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by Robert Paul Weston
illustrated by Victor Rivas

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reviews: 2
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fantasy & magic, mythical
list price: $17.5
also available: Paperback
published: 2008
imprint: Razorbill
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Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review


Written entirely in rhyming verse, Zorgamazoo doesn’t just beg to be read aloud, it demands to be read aloud.

Zorgamazoo follows the adventures of a young girl named Katrina Katrell, her evil guardian Mrs. Krabone (aka Old Krabby) and Mortimer Yorgle (aka Morty) – a “zorgle” who works for The Underwood Telegraph Rumor Review. Katrina runs away from her nefarious guardian when Mrs. Krabone threatens to lobotomize her. (Mrs. Krabone wants to prevent Katrina’s active imagination from getting the best of her, but Katrina just happens to have the ability to see otherworldly creatures.) After she escapes, Katrina serendipitously meets Morty who is on a quest to track down the missing zorgles of Zorgamazoo. When Katrina invites herself along, she and Morty venture to faraway places where they meet dragons, ogres, sphinxes and more – all in an effort to find the zorgles. This story will have you white-knuckling your armchair the entire time.

Zorgamazoo is one of the most exciting children’s books to hit the shelves in a long time. First time novelist Robert Paul Weston’s poetic dexterity is unparalleled and his extraordinary narrative is complemented by whimsical pen and ink illustrations from Spanish artist Victor Rivas. The writing and illustrations work together perfectly to take the reader on a darkly humorous and fantastical journey that can be read over and over again.

If you’re looking for a novel that is sure to excite young audiences about reading and writing, Zorgamazoo is it.

Source: The Canadian Children's Bookcentre. Winter 2009. Volume 32 Number 1.

Canadian Children's  Book Centre
Librarian review


Morty the zorgle is the odd figure Katrina spotted, bumbling through the subway tunnels under the city. He’s been sent on a quest to find Zorgamazoo’s lost zorgles. When Morty and Katrina join forces, they discover it’s not just the zorgles who have gone missing. All of the Earth’s most magical creatures have been kidnapped.

Source: The Canadian Children’s Book Centre. Best Books for Kids & Teens. 2010.

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  • Winner, California Young Reader Medal
  • Winner, E. B. White Honour
  • Winner, Booklist Top Ten Debut
  • Winner, Children's Literature Assembly Notable Book
  • Winner, Pacific Northwest Young Readers Choice Award
  • Winner, Children's Choice
  • Winner, Silver Birch Prize
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Are You a Believer in Fanciful Things? In Pirates and Dragons and Creatures and Kings?

Then sit yourself down in a comfortable seat, with maybe some cocoa and something to eat, and I?ll spin you the tale of Katrina Katrell, a girl full of courage (and daring, as well!), who down in the subway, under the ground, saw something fantastical roaming around . . .

What was it she saw? I?d rather not say. (Who's ever heard of a Zorgle, anyway?)

But if you are curious, clever and brave, if intrepid adventure is something you crave, then open this book and I?ll leave it to you to uncover the secret of ZORGAMAZOO!

Join Morty the Zorgle and Katrina on a fantastically illustrated, you?ll-wanna-read-every-word-aloud, sophisticated rhyming adventure for kids of all ages!

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Contributor notes

Robert Paul Weston's first novel was Zorgamazoo, a Booklist top ten debut of 2008. Born in the UK and raised in Canada, Robert Paul Weston lives in Toronto, where he currently teaches creative writing at the University of Toronto.

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