The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot by Josh Gottsegen

Series: stand aloneGenre: middle grade, fantasy
Date of Publishing: June 23rd 2020Publisher: OneLight Publishing

 

Quote of the Book

“Curiosity is an extraordinary ingredient in our lives. It can lead to new ideas, new friends, and to the orchids hidden deep in the swamp.”

Blurb

As a young chipmunk, shy, bookish Rockford T. Honeypot had dreams of thrilling adventures across the forest. However, timid of danger and germs, his only adventures were found in books and his imagination. When his family abandons him after a mistake that destroys their hazelnut business, Rockford sets off on a legendary journey beyond his wildest dreams. From exploring cuisines with a famous chef, training with ancient warrior monks, flying on giant hawks, finding true love, and much more, Rockford recounts his epic origin story of hardship, perseverance, and fortune.

Disclaimer/Personal Note

I’ve got an ARC through NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.

I’m going to count this book into my Armed with a Bingo card. I’ve put it under the ‘A book with a food included in the title‘ square.

Song of the Book

Okay, so, this wasn’t an easy choice. I don’t listen to music that might fit a Middle Grade Fantasy book. I was trying to go for something upbeat. Eventually I settled on So Alive by Goo Goo Dolls. I think it symbolises Rockford pretty well and the message this book has.

Breaking down the walls in my own mind
Keeping my faith for the bad times
Get up, get up, stand like a champion
Take it to the world, gonna sing it like an anthem

Review

Admittedly, Middle Grade Fantasy is not something I often read. Actually, I’m not even sure I could name a title in the genre I’ve read. Though as I understand, the Percy Jackson series can be considered as Middle Grade and I’ve read that. Anyway. A few weeks back I was in need of a fun, lighthearted read and thought Middle Grade might be the answer. Still, I stumbled upon The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot by accident. The first thing that caught my attention was the cover and since the blurb sounded interesting as well, I said bring it on!

Rockford is a chipmunk living in a forest called Tropland. He is nothing like most of his family. He is a dreamer, a bookworm and a firm believer of sanitizers. When he is forced to part with his family, he decides it’s finally time to be what he always dreamed to be: an adventurer! He is pretty easy to identify with him, the loner and weirdo among the Clarences in his family.

“Being aloe never bothered me; a reader is never alone. When I wasn’t whiskers deep in a new book, I was writing in my journal, or playing rock, paper, scissors with my imaginary sidekick, Norby.”

As he later recollects the events of his life, we meet several side characters who pop in and out from time to time and shape his future. He makes friends and enemies, experiences many things good and bad, all the while broadcasting the universal message: if you have courage and a will to work hard, you can reach your dreams.

There is a lot happening in a relatively short book. Sometimes maybe too much as I felt I would have liked to linger at some places longer, to get the characters know better, to get a better grasp of the world. Less might have been more in this case. Most of the chapters work like short individual stories which make a whole when being read at once. Which I think it’s great, it made me think of the times when my mom used to read to me each night. I would have liked this book back then and I think these chapters all make a good night’s story. Many of them contain some kind of lesson that might stick around for the readers.

“After hearing that story, I questioned my identity – something I think we should all do from time to time. If only Sora knew what I have accomplished over the years. I’m no tiger, but I am a chipmunk who listened to his roar and built and built an empire of weatlth for a thousand generations.”

The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot mixes the classical elements of advenure books and modern ones, such as live streaming and computers. It might sound weird, but it actually works out really well. All the modern elements are fitted into the forest world and honestly the world building was one of my favourite parts of this book. Josh Gottsegen definitely had a great vision for this book. All of the animals are humanised – they talk, work, act like people while still staying animals, if that makes sense. I just really found it fascinating how the different parts of the forest had their own ecosystem.

“At this height, I could even see the power vines, built by beavers using the river force that provided Tropland with safe electricity.”

As the book follows Rockford’s whole life, inevitably it deals with serious topics (loss, lonelyness, poverty, social differencies, etc.) besides the fun moments. And there are plenty of the latter. A chipmunk who is afraid of bacteria and dirt goes on an adventure where he finds plenty of both, as well as several scary obstacles he has to go through, finding his own courage along the way.

“Each day a journey,” Ka said upon entering the new temple for the first time. “A battle of blood or heart. To live is to love.”

If you are in need of a bit of lighthearted fun, plenty of adventure and important life lessons, The Adventures of Rockford T. Honeypot might be just exactly what you are looking for. It’s just as enjoyable for adults as it’s rewarding for kids.

Our Judgement

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