The Hoppernots

Children - Fantasy/Sci-Fi
252 Pages
Reviewed on 07/16/2014
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Author Biography

Deborah Blake Dempsey loves good books, belly laughs, fabulous shoes, and adventures - skydiving or walking on fire, anyone? She has a twisted sense of humor and truly believes laughter is the elixir of life. Deborah lives in New Hampshire with her husband Joe. The Hoppernots is her debut novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Hoppernots by Deborah Blake Dempsey is a nature-themed adventure tale for children primarily in the Middle Grade area of reading. Almost reaching the length of a full adult novel, the story centers around three young frogs by the names of Cristobel, Max and (perhaps confusingly) Spyder, who stumble upon an invasion of large biped creatures who are destroying their precious living habitat. These creatures, known to frog-kind as Hoppernots, pose a terrifying threat to the three plucky youngsters, who decide, despite their fears, to try to rid their homeland of the gargantuan beasts. The result is an exciting adventure for readers aged 8 and beyond.

Throughout reading The Hoppernots, I kept returning to one simple thought: this is Watership Down with frogs. And I do not mean that in a negative way, for author Deborah Blake Dempsey has managed to recreate the long-sought classic feel of authentic children’s literature, reinvented to a new and imaginative level at a beautiful woodland lake, whilst also tackling the valuable lesson of preserving natural environments in the modern world. For younger readers, I feel it might be necessary to read along with an adult in order to fully absorb Dempsey’s beautiful prose, but I for one am delighted to see a writer who isn’t afraid to credit young readers with the intelligence to enjoy a complex and well-told story. The three central characters are perfectly likeable and enthralling for readers in the Middle Grade age area, but I feel it is the overall themes and lavish woodland settings that convey the real magic at work.