Third-Grade Barbarian
Fangbone!: Third-Grade Barbarian. Bk. 1. 120p. (Fangbone! Series). Putnam. 2012. Tr $15.99. ISBN 978-0-399-25521-2. LC number unavailable.
Gr 2–4—Residing in roughly the same territory as Dav Pilkey's recent gross-out graphic novel, The Adventures of Ook and Gluk (Scholastic, 2010), Fangbone! is the goofy first installment in a series that will likely be a hit with reluctant readers. In Fangbone's homeland of Skullbania, supporters of evil Venomous Drool are poised to take over. All they have to do is piece together all the body parts of their ruler. To keep this from happening, the young barbarian is sent to our dimension with Drool's big toe—the final piece of the puzzle. Along the way, Fangbone enters third grade, learns about our world, builds an army, and fights off a variety of monsters sent from Skullbania to retrieve the toe. The humor is nonstop—sometimes sly, other times, just corny. The panel layout and basic cartoon illustrations are simple and clear. The orange and brown color scheme is a bold choice that isn't traditionally appealing, but suits the book well and certainly sets it apart. An entertaining mix that will find many eager boy readers, Fangbone! should receive a warm welcome in any collection.—Travis Jonker, Dorr Elementary School, MI

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