Hey wait, where is this package from? Hmm it is from someone’s home address, but it sure feels like a book. Return address – Michael Rex?? Oh come now, not Michael Rex New York Times Bestselling Author and favorite author of my children and wife? Why yes it is, and Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian has entered our house. So like I try to do I decided to let our 8-year-old son read the book first, but I was a close second finishing the book the day after he did.
So my son of oh so few works had the following to say, and knowing him I would take this as a high level compliment. “The book was real good, I really liked the parts when they went to Fangbone’s home, and the monsters.” Throw that on a cover as the blurb!
For myself, you know what Fangbone! immediately reminded me of? Groo The Wanderer by Sergio Aragonés and Mark Evanier and hopefully Michael takes that as a compliment as well. I felt the humor was the same type just scaled down for the children. Rex does a good job at keeping the storyline cemented in areas that kids of this age can relate to, school, bullies, beanball (dodgeball), and working together to overcome obstacles. This means that the parent in me can feel good about letting my kids read it, unlike some of those other graphic novels supposedly for kids this age. I found the style of the artwork to give you a nice focus to the characters during the story, but also keep you (kids) attentive to what is going on without being so simplistic that you lose interest. Also it allowed the monsters and head villain to seem evil without giving anyone nightmares. I think Michael Rex has that ability to really understand what works for the kids. The big toe of Drool, hot wings, and many other ideas work out to perfection in a story of the Third-Grade Barbarian.
Eastwood Elementary has a new student, and he’s nothing like the other kids in 3G. Fangbone is a barbarian warrior from another world! And he’s been charged with the task of keeping a deadly weapon from Skullbania’s vilest villain, Venomous Drool. Can Fangbone’s new classmates team up to help him triumph over hound-snakes, lava-ferrets, and his first pop quiz?