Goody Hall by Natalie Babbitt

4/5 Stars
Genre: Children’s + Mystery
First Published: 1971
Source: Library

Oh, look at that. A new feature. I will now be giving the genre and publication date at the top of each review. That way, you know right away if this review is going to be something you’re interested in and you won’t have to read my insurmountable ramblings to get to the point.

Clever? Nah. I’m not the first blogger to do this, but I’ve been meaning to start following suit for a while now.

The source is where I came across this book and how I acquired it.

So, as stated above, today’s review is a Children’s Mystery book.

Read on if you dare.

I’m joking. It’s not scary.

Hercules Feltright is a tutor that has recently come to Goody Hall to tutor the woman of the house’s child, Willet Goody. Willet is a very curious child, but the thing he is most curious about is the disappearance of his father. Hercules, with a few allusions made in the text to Greek Mythology, is not a very good tutor. He used to be an actor until he decided he was going to be a tutor. Hercules also notices there is something strange going on. Will the two be able to solve the disappearance of Willet’s father? Will there be a happy ending to this mystery? Read this, slightly satirical, book to find out.

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*click image to go to book’s Goodreads page*

I really enjoyed this children’s book. I checked this out from the Library because, like so many other people, I enjoyed Babbitt’s most-known work, Tuck Everlasting, when I was younger. It’s about time I read more of her work.

Now, before I say anything else, keep in mind that this is a Children’s book if you are going to pick this one up. I say this because the plot is not very complex. That does not mean it isn’t exciting or interesting; it just means that this is written so that children will think it’s clever but are still able to understand it.

Still, I thought the plot was fun and filled with plenty of adventure. I enjoyed Babbitt’s story and was actually unable to predict the ending. I did guess a few other things along the way, but the ending? Nope. It was really interesting how the mystery wrapped up in the end. Far fetched? Yes. But fun? Also yes. There’s plenty going on to keep you on your toes and immersed in the story.

There is also a good deal of humor in this book. I found myself laughing out loud a few times at the ridiculousness of everything. I honestly think that Babbitt was going for satire in this book and maybe that’s why I found myself to enjoy it more than others.

I didn’t read this book as a child, so I also didn’t have any, thank god, disillusionment from my memory deceiving me.

I enjoyed the characters and following their story, even as an adult. There isn’t a ton of character development, but there is enough to distinguish each character from the next and to keep the plot moving. Each character has their own personality, and each is fitting for the story. 

I found them believable, even if ridiculous, which is another reason I suspect satire. The characters are right on the cusp of being too ridiculous and being just ridiculous enough.

Overall, this is a fun story and I recommend it to anyone looking for a light, cozy-ish mystery or a good children’s book. I also recommend it for kids ages 8-11. (That’s just a rough estimate based on reading level. It’s a great read for all ages.) I’m glad I finally scooped up another Babbitt book to read. This book also made me less nervous to re-read Tuck Everlasting – something I haven’t done since Childhood!

Get your copy of Goody Hall from Book Depository here for $8.99.

Up Tomorrow: Friday Favorites

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Happy Reading!


2 thoughts on “Goody Hall by Natalie Babbitt

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