Tales of a (Formerly) Reluctant Reader: The Adventures of Ook and Gluk by Dav Pilkey

November 16, 2010 7-10 years of age, 8-12 years of age, Kid-Lit/Middle Grade, Scholastic, Tales of A (Formerly) Reluctant Reader 9

Ook & Gluk are two cavemen who live in a town called Caveland, OH. It is the year 500,0001 BC.  They are normal boys who get in trouble, especially with Big Chief Goppernopper.  One day, an evil corporation lead by J.P. Goppernopper (the Chief’s relative from the future) is discovered trying to steal Caveland’s important resources.  J.P. Goppernopper comes from the year 2222.  All of the natural resources including trees, oil & water are either used up or polluted. Goppernopper Enterprises is going back to the past to steal all the trees & water & oil from the cavemen. The two Goppernopper’s join forces, turning the citizens of Caveland into slaves for their evil mission.

Ook & Gluk are transported into the future through a portal and race to escape from the two Goppernoppers. Master Wong, owner of a Kung-Fu school, lets the two cave boys hide in his school. He agrees to train them to help them defeat the evil Goppernoppers.  He won’t give the boys their black belts, though, until they can tell him who the greatest man is.  It takes the boys seven years to pass this test and finally they are able to battle the evil Goppernopper Enterprises & save their cave town.

But when they return to Caveland, it no longer looks like it did before.  The people are still slaves and all of the beautiful trees are gone. Eventually Ook & Gluk remember what Master Wong taught them and Caveland is returned to normal.

John’s Review: I liked this book because it has a lot of great action, it’s very funny & because of the kung fu!  I’m a black belt so this really interests me!  I also liked it because it talked about how important our natural resources are and how we should protect & preserve them. The drawings were great & pretty hilarious!

Jenn’s (Mom’s) review: I, too, liked the lesson learned about preserving one’s natural resources and the book overall.  However, one think that I didn’t particularly enjoy were the intentional misspellings in the book. Granted, the book is about two cave boys who speak what the book calls “Cavemonics.” However, I think this could have been relayed without the misspellings, like “surfice” instead of “surface” and “dedicashen” instead of “dedication.”

I think misspellings like this are detrimental to young readers. John, in particular, has difficulty with spelling.  When he started reading this book, he was thrown off a bit by the errors in spelling.  We had a long talk about why the words were spelled incorrectly and that he should still picture the word correctly spelled in his head.   We even made an activity of it; going through the book and correcting all the misspellings.

That said, John did enjoy the book and it got him excited about reading.  He read this book in no time because the story was interesting to him. Therefore, I would recommend this book, but would highly encourage parents to discuss the grammar & misspellings with their child at some point in the reading of the book.

Thanks to Scholastic, I have a pretty phenomenal giveaway package!

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9 Responses to “Tales of a (Formerly) Reluctant Reader: The Adventures of Ook and Gluk by Dav Pilkey”

  1. bermudaonion (Kathy)

    I love that the book has some good messages, but I’m with you on those misspellings. I read an adult book that had intentional misspellings and it drove me crazy, so I can only imagine what it would do to a young reader.

  2. Melissa Sarno

    Interesting about the mis-spellings! It sounds like a fun activity for kids to go through the book and find all of the mis-spellings (or maybe just for nerds like me) I am going to remember that trick if I come across a book like that. Great review!

  3. Martha

    Oh, the misspelling issues would be a problem for me. (I do like Melissa’s idea of making an activity of it-I guess I’m a nerd too). The giveaway books look great, my kids have aged out of them (though I love the David books). Someone is going to have a very nice Christmas.

  4. Rebecca Rasmussen
    Twitter: thebirdsistersgmail.com

    The misspellings would have to be so exaggerated I would think, so kids could recognize them as such….maybe that’s what the author had in mind…anyway sounds very interesting and fun :)

  5. Nancye Davis

    Awesome giveaway! These books are just what kids are reading these days—–especially my daughter! She would LOVE this prize!

    nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

  6. TopherGL
    Twitter: itwasuphill

    What great reviews! Glad that you liked it, John!

    My brother had a lot of problems with spelling, and still does, and I can imagine how confusing that would be for someone who’s trying to get better. I know our sixth grade students would be thrown by that, and they’d remember where they found the spelling and, wow, what a battle that would be!