Title: Olly & The Spores of Oak Hill
Author: Glenn Somodi
Publisher: Three Bobcats Publishing
Age Range: YA
Publishing Date: 2022
Pick up if you like: The Spiderwick Chronicles series by Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, and The Edge Chronicles series by Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Trigger warnings: Death of a loved one, discussion of animal death
“The “crazy hermit on the hill” was dead. Rumors of the cause of his death had passed through town faster than the announcement of the fake Littleton gold rush of 1850.”
There’s a secret in Littleton, for hundreds of years a community of nature-loving creatures have lived under Oak Hill, and now it’s Olly’s job to protect them.
Following the death of his grandfather ‘Poppy‘, Olly and his parents move to Littleton and their newly inherited estate. With a key in his pocket and an odd note in the will, Olly soon discovers there is much more to Littleton than meets the eye. Not only must he keep The Spores a secret, but he must stop the mall development from taking place, or risk all their homes!
“More importantly – enclosed is a key. Please make sure you do not lose it, and please tend to my “special garden”.”
Olly & The Spores of Oak Hill is a YA fantasy with heart, providing a wonderful cast of characters with emphasis on their relationships – including a healthy family dynamic which is a joy to read. Moving to a new town can be hard for a teenager, especially when starting a new school, and having a run in with the local bullies on your first day in town! However, with the help of new friend Ember, Olly manages to approach everything with positivity, love, and care.
Mushrooms and Botany
I absolutely LOVE anything to do with mushrooms, and have quite a soft spot for botany, so following Olly and Ember as they appreciated the creatures and plants around them was truly enjoyable. From “Olly’s Herbarium” to Poppy protecting the town’s rabbit population, Glenn Somodi wrote the landscape and fauna in such a way that I could picture the beauty and whimsy of it all.
Olly & The Spores of Oak Hill is a wonderful start to a series full of YA fantasy charm, mystery, and fun. Whilst Glenn Somodi has some room to develop his writing, and perhaps invest in some more editors going forward, this book is utterly enjoyable, and one I would certainly share with my children in the future. Additionally, the artwork Glenn Somodi created for the book is beautiful!
Thank you to Glenn Somodi and Travelling Page Tours for sending me this book to allow me to take part in this blog tour. All opinions expressed are my own.
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