Alligators Overhead Book Review

Photobucket Alligators Overhead 

Alligators Overhead by C. Lee McKenzie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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I’d like to thank Kathy for hosting the Under the Sea Hop and Amber from The Musings of ALMYBNENR.  Make sure to enter to win one of 3 ebooks of Alligators Overhead by C. Lee McKenzie in the rafflecopter form below and the check out the other great giveaways on the family friendly blogs in the linky below.

 Things aren’t going too good for Pete. He misses his mom and dad, and feels stuck in the boring, backwater town of Hadleyville. In fact, he’s BFB-Bonkers for Boredom. As if feeling bad wasn’t enough, Pete has a knack for compounding his issues with his pranks. Certain that his spring break is over before it starts, Pete awaits a call from Principal Pitt. When the phone rings, Pete’s ready to intercept it before his Aunt Lizzy answers. It isn’t Principal Pitt on the phone, however, and things just got stranger for Pete. A legendary hundred-year-old mansion appears next door, the alligators of the Ornofree swamp declare war to save their home from destruction, and Pete’s aunt and several of her close friends turn out to be witches and then vanish.

I loved Alligators Overhead. It is a great story,with an excellent plot. It is very exciting with plenty of action. There is a great message along with many interesting and captivating side plots. The author did a wonderful job with imagery in this book. She painted a marvelous picture of the small town behavior in Hadleyville. A great example is when a piece of gossip, “…spread through the Whisper Circle at warp speed.” I grew up in a small town and this is not an exaggeration of how things work. There are many scenes with great imagery. I loved the one where Aunt Lizzy takes off, “on a mission,” in the car, “her tires bumped off the curb. She cranked the wheel and shot down the street, leaving black tire streaks.” Alligators Overhead is perfect for middle grade readers. The dialogue is great, and the language and story are appropriate. I recommend this book to all middle grade readers, either as a read aloud or by themselves.

What I liked Most:
My favorite part of the book is the great names and dialogue. There are some really super phrases, such as peculiar-odd, help-advice, trouble-worry, and nervous-scared to name a few. Ms. McKenzie weaves these phrases in and out of the story creating a really nice cadence for reading. I loved it. I also enjoyed the development of Pete and his buddy Weasel (great name). The development of Pete, in particular, is very good. I enjoyed seeing him find a cause and feel invested in the people and environment surrounding him. Go Pete! One last thing that I loved was the red polka dot pajamas sticking out of the mayors pants. This is a perfect example of the authors ability to show us the the type of person (self-centered & image conscious) that he is.

What missed just a bit:
I have to be honest, I didn’t see any misses in this book. It is a wonderful story with wonderful characters, great dialogue, and a great plot. If I am forced to nitpick a bit, then the only thing that confused my a bit was the scene when Pete and Weasel get stuck in the ceiling in the mansion. In this one spot the imagery faltered a bit, compared to everything else at least, but it certainly did not detract from the story in any way. Great job Ms. McKenzie!

I think that I have already expressed my overall opinion of Alligators Overhead. I loved everything about it. It is appropriate for all middle grade (and even adult) readers and I highly recommend it. I would certainly read more adventures involving Pete and Weasel as well as more books by Ms. McKenzie.

a Rafflecopter giveaway Here is the code for the linky which needs to be part of your post unless you use wordpress and can’t get it to work:

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Indie author-friendly freelance editor, children's book blogger for picture books through YA, kid lit, SF/fantasy lover with special fondness for middle grade, pun-loving SCBWI member, meter-maid for poetry and rhyming picture books.


  1. Lee will be thrilled with that review!

    • I’m glad Alex! Great to see you again. Needless to say I loved Alligators Overhead. I read a lot of middle grade books, and for me personally, this was right up there near the top. She did a great job and deserves all the praise that she receives. Have a great day:)

      Paul R. Hewlett

  2. It sounds like a great book where the author really let their imagine play. I love creativity!

    • Thanks so much for the comment and for stopping by. It is a great book and she does a wonderful job letting their imagination play. The characters are just great and the imagery in the book is wonderful. Actually, I feel like I have spent some time personally in Hadleyville, that’s how good she did. I hope that you took a moment to enter the promotion above for your chance to win a copy of Alligators Overhead. That way you can read it for yourself:) I hope to see you back here again soon. Have a great day!

      Paul R. Hewlett

    • Hi aLiLacy! Great that you stopped in to say hi. Here’s to creativity.

  3. Well, you convinced me I want to read Alligators Overhead too. I’m always interested when I hear of great imagery and imagination.

  4. I’m with Sheryl I want to read Alligators Overhead and I love the title.

    • I think you both certainly should! I am very happy that I did. Suzanne, make sure to enter the contest for an opportunity to win a free copy of Alligators Overhead. Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope to see you, Suzanne, again soon:) Have a great day!

      Paul R. Hewlett

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