After a life-threatening illness keeps him out of school for months, David is given a tutor to help him catch up-his elderly, tough Aunt Annie, who is as frightening to him as a monstrous, snake-haired Gorgon. He even secretly nicknames her “The Gawgon.” But, to David’s surprise, a bright heart lurks inside the old woman. She challenges him more than any schoolteacher ever could, opens all sorts of possibilities in his life, and the two of them-The Gawgon and The Boy-develop a very special friendship (goodreads.com)
I picked up this book at a used book store a few weeks ago. I had never heard of it, but I love Lloyd Alexander, so I decided to give this book a try. It was a lot different than other fantasy books I read (mostly high fantasy), but I decided that wasn’t a bad thing. I am always looking for something a little different, and was surprised that I really did like this book.
The plot was very entertaining and interesting despite its simplicity, easy to read, and moved at a great pace. David is an 11 year old boy who is recovering from a case of pneumonia, and his doctor recommends that he stay out of school. As a result, his parents end up finding a tutor for him who turns out to be his aunt Annie. At first, David is terrified of his aunt and even nicknames her the Gawgon, but after several weeks of spending time with her they develop a loving relationship. He even begins to love learning after being taught by his aunt and learns more than he ever did in school. In addition to his lessons, we get to see glimpses of daily life during the depression, and how it affected people of different social standings and economic conditions. I will admit that during a part of the book I did cry! It was very upsetting (no spoilers). I also didn’t see it coming! 😦
David loves telling and writing stories, has a great imagination, and hates school. I loved his character! He was well developed and with his vast imagination he was interesting. A good portion of the book is reading about his stories that he writes which mirror his life. They are very entertaining. I also loved how he changed throughout the book. He becomes more educated through his aunt’s teachings, and learns how to deal with whatever life throws at you (no spoilers!). He also grows up a lot and becomes interested in girls and by the end of the book he finds a girl he likes.
I also loved Aunt Annie, aka the Gawgon! She is very interesting, funny, and definitely has a unique way of teaching. Seriously, on the first day of lessons she gives David a bunch of knots to untie! I loved how she approached her teachings and the lessons she taught. Annie really is a great teacher! I also enjoyed how well we got to know her as the story progressed including information about her son and the love of her life. It really is great to find a book where you love the plot and the characters!
It was a great book and I really enjoyed it. I actually can’t think of anything negative! 🙂 It is a great book for anyone who loves a great story! Highly recommend!
My rating: 5/5 stars!
Information about the author and a list of his other books can be found here!
*photo provided by goodreads.com