The Gawgon and The Boy doesn't follow Lloyd Alexander's usual pattern of larger-than-life characters and wild adventure. However, the main characters are equally as charming and more endearing in their realism. Being a teacher who longs to make a connection and truly reach my students, I loved the relationship between the Boy (David) and the Gawgon (Aunt Annie). I would be honored to be anyone's 'Gawgon.'
Eleven-year-old David is recovering from a deathly case of pneumonia and the family doctor recommends he stay out of school. To keep him out of trouble and into learning, Aunt Annie takes over as David's tutor. Initially, David is afraid of Aunt Annie and dreads his upcoming lessons. It doesn't take long for the Gawgon (David's private nickname for Aunt Annie) to win her way into David's heart. Soon, the fantastical stories David writes in his free time feature him and the Gawgon in a variety of wild adventures. They meet Napoleon, help Sherlock Holmes solve a mystery, and give Leonardo da Vinci inspiration for Mona Lisa's smile. This heart-warming story illustrates the power of great teaching and the gift of an endless imagination.
Recommended ages-9 and up