Olly and the Spores of Oak Hill by Glenn Somodi is one of the cutest and most exciting books I have read this year. The story follows Olly as his family moves to Oak Hill in Littleton, Massachusetts, after his grandfather’s violent and unfortunate death. Upon arrival at Littleton, Olly discovers the Spores. These tiny and adorable mushroom-like people have lived in the area for centuries and in several other locations in the country with similar names. With their mutual home at risk, Olly and the Spores band together to find ways to keep Oak Hill from becoming a mall as money-hungry people grab at the land in the small town.
Olly and the Spores of Oak Hill read a classic adolescent adventure. The story is told from the point of view of the main character Olly, a fifteen-year-old boy living in the US. Being a social outcast looking for a way to fit in with a new town and school during the years he starts high school is undoubtedly a character any awkward teen (or former awkward teen) can get behind. This awkwardness makes Olly a particularly easy-to-love character. More so as his internal monologue is remarkably realistic. Through Olly, we also meet other characters who remain equally natural in their flaws and awkwardness.
As this story takes place in a tiny town in Massachusetts centered around mythical mushroom creatures, you may wonder how well the author describes the fictional aspects alongside the factual elements. Well, Glenn Somodi’s underground Spore world is described in vivid detail. The author gives us everything from the little clothing that the spore sometimes wears, including a pair of adorable little overalls on my new favorite character, to detailed descrip[tions about the tunnels and trees the Spores live under. We are even given an elaborate ceremony about how these adorable little people reproduce.
The Spores will live in my mind for a long time. I am looking forward to the rest of their adventures. More of Olly and his family, too, but mostly more Spores, please! They are just so darn cute!
On a semi related note I love the little pictures and treats the author sent along with the book!