The Last Akaway (Brody Boondoggle)

A Spirit Animal Adventure

Children - General
274 Pages
Reviewed on 08/24/2013
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Gary began his career as a reporter for The Washington Post. He stood out because of an innate ability to unjam the copy machine under deadline pressure. He has spent the past 17 years working for children and families at nonprofits such as the Welfare to Work Partnership, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and Safe Kids Worldwide. He is also the author of No Free Lunch: One Man's Journey from Welfare to the American Dream (Ballantine, May 2002). Gary lives in Virginia with his wife, two sons, and dog.

Gary came up with the idea for the Brody Boondoggle series after a birthday party he created for his younger son. The party started with a poem about special powers and animals and magic. Then, the kids at the party had to accomplish seven fun challenges. If they were successful, they were connected to their spirit animals. The kids loved it (which is more than could be said for some of Gary’s other party ideas), and Gary started writing the next day.

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite

Eleven-year-old Brody Boondoggle is walking in the woods with his hard-of-hearing Grammy when they discover an animal track of an Akaway – one of the rarest creatures in the universe that nobody has ever seen before. Before they can catch the animal, it bites Brody and something strange starts to happen. However, Brody’s friend Rudy and 13-year-old brother Jake do not believe him. Meanwhile, the Akaway gets weaker and weaker after a hunter hits it. Brody has to do everything in his power to rescue his animal friend even if it means making a journey into the spirit animal world. The Last Akaway by Gary Karton is a story that will certainly hold any child's undivided attention.

The author successfully creates a magical world that children will truly love. Gary Karton knows how to tell his story not only to children but also to young adults while preventing boredom. The main character, Brody, is such a lovable kid. At his young age, he knows what is the best and right thing to do when you are in a challenging situation, especially if it involves an animal friend. Every chapter is certainly interesting to read and it gets a hold of you even at the very start when the strange animal bites the little boy. It is interesting to note how Karton uses it, enough to intrigue his readers to continue reading.

The adventure of Brody, his brother Jake, and Grammy is not about fun but it provides a wonderful message of love and friendship. The Last Akaway and the entire magical world is fresh and wonderfully written. Thumbs up to the author!