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The Yggyssey: How Iggy Wondered What Happened to All the Ghosts, Found Out Where They Went, and Went There Hardcover – February 16, 2009

49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 4–6—In this independent sequel to The Neddiad (Houghton, 2007), Yggdrasil Birnbaum is determined to find out why all the ghosts in early 1950s Los Angeles seem to be vanishing. Iggy and her friends Neddie and Seamus, all of whom see and talk with the city's numerous ghosts on a regular basis, visit Olvera Street, Clifton's Cafeteria, and other famous spots to solve the mystery, but it takes a visit to an alternate world called Underland, filled with an assortment of curious characters, to discover what those ghosts have been up to. Pinkwater's trademark tongue-in-cheek humor is very much in evidence, as is his penchant for odd names and eccentric folks. His version of 1950s L.A., filled with aging movie stars and health-food fanatics, is authentically and delightfully kooky. The story takes a while to get going, but once these young heroes reach Underland, the action picks up, and readers will speed happily through to the goofy ending.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
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From Booklist

This sequel to The Neddiad(2007) is set in the same wacky landscape of 1950s Los Angeles. Iggy Birnbaum, who lives in a haunted hotel, discovers that the hotel’s ghosts are disappearing. After following a ghostly rabbit down a hole, Iggy and her friends encounter one strange Alice in Wonderland–type adventure after another and are nearly destroyed by witches until rescue comes from The Good Witch of the Northeast, who is “so good, she’s boring.” Once again, Pinkwater combines a goofy plot, myth and fairy tale references, and an obvious affection for yesteryear Los Angeles in a supernaturally funny read. Grades 6-9. --Todd Morning

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Product Details

  • Grade Level: 5 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 810L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (February 16, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618594450
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618594450
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,203,783 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel Pinkwater lives with his wife, the illustrator and novelist Jill Pinkwater, and several dogs and cats in a very old farmhouse in New York's Hudson River Valley.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Tracy Rowan TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I sometimes forget what a great pleasure it is to read Daniel Pinkwater. I remember that I like him, and I remember why, but the sheer pleasure of taking in his words, his ideas, his flights of fancy... sometimes it's just hard to conjure that up. Because Pinkwater makes a kind of magic that is indefinable. He's an author who has made me cry buckets and laugh until I hurt myself. In fact, I don't think any other author has ever made me laugh harder.

Then along comes a new book, and once again, I sink into the delicious weirdness of Pinkwater's universe where a teenage girl's best friend is a ghost rabbit, and the specter of Teddy Roosevelt leads the annual ghost parade in Hollywood, drawing spectators such as a loosely caricatured Errol Flynn. It's a universe where a teenage boy saved the world one dark and stormy night, but he doesn't really recall the details, and thinks his mother might have tossed out the notebook where he wrote it all down when she threw out his comic books. It's a mad, wonderful mixture of the real and utterly off-the-wall fantasy, told in a dry, matter-of-fact voice which makes it all the funnier. There's no sly, sidelong winks, or any suggestion that the author even knows he's being amusing. Just a spiffy little narrative in which anything could and probably will happen and no one will think anything of it. In fact, they'll probably just shrug and go out for a doughnut and coffee afterward.

I don't want to say too much about the plot because letting it unfold is half the fun. Suffice to say that I recommend this book highly, as I do anything by Daniel Pinkwater. The man is brilliant.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kate Coombs VINE VOICE on January 29, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What you have to understand about Daniel Pinkwater is that he pretty much does whatever he wants while writing. This means that he tends to ramble a bit and go off in strange little directions. However, a lot of the time this is as much a strength as a weakness; Pinkwater has FUN, and you can't help having fun with him.

The Yggyssey, starring Iggy (Yggdrasil) Birnbaum, is a sequel to the Neddiad, which starred Neddy Wentworthstein. It's a good idea to read the Neddiad first, but it's not strictly necessary. Iggy lives in a once-grand hotel in Hollywood. She is the daughter of a silent movie star-turned-talking movie star, so even though he's rather old and she's very young, you understand that these books are set some four or five decades ago, when kids could apparently hang out with old cowboy stars on the streets of Hollywood and not get into trouble.

Part of Pinkwater's approach is to randomly satirize things, by the way. For example, Iggy goes to a progressive school called Harmonious Reality, where the "teachers are polite, and the kids, while confused and illiterate, are mostly friendly." Iggy's mother is a psychiatrist to the stars. Iggy summarizes her mother's approach to child-raising thusly: "She thinks stress is worse than the Black Plague or a herd of stampeding bull elephants. I am strictly forbidden to be frustrated, repressed, or restrained. This can be annoying. Sometimes you want to be frustrated, repressed, or restrained. Of course, I am also strictly forbidden to be annoyed."

A lot of the plot of The Yggyssey revolves around ghosts. Iggy knows quite a few ghosts, since the hotel she lives in is a popular hangout for phantoms. In fact, she has to kick them out of her bedroom on occasion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Aceto VINE VOICE on January 24, 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Daniel Pinkwater has been on Public Radio for years in several fora, including "Car Talk", and usually "Morning Edition", besides shows of his own. He brings good childrens' books to Scott Simon to read samples on air. But he never hawks his own. His concern is for our children.

This book is recommended for fifth graders and up. My daughter grew up on Thurber, C.S. Lewis and Pinkwater. She wanted books that do not talk down and are not written to court parents.

Already, on the first page, he uses ectoplasm and brings in the ghost of Rudolph Valentino. It is part ghost story, part Homeric epic. He is a fine stylist; look how much he packs into a few lines when the protagonist, Iggy, recalls her grandfather:

"After the (civil) war, Granda Horatius went to Chicago and got rich in the glue business. Everyone has heard of Alpenglue, 'the mucilage of mountaineers.' It was the first modern superadhesive, and Horatius invented it and made millions selling it to a nation bursting with busted things that needed to be glued during the great westward expansion."

Always rich but never stuffy, Mr. Pinkwater tells a good story and makes his readers curious beyond the story. Give them enough sparkle and depth for a kid to want to read it several times.

The first time Iggy talks about her father's car, it is "a big Italian car completely covered with hand-tooled leather". The next time, in another chapter, it is a Bugatti touring car. Later we meet a convertible Cadillac and Packard. Since the kids are too young to drive, one of the ghosts does. Afterall, there is "nothing in the Code saying you must be alive to drive." See how he works... Sometimes, nothing is better than a good ghost story (as opposed to a horror story). Mr.
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