Lis Anna-Langston has brought us a grand tale with the debut of Gobbledy. This book is a real adventure written for the middle grades, but the impact it has had on me is just as significant. The sense of urgency always makes me excited to read, and Gobbledy gives us plenty to be passionate about.

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  • Title: Gobbledy: A Novel
  • Author: Lis Anna-Langston
  • Publisher: SparkPress on October 24, 2020
  • Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction
  • Pages: 232
  • Format: e-ARC
  • Rating: 5/5

I would like to thank Lis Anna-Langston for gifting me a copy of Gobbledy: A Novel in exchange for an honest review.

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Synopsis of Gobbledy: A Novel

Ever since eleven-year-old Dexter Duckworth and his brother, Dougal, lost their mom, everything has been different. But “different” takes on a whole new meaning when, one day just before Christmas (or Kissmas, as they call it), Dexter finds a golden rock in the forest that hatches into an adorable alien. Gobbledy is smarter than he seems and is lost on planet Earth. Before long, Gobbledy takes Dexter, Dougal, and their best friend Fi on an adventure of friendship, family, and loss―one that requires them all to stay out of trouble, protect Gobbledy from a shadowy group called the Planetary Society, and prepare for their school’s Winter Extravaganza Play, where Dexter has to be a dreaded Gingerbread Man. Gobbledy is a fun-filled holiday story that adds up to two brothers, three friends, unlimited jars of peanut butter, a ketchup factory, and one little alien far, far from home.


My Review

Gobbledy is a refreshing look at age-old matters such as loss, disappointment, and love of a family. What this novel brings to the surface is the necessary elements of finding your place in a world that doesn’t make any sense. When your life makes no sense, and struggle with disappointing everyone around you, it is a lot of stress for a child.

Gobbledy doesn’t hide any of this stress but increases the amount until the poor kids can’t hold anymore, yet then blossoms in a way that allows you to laugh and love along with them.


Dexter Duckworth – Dexter is the star of this novel. He always lives on the edge of trouble. No matter what he does, he is on the verge of being in the Red Zone, which is horrible. He is always stressed out because he knows how disappointed his dad is in him, but he can’t seem to shake the bad things that keep happening around him.

Dexter is my favorite character. I identify with him the most because he carries the most stress on his little shoulders. Yet, he does so with passion.

Dougal Duckworth – Dougal is Dexter’s little brother, who is always trying to save Dexter from trouble. He is a serious boy who always toes the line.

Dougal is a good partner for Dexter. He works hard to keep Dexter out of trouble because Dougal can’t accept any more hurt in his family.

Fi (Fiona) – Fiona is Dexter and Dougal’s next-door neighbor, who is also Dexter’s very best friend. She is brilliant and is knowledgeable in all things spy oriented.

Fi is an overachiever. She does her best to bring some fun into the Duckworth’s lives, and she is always good for a smile.

Gobbledy – And Gobbledy is the little alien who takes over the lives of everyone in this book. He is sweet yet impish and incredibly smart. He looks a bit like a cross of an old rabbit toy and a puppy.

Gobbledy is so cute I just want to pick him up and squeeze the stuffing out of him. He brings some lighthearted humor and a lot of sadness to the story, but that is what makes him so unique.

My Opinion

I couldn’t get enough of this novel. It is well written and perfectly depicts the sadness and joy that surrounds the characters. No matter what comes their way, these kids meet it head-on with bravery and compassion.

When the lights showed up in the forest, the kids were immediately curious. Still, they put their trust in the wrong people who were only looking to get internet famous for finding Gobbeldy.

Many sad things occur in the story, and I will admit that I cried many ugly tears. But, every one of those tears was worth seeing how Dexter comes to learn that he is not a disappointment and that he is a good son with a lot going for him.

The only thing I disliked about the book was that I wanted it to go on. I wanted more. I need to know what happens next, and I genuinely hope that this is the first in a line of Gobbledy books.

My Recommendation

Gobbeldy is a novel for the ages. I an easily see my 10-year-old and 7-year-old granddaughters loving this book, but I can equally see my adult friends enjoying it as well.

Good writing is good writing, regardless of age. If I were you, I’d gather the family and read it together.


I am happy to award Gobbledy a full 5 out of 5 stars. This innocent take on an alien trope is an oldie but a goodie yet brought to us in a way that will keep us on our toes for years.

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