August 2014, David Fickling Books, 64 pages, Paperback, Review copy
Themes: a weird world, varying types of friendship,
Content: oodles of humour
Summary from David Fickling Books
Ten-year-old Don Skelton never imaged a school day could get any worse than drowning face down in a bowl of oxtail soup.
But he was wrong!
Transported to the spooky underworld of Broilerdoom, Don is soon forced to fight for his life-after-death against a host of villainous monstrosities.
Prepare to enter the hilarious and dangerous world of Long Gone Don, where one boy’s end is just the beginning of the adventure…
Extra note from the press release email I received:
The Phoenix is a weekly comic for boys and girls aged 6-12 years (and beyond). Launched in 2012 by celebrated publisher, David Fickling, it is packed full of original stories - from epic serial adventures to one-off adventures – plus non-fiction and puzzles, all from some of the comic world’s most celebrated story creators
I had accidentally received this compilation of Long Don's exploits in The Phoenix along with a different compilation from The Phoenix Presents which I'd requested and will review in due course. This is certainly no ordinary story. It's extraordinary-ness is the reason for the not quite perfect grade, for at times it was too weird for me (I find Alice in Wonderland too weird to read/watch), and the graphics weren't 100% my style. And yet, in spite of that I found it a totally bonkers read which made me laugh way more than expected.
The main character is male, which I always find hard to relate to as I prefer imagining I'm the protagonist, but Don finds himself more than knee deep in trouble so often it's hard not to feel sorry for him. There are strong female characters who made me think about theories about who they really are (I'm not saying any more on the matter), and every time I vaguely thought about stopping reading something would happen so I had to turn the colourful page!
Find out more on the dedicated website.
Check out a graphic novel I'm desperate to have a book 2 for with a totally classy heroine Mo-Bot High by Neill Cameron (Children's, 9 years +, 10E/10E)