Olly & The Spores of Oak Hill received two great reviews from Readers’ Favorite.
Review: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Diana Lopez for Readers’ Favorite
Olly and the Spores of Oak Hill by Glenn John Somodi is the story of a boy who loves nature. When his grandfather dies, Olly’s parents inherit a property that is part of a forest. They take the opportunity to move in and restart their lives. There Olly meets Ember, a fearless red-haired girl who becomes his friend. He later meets some little beings, the Spores, who have the task of protecting nature and living in peace with it. Now that Grandpa is not around to help the Spores, Olly takes on the responsibility of protecting them. However, there are plans to build a mall on part of the land, so Olly and his new friends must find a way to save the forest.
Olly and the Spores of Oak Hill is an entertaining read. Olly is not only engaging in a magical world, but he also has ordinary functions. We see him interacting with other children in his school and taking care of his day-to-day responsibilities. He is a character that children will be able to identify with. He and his friend Ember have noble natures and a spirit of adventure. Glenn John Somodi describes beautiful settings that make you feel part of that world. The perspective is that of Olly, so it feels like hearing a boy telling you about an adventure. Even though Olly is the main protagonist, the interaction with the other characters is good. Readers get to know the personalities of people like Olly’s grandfather and parents, and that enriches the story.
Review: 5 Stars
Review by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers’ Favorite
The death of Oren Appleton was puzzling to all. How could he die from a hit-and-run on an uphill road? Why did someone place clover leaves around his head instead of informing anyone about the accident? Soon afterward, Oren’s beloved grandson, Olly, moves to Littleton with his parents. He immediately becomes friends with Ember but also makes himself a target of the school bullies. Olly discovers that Oak Hill has a closely guarded secret that cannot be divulged to the world. With Henry Dalton trying to acquire Oak Hill to develop a shopping mall, Olly and Ember realize they must protect this place at all costs. Will they succeed in their mission? Olly and the Spores of Oak Hill by Glenn John Somodi will answer that question.
Although primarily geared at tweens, this story could be equally enjoyed by readers of all ages. I loved Olly’s character and rooted for him the entire time. A self-proclaimed geek, he embraced his so-called ‘geekiness’ and reveled in his achievements. While he was wary of the bullies and avoided unnecessary altercations, he nevertheless held his own in a fight. I admired his love for nature and animals, which was also the principal theme of this novel. Through Dalton’s character, Glenn John Somodi showed how greed and corruption could alienate us from nature. However, Olly, Ember, and their special friends devise ingenious ways to protect their homestead, making this novel full of fun adventures. Olly and the Spores of Oak Hill is a promising start to a brand-new and engaging series.