Bullies spur a lad and two new friends to dress up as secret superheroes in this trilogy opener from Norway.
Encouraged by the spectral figure of his just-deceased grandpa, Rusty sets out for payback after three punks—identified throughout as “Anton, Ruben, and the minister’s son”—wreck the clubhouse he and his friend Jack have laboriously constructed from scrap. As “Brown,” dressed in a brown cape and mask, he sneaks out into the night to slap brown paint on Ruben’s bicycle. Shortly after Rusty tells Jack about the feat, another masked marauder, “Black,” repaints Anton’s bike. Joined by a third confidante, styling herself “Blue, or the Blue Avenger,” the trio sets out on one more nocturnal mission…only to discover that most of the stash of blue paint has disappeared. Still, there’s enough to repaint the bikes of all three foes blue. The next day Rusty, overcome by guilt, is on the verge of confessing…when he learns that his nemeses are now in deep doo-doo for several acts of mischief, notably splashing the local church’s spire with blue “rude words.” Off the hook! Small, fine-lined ink drawings with color highlights on nearly every page supply this tongue-in-cheek escapade with evocative vignettes depicting Rusty’s flights of fancy, quizzical-looking parents and other grown-ups, and masked prowlers in homemade outfits. The cast defaults to white.
Chucklebait for Wimpy Kid fans. (Fiction. 9-11)