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JOSHUA DREAD by Lee  Bacon


From the Joshua Dread series, volume 1

by Lee Bacon illustrated by Brandon Dorman

Age Range: 8 - 12

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-385-74185-9
Publisher: Delacorte

"It's embarrassing to run into your parents when you're with people from school, especially when your parents are about to destroy the planet."

Sixth-grader Joshua has always had to contend with his parents’ secret identities, The Botanist and Dr. Dread—the Dread Duo. They keep trying to destroy the world, and Captain Justice keeps thwarting them. Now, it looks like Josh might be Gyfted (Genetic Youth Fluctuation, Triggering Extraordinary Development). He’s not sure how he feels about that. Does he want to be a supervillain? He certainly doesn’t want to shill for every product on the planet like Captain Justice. To make matters worse, when strange creatures attack the Vile Fair, a yearly expo for supervillains, the world’s most evil villains begin vanishing. When the Dread Duo fall prey, can Josh solve the mystery and save his parents? Bacon's debut is a fast and often funny entry in the kid-with-superpowers subgenre. Joshua, his normal friend Milton and new friend Sophie all contend with real preteen troubles (bullies and gossip) as well as those particular to the Gyfted. Dorman’s occasional black-and-white illustrations of the characters are a nice addition, but there are far too few of them.

A twisty, swiftly moving adventure sure to please superhero fans. (Fantasy. 8-12)