The Yggyssey

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Yggyssey Book Poster Image
Sequel to The Neddiad offers more goofy humor.

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Kids say

age 11+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.


Car, candy, lunch meat brands.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A reference to cigarettes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is little to be concerned with here: a few brands mentioned and a reference to rolling cigarettes.

User Reviews

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Kid, 12 years old September 22, 2013

Read the first first

This is a great book. Its interesting, and maybe not for everyone. Its crazy, quirky, and the style is like no other. You really need to read the first book th... Continue reading

What's the story?

Iggy (short for Yggdrasil) Birnbaum lives in a run-down hotel in mid-20th century Hollywood. When she notices that the ghosts who normally inhabit her hotel are disappearing, she discovers that they are all heading for a big party in an alternate plane of existence. So she and her friends Neddy and Seamus follow the ghost of a rabbit and end up in an alternative Old New Hackensack where things are ... peculiar.

Is it any good?

Like its predecessor, The Neddiad, whether or not your kids will like this depends entirely on their particular senses of humor. Unlike humorous fantasies from, say, Douglas Adams or Terry Pratchett, the story won't carry readers through this if they don't get the jokes: there isn't much plot, and what there is doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Author Daniel Pinkwater isn't interested in any character development either -- Iggy and her friends are more or less just oddball blanks to whom odd things happen.

So then, the humor, upon which enjoyment of this hangs. It's not broad, or potty, or slapstick, or humiliation humor -- it's gentle humor, of the polite sort, the jokes of a kind grandfather with a twinkle in his eye. Some of it is wordplay, some arch references, and a lot of the author amusing himself and if you want to go along, fine, he's not bothered either way. From the Book below has a sample, and if your kids find it funny, then they'll probably like this book. If not, you might want to look for something with a little more story and character -- just in case they don't get the jokes.

From the Book:
"We're going with you," Neddie Wentworthstein said.

"To the hootenanny in not-in-New-Jersey Old New Hackensack?" I asked.

"Yes, the hootenanny, or hauntenanny, or walpurgisenanny, or whatever it is. If you're going, we want to go too," Seamus Finn said.

We were sitting on the secret closet stairs to nowhere, drinking Dr. Pedwee's cream soda and sharing a bag of Gypsy Boots's whole-grain cuchifritos.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the numerous literary and cultural references here. Which ones do you get? Where does the rabbit come from? The king raven's pianist? The various witches? The crazy driver who picks them up and then crashes? Who is the bunny's friend, Elwood?

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