Bacon, Lee. Joshua Dread.
September 25th 2012
by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Captain Justice and the Dread Duo are always at odds, and this time the Dread Duo are manipulating the weather and threatening to destroy the whoel world-- that's what they do. For Joshua, though, this is embarassing, because the Dread Duo are his parents. If that weren't bad enough, he seems to have acquired the ability to spontaneously combust things, which is handy when dealing with unpleasant people at school. When Sophie, a new girl, shows up at school, Joshua and his friend Milton befriend her, even when her father turns out to be Captain Justice. Joshua keeps his own parentage a secret for a while, but nanorobot insects are bedeviling the evil villain community, and eventually kidnap his parents. Where are the "Z" nanorobots coming from? The trio tracks them down and is led to the evil Phineas Vex, who has quite an evil plan, which is continued in Joshua Dread: The Nameless Hero.
Strengths: There is just some really funny writing going on here-- throwaway lines that just make me giggle. A nice, breezy read that makes sense and is fairly easy to follow. Having read horribly convoluted fantasies that have no humor about them at all, I can't tell you how nice it is to read something like this. I do think my students will enjoy this series tremendously.
Weaknesses: Bad, bad covers. Dark and muddy looking. I personally thought it was odd that Joshua didn't seem to be overly concerned about the safety of his parents, being more concerned about keeping his identity hidden, but I don't think students will pick up on that.
I'm currently reading book three-- just a little confused, since I read the other two out of order!
This is a much better cover. (The paperback?) At least the picture is clear and the colors are more appealing.