For Joshua Dread, middle school is proving to be, well, awkward. Not only do bullies pick on him, but do you see those supervillains over there trying to flood the world? The ones that everyone, including his best friend Milton, are rooting for Captain Justice to take down? They're the Dread Duo, and they just happen to be his parents. As if trying to hide his identity wasn't hard enough, Joshua has started leaving a trail of exploding pencils and scorched handprints in his wake, and only Sophie, the new girl in town with a mysterious past, seems unsurprised. When a violent attack at the Vile Fair makes it clear someone is abducting supervillains, and that his parents may very well be next, Joshua must enlist both Sophie and Milton's help to save them. Well-written, fast-paced, and remarkably funny, Joshua Dread is the first in a series that will appeal far beyond its target audience.
“Joshua Dread is funny, action-packed, and a total page-turner. You’ll want to read to the bitter end—unless Joshua’s parents destroy the world first. Which is a distinct possibility.”—Adam Gidwitz, author of A Tale Dark & Grimm
"Villainy! Mayhem! Family! From supervillains to killer houseplants, Joshua Dread has it all. I couldn't put it down and I didn't dare, not until I'd devoured every last page!" -C. Alexander London, author of the Accidental Adventure series
In this lively romp from newcomer Bacon, sixth-grader Joshua Dread is contending with the knowledge that his parents are secretly supervillains who periodically try to take over and/or destroy the world, only to inevitably be beaten down by heroes like the telegenic, endorsement-happy Captain Justice. Just as Joshua's own power of spontaneous combustion emerges, he faced with a worse problem: weird smoke creatures are kidnapping supervillains, and his parents are the latest to vanish. Now Joshua must save the worst villains on the planet, and his only allies are his best friend, Milton, and Sophie, a new girl with secrets of her own. Despite predictable moments, Bacon's deadpan narrative hums along with outrageous details, humor, and action and is complemented by Dorman's suitably heroic b&w portraits of the characters. A hero with a double life and a colossal set of parental issues, Joshua handles zombies, killer robots, and teenage girls without losing his cool. Bacon's affectionately playful take on the superhero genre introduces bombastic personalities without reducing the characters to caricatures. Ages 9 12.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Ever wondered what it would be like to have your class interrupted because your parents just tried to destroy the world? Or what would happen if zombies lived in your basement? Or a house plant tried to kill you? No? Well, wether you have or not, you'll love this book.
With a similar writing style as Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson, Joshua Dread cleverly mixes action and humor, while also having a brilliant and intriguing plot.
Joshua himself is a likable and very reliable character, who gives a nice sense of balance when everyone around him seems a bit crazy. His parents I especially love: seeing their point of view of the whole "hero saving the world" thing was fantastic... Not to mention hilarious. His friends I also like, but I would've liked to know more about the Gyfted (why they have those Gyfts, for example) but maybe we'll be enlightened in another installment.
Another negative thing I could say is that the language seemed a bit too simplistic to my teenaged self, but that's probably because the book is aimed at a younger audience then me... But that doesn't matter.
Overall, I loved this book. The universe it created was both fascinating and silly, the characters were awesome, and it made me laugh so hard my ribs hurt. Having the story told from the supervillains's son's point of view was intriguing, and the story just kept me wanting more. A great book for anyone, I highly recommend it, and will now impatiently wait for the sequel. :)