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Monday, 13 June 2011

MG Monday: Review: Sophie and The Shadow Woods: The Goblin King by Linda Chapman and Lee Weatherly


Title: The Goblin King
Series: Sophie and The Shadow Woods
Author: Linda Chapman and Lee Weatherly
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Publication Date: 28 April 2011

Synopsis: From Amazon

Exciting new 6 book character-led series for 7+ girls who love adventure!

Very few people ever enter the Shadow Woods, for these woods are like no others. Hidden deep within them is the Gateway to the Shadow Realm – a dark and chaotic world where all kinds of gruesome creatures live…

On her tenth birthday, tomboy Sophie learns she is the Guardian of the magical gateway, and that her destiny is to protect the human world from the goblins, trolls and evil sprites that inhabit the Shadow Woods.

Each book sees Sophie having to outwit weird and terrifying creatures from the Shadow Woods, starting with the gruesome Goblins!


Today we have something completely different for you – a three way review [ : D ] My 8 year old was so excited about this series when she saw it advertised in a magazine in school. She literary raved about it. I looked up the synopsis and thought, yep that sounds pretty good I am tempted to read it myself. Unable to locate the book anywhere I was so very lucky to receive a copy from the publisher. S started it straight away; she made a valiant effort not to tell me the story as she was reading it, but she kept saying ‘WOW this is so good’ which in turn persuaded the 10 year old to read it. So I obviously had to read it then.

Review by S Age 8

This book is very funny.

My favorite part was when Sophie was shown The Shadow Files, Sophie wrote a joke and Grandpa Bob wrote ‘Not good enough Sophie’ lol.

My favorite character is Sophie because she is fierce and won’t back down. I didn’t like her twin brother Anthony though; he is always mean to Sophie.

This book is great; it is exciting and full of adventure.

Review by A1 Age 10

I think this book is amazing. I especially liked the part where Sophie became The Guardian.

My favorite character was Sophie, she seriously kicked some Goblin butt and she was never scared.

I didn’t like Anthony, Sophie’s twin brother; because he annoyed me almost as much as he annoyed Sophie, he was always boasting about the stuff he did with Grandpa Bob and what he had been given. I also didn’t like Grandpa Bob as he never believed in Sophie just because she is a girl.

A great book for everyone to read

Review by Book Angel Emma Age 40 [ : D ]

Beautiful illustrations add to the dynamics of the plot.

Written in third person narrative but focalized from Sophie’s perspective. Sophie has an incredible imagination, is a loyal and fierce friend to her best friend Sam. Sophie is a wonderful example that girls should not be dismissed as the ‘weaker sex’ I was going to describe her as a tom-boy but didn’t feel as if that would be a fair description; she is so much more than assigned gender roles. This point is eloquently asserted within the narrative. Sophie provides a brilliant role-model for girls today.

One slight gripe I have is that parents of amazing children are usually depicted with fabulous jobs, Sophie’s are archaeologists, it shouldn’t matter what job a parent has as to whether a child develops well.

Back to the subject of gender discrimination, highlighted specifically by the way in which Grandpa Bob treats Sophie and Anthony differently. Anthony, Sophie’s twin brother is the polar opposite of Sophie in personality and attitude. I wondered if this was enhanced by the way in which he had been spoiled by Grandpa Bob. Visions of Indiana Jones as Grandpa Bob kept popping into my head as I was reading the book.

The ingenious recapping of the history of the Shadow Realm added depth and believability to the story. My 8 year old has even started making up her own games with her little sister about the Shadow Woods, she plays Sophie of course [ ; D ]

The inclusion of pages from The Shadow File at the back of the book really brought the story to life. The images and jokes especially about the Goblins provided some laugh out loud moments.

A fantastic book with multi-age appeal as our 3 way review has shown. A fantastic role model for girls; in the shape of Sophie; and boys in the shape of Sam. I am currently waiting for S to finish the next book so I can continue the journey with Sophie. I have to make sure I get to it before A1.


  1. I think it is so lovely how you all read it. I have yet to come across a book that we will all love.


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