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Extolziby Gruff and the 39th College by [Black, Sean]
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Extolziby Gruff and the 39th College Kindle Edition

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Length: 236 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

Product Description

Twelve-year-old Extolziby lives with his family of lovable rogues, the Gruffs, on a crime ridden housing scheme in Scotland. When he is almost killed in a car accident, he finds himself transported to a secret Oxford college where regular kids are turned into super-human beings using the very latest technology.

A funny, action-packed adventure set amongst the dreaming spires of the world's most famous university,

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 435 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #292,505 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa0d941a0) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ed5efcc) out of 5 stars Deeply Cool, Action and Interest Packed, and Well Written Oct. 28 2014
By Pop Bop - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The first few chapters don't even really hint at how fine the rest of this book is going to be. The name "Extolziby" suggests that the whole effort is going to be a bit precious, and the description of the Gruff clan suggests some sort of street urchin lark. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

We have high-tech post-sapiens experiments and a teen X-Men vibe. We start with the hero's fish out of water experience at the 39th College, and then watch him develop into a heroic figure and fight evil with a band of doughty companions. But the best part is that this book is written to a much higher standard that are similar hi-tech action/adventure tween thrillers.

The characters have style and flair. They are distinct and well developed. Considerable care has been taken to establish unique identities for the main players and they are written consistently and fully. Very few of them are "types" and at least three of the supporting characters could warrant stories of their own.

Our hero, Extolziby, (nicknamed "X" in what I take to be a sly dig at the "X-Men franchise), is especially well established and is a smart, honest, courageous, likable and thoroughly engaging lead character. His transformation from street tough to potential hero is convincing, (although necessarily and appropriately fast paced), and he brings a sense of wonder, bemusement and humor to the story, giving it a dimension beyond just action/adventure.

This is complemented by an unusually successful effort by the author to set scenes with effective descriptions, realistic dialogue, authentic sounding sci-fi mumbo jumbo, and a rather cinematic feel for how to keep the narrative racing forward. The breathers between the action, and especially the setup that gets Extolziby to the 39th College, have a light touch and are good-humored. (The author plays a bit with the notion of a Scottish boy loose in a posh English setting, and that adds a bit of zip to the character and to the early college scenes.)

The upshot is that while this turns into a whiz bang adventure it is crafted with restraint and care, which makes it a rewarding reading experience across the board. A very nice find. ( Please note that I found this book while browsing Amazon Kindle freebies. I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e781708) out of 5 stars A funny and scary book about a kid with an enhanced brain Nov. 19 2013
By Tobias - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I loved this book! I read a lot. of mid-grade books and Extolziby Gruff and the 39th College was wonderful--it was funny and scary. Extolziby Gruff, a white sheep in a family of thieves, ends up at the 39th College after a car accident. The college is a wacky world where children have high tech gadgets that give them superpowers. Just when he starts to understand and enjoy his own newfound powers, his friends are threatened by powerful enemies and Extol has to go on a deadly quest. It reminded me of Roald Dahl. Highly recommended!
HASH(0x9e7818e8) out of 5 stars Good, fun read - recommended with one important caveat June 23 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it for its age group and the older young at heart. I think that with both strong boy and girl principle characters that this book will appeal to both groups of readers. It is well written with good characters and enough action and adventure to keep even an older reader captivated while not containing material that parents should find objectionable for the younger set. This would be a good choice for those families where an adult likes to read a book aloud to their children, grandchildren, etc.

Now for the important caveat. I purchased the Kindle addition. In this addition the book concludes fairly abruptly with a "To be continued". Much is left hanging. Although the most immediate adventure is brought to a reasonable conclusion the protagonists are still in jeopardy and the villain and his henchmen have yet to be stopped and are an imminent danger to our heros. I addmit that this type of "ending" generally leaves me miffed. However, I enjoyed the book so much that I decided to let it go and, since the promised continuation - "Extrolziby Gruff: Magellan's Revenge" was supposed to be released in April, I decided to order it then and there. Much to my surprise it was not to be found in the Kindle store. Not only that but the Kindle addition of this book was gone as well! After a search I did find a much costlier paperback addition available but still no copy of the promised continuation.

So, though all in all this is a good book you might want to consider the fact that the less costly Kindle addition has vanished and that the promised continuation has yet to appear months after it was supposed to be released. Should that ever become available the paperback addition would be worth purchasing without it its a bit more of an iffy purchase.
HASH(0x9e781bdc) out of 5 stars Dark, witty book similar to the Artemis Fowl series Jan. 19 2014
By Cypherpunk - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
In many ways, this story in this novel is the antithesis of the Artemis Fowl books, and I think it makes for a more interesting character. After a serious accident, Extolziby Gruff's family (a rough bunch of poor street criminals) sign away their parental rights, so that he can have a life-saving operation to repair his brain. Extolziby wakes up in a hidden college that is part of a famous English university, only to find that his body doesn't work like it used to, and his manners aren't really up to snuff. Just as he starts to become oriented to his new world, his new best friend disappears, and he has to break the rules to save her.

My eleven year old and I (I'm a high school Spanish teacher, and I'm also a National Writing Project Fellow and consultant) both enjoyed the novel immensely. Where Artemis Fowl was ridiculously rich and clever, Extolziby is ridiculously poor and clever, and the bad guys, from what we can determine, are the rich ones. Extolziby doesn't have all the answers. In fact, he has very few, and he doesn't really know how his new brain works, or what he is capable of. He certainly isn't aware of the failures that came before him.

My only complaint with the book is that much of the action is at the very end, and, like Extolziby, we don't learn nearly enough about the school, his benefactors, or his friends, before the action comes to a head. The ending felt abrupt, but the upshot is that my son and I both wanted to read the next novel immediately.

I'm going to give it four and a half stars for successfully creating such a dark and engrossing world with an absorbing and generally well-paced plot, and I'll round up, in the hopes that Sean Black's next novel will be out soon.
HASH(0x9e781a68) out of 5 stars A cross between Harry Potter & Artemis Fowl with a soupçon of Neil Gaiman & Colin Thompson June 1 2014
By E Simpson - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Basically I couldn't put the book down so I almost inhaled it. The main characters are fairly well developed but the description of school and its inhabitants is a bit shadowy - what, why, how, who should be developed a bit more in my opinion. Black has put adventure, good vs. bad (and thoughts about what it means), families (blood and "chosen" kin), and action in the book.

The ending happens quickly - there's a great deal of action in the last 5 or 10% of the book which made me feel like the book just ended. I wanted to know more; I wanted there to be more of a satisfactory finish - the book ends with "TO BE CONTINUED." I know this is a hook to make the readers want more but it is aggravating.

That being said, I absolutely LOVED the description of Extolziby's teacher, Mrs McIntyre, and other teachers (p. 46) and medicine balls (p. 78) and their history. These are hilarious passages.

Overall, the book is well written and edited.