugh. The book is very entertaining, well paced and straight to the point. Descriptive enough but not overly, which is how I like it. There were not too many grammatical errors. Just a few actually.
Most times it felt like it was the writer himself, documenting his own experiences as a father. It had this personal touch that I felt was properly captured in the minds of the adults in this book.
I had a bit of problems though when there was a change in the point of view. It felt a bit disorganized and confusing. At times, it seemed as though it was the writer passing his judgement and you would later realize it's just another character. I was not very satisfied with the ending but it did not ruin the book for me.
Other than the issues I highlighted above, I think the book was superb. I finished it in one seating. Very engaging. A book I would most certainly pick to read to a child. In fact, I think adults will find this book entertaining. Worth it. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It would be perfect for anyone looking to get into the mind of 10 year olds, good for light reading and entertainment. I think it should be made into a play. Now that would be a blockbuster...
Will of The Hill
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