4 stars: Alligators Overhead by @cleemckenzie #bookreview

Alligators Overhead

cover links to Amazon

Written by C. Lee McKenzie

Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

Book Synopsis

Alligators, witches and a spooky mansion aren't your average neighbors unless you live at the edge of the Ornofree swamp in the backwater town of Hadleyville. The town’s bad boy, Pete Riley, may only be twelve, but he’s up to his eyeballs in big trouble, and this time he isn’t the cause. This time the trouble arrives when a legendary hundred-year-old mansion, materializes next door and the Ornofree alligators declare war to save their swamp from bulldozers. Things only get worse when Pete’s guardian aunt and several of her close friends vanish while trying to restore order using outdated witchcraft. Now Pete must find his aunt and stop the war. He might stand a chance if his one friend, Weasel, sticks with him, but even then, they may not have what it takes.

Kim Piddington's Rating & Review

Alligators Overhead by C. Lee Mckenzie hooks readers right from the beginning by introducing Pete, a charming twelve year old protagonist who has a knack for finding trouble. Middle grade students will empathize with this risk taking rascal, an orphan who is still trying to adjust to life with Aunt Lizzy after the death of his parents while escaping the clutches of Principal Pitt, who with a single phone call, could wipe out , “…his Spring vacation, his allowance, his whole life.”

Of course every great protagonist needs a sidekick, and Pete has Weasel, a scaredy-cat who loves to eat, read, and would prefer to stay out of all the trouble Pete drags him into.There is also a host of magical secondary characters that include an alligator or two and a clan of witches who have every day jobs as meter maids, bakers, nurses, and florists. You'll be as amazed as Pete is at what these seemingly ordinary women are up to!

The fast paced plot will make you giggle at times and hold your breath in suspense at others. Although there are times you might need to suspend common sense, (I struggled to understand how the characters turned paper thin and got stuff in a wall), most of the magical elements seem plausible and clear. In addition, the dialogue, imagery, and voice are all top notch, making for a nearly seamless story.

I would recommend Aligators Overhead. The author does a great job showing an ordinary kid, albeit one with extraordinary powers, dealing with difficult circumstances with humor and ingenuity.

Review Disclaimer: Book was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest review.