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How to Make a Golem and Terrify People by…

How to Make a Golem and Terrify People

by Alette Willis

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213720,182 (4.25)3
  1. 00
    Clay by David Almond (Cecrow)
  2. 00
    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Another story about taking responsibility for pursuing and confronting a creature of one's own making, though the theme is different.

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How to Make a Golem and Terrify People made me smile a lot. That's saying something, since right before reading this I was in a bit of a reading slump. I just don't know how you can feel down when adorable Scottish children are romping about on the pages of a book, getting into all sorts of mischief and mayhem. Add in a little bit of alchemy and a few life lessons, and you have a story that is a great read.

Edda was such a sweet young protagonist. Although her character wasn't quite as vivid as I would have liked her to be, she definitely held her own. For Edda life is about familiarity. She's comfortable with her warm, loving home and her best friend. Then, on her twelfth birthday, Edda's life is turned upside down when a her home is burgled. It was easy for me to see how violated and scared she felt. From this point on the reader is treated to a view of Edda's transformation from "mouse" to "Edda the Brave".

The story line is simple enough in this middle grade adventure. All that Edda wants is to be braver. What she soon learns is that being braver simply means learning to believe in yourself. With the help of her friends, one old and one new, she faces her fears and learns to tame them. My one gripe was simply that, as adorable as they were, the characters weren't as fleshed out as they could have been. I had to remind myself multiple times that this is a middle grade book, and it's all about the journey. Honestly I anticipate young readers delightedly accompanying Edda on her spooky (but not too spooky) golem related adventures.

My final verdict on How to Make a Golem and Terrify People is that it is good, clean and fun reading! By the end I was wishing there was more, but then again I'm a sucker for cute protagonists. If you have a younger reader at home who enjoys an adventure, this is for them! A little bit of alchemy and a lot of friendship come together in perfect harmony to create a story that is a sweet and enjoyable read. ( )
  roses7184 | Feb 5, 2019 |
Prior to reading this book, I had no idea what a Golem was. I'd only heard of Pokemon Golems. I've since learned about Golems and folklore.

Edda is an easy kid with whom others can identify. Her nickname is 'mouse' and for good reason, she's practically afraid of her own shadow.

She experiences pure terror after her house is broken in to and her birthday students stolen. It's after this episode she meets an odd, eerie boy named Michael. "THE MICHAEL SCOT" only one "T". named after the famous alchemist from the 12th century. This michael is a very bizarre character, obsessed with alchemy and old world magic. He convinces Edda to face her fears by creating a Golem, a large 'earth man' who will protect her and her house from outside influence. She soon regrets her actions and the story ensues.

The characters of this book are incredibly likable. Despite her issues, Edda is a wonderful character. Kids who are small or bullied will relate to her. Euon is the bully who does a complete about face, his story is interesting and bullies and bullied alike will come to like, or at least understand him. Lucy is a great friend to Edda and sticks by her despite what she believes to be Edda's crazy beliefs.

This story is a great middle grade childrens book. Kids will love the Golem. Some scenes involve dead animals and may be a bit much for the tender of heart, but all in all, this is a great book. I give it 5/5 stars. Love the cover of the book. The monochromatic picture just adds to the mystery of the story. ( )
1 vote ljldml | Jan 20, 2012 |
I read this age-appropriate book to my son as bedtime reading about managing fear. Edda MacDonald is nicknamed Mouse for being so timid. It doesn't help that she's new at her school, the target of a school bully, and at the opening of the story her parents' home is burglarized on Edda's birthday. It's enough to make a child huddle in a corner - or resort to procuring some extemely unwise protection.

In this case, that protection is achieved with the help of someone who may be the reincarnated (or immortal?) Michael Scot, medieval Scottish mathmetician and scholar. Edda has a good head on her shoulders, but when Michael tempts her with a magical solution to her problems he captures her imagination. The takeaway lesson is that sometimes a poorly chosen solution can be worse than the problem, and ultimately fears can only be faced and conquered through internal resolve.

There's some good stuff here for schoolyard bullies themselves to chew on, about the source of their anger and possible redemption. I can imagine a bully giving this book a shot based on its title, then learning a thing or two. I'm impressed how well it works as a story for educating both sides, sharing both perspectives and with neither side walking away as the villain. It's a fine line to walk, and a rare book that captures it. ( )
  Cecrow | Dec 28, 2011 |
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Mum led the policeman into our house but I wasn't ready to go back in yet.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0863158404, Paperback)

"You think you're a fairy godmother or something?" I asked. "Or something," Michael agreed. Edda is tired of her nickname, 'Mouse', and wants to be braver. But when her house is burgled on her thirteenth birthday, Edda is more afraid than ever. That is until new boy Michael Scot starts school. There's something peculiar -- and very annoying -- about know-it-all Michael. He claims to be a great alchemist who can help Edda overcome her fears by teaching her to build a golem. But surely they can't bring a giant mud monster to life? Can they? Winner of the Kelpies Prize 2011.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:45 -0400)

The new boy at school tells 12-year-old Edda he can help her stop being afraid by building a golem -- a mud monster. A spooky story, both quirky and funny, about facing your fears.

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