Thursday, 14 June 2012
Thursday Thoughts: Book Review of Scary School by Derek The Ghost
Charles Nukid is new to Scary School. Being the new kid is bad enough normally - but when the survival rate is as low as it is at Scary School, with teachers including Dr Dragonbreath, the vampire Ms Fang, and a Tyrannosaurus Rex, he'll be lucky to make his first lunchtime! Derek The Ghost, who didn't last too long at Scary School himself, is on hand to fill us in on Charles Nukid's first days at school, the friends he makes, and the forthcoming Ghoul Games...
This one is aimed at a younger age range than I generally read, but I really enjoyed it despite that. Each chapter reads really well as a short story but there's a fun overall plot, and the humour is delightful. (Special mention to Scott Fischer's illustrations - they're wonderful and complement the text perfectly, with characters such as Peter The Wolf and Dr Dragonbreath looking brilliant.)
It's an enjoyable read which isn't as scary as the name suggests - there's nothing here that's likely to give anyone except the most sensitive of children nightmares, as despite the long rollcall of deaths pretty much everyone comes back in some form or another. Derek the Ghost has a vivid writing style which keeps the action moving really quickly and his characters are brilliant, with a particular favourite of mine being Petunia, who looks exactly like a petunia, has bugs flying around her hair, and has a best friend called Frank (pronounced Rachel.)
There are also some strong messages in there which I wasn't expecting, about not judging people on first impressions, being kind, and the importance of friendship - it's certainly not preachy but it's definitely going to be thought-provoking for younger readers.
Definite recommendation for younger or reluctant readers. Book two is out in a few weeks time and I'm looking forward to it!