|Danger Really is Everywhere: School of Danger by David O'Doherty and Chris Judge|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: The green one, then, in this great series, means a third outing for our jobsworth danger specialist – even if green means 'go' for traffic and all the risk that entails.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 240||Date: September 2016|
|External links: Author's website|
There is nothing more dangerous than being a danger specialist. A Docter in Dangerology, no less – like Noel Zone, who has long since taken off his 'L' plates and become fully qualified in a science all of his own invention. If you've been here since the start you should be a Level 3 Pupil of Dangerology, and once our author has ascertained that you're not a werewolf, mummy, giant or Segway-riding vampire, you can read on, and see the life of the good Docter in action. And what action – we're only just beginning to find out what happens on a Danger Patrol, when all calamity happens – and lo and behold, Docter Noel Zone becomes a danger to others…
Which of course has been the joke all along. This is a comedy series that takes all the asinine ideas about health and safety and turns them on their head. There's nothing as risky as trying to live a risk-free life, as anyone will tell you, and on this evidence that's still perfectly true. Skateboards are bad, so steal the wheels off them to secure them as safe, then perhaps use them as ironing boards – with a special, danger-free garb to keep that activity safe. You can mean well, and Noel does – but it doesn't always work. Take the drama in point, which by hook and by crook (risky things, both of them!) makes him work in a school canteen as penance. You can imagine what he thinks of that idea.
The fun from this book, especially having seen the franchise grow from a story-light opener to what we have now, is seeing the ridiculousness of our Docter, and his new acolyte, and what they think is the peril at the school (for peril there allegedly is). I wanted the series to open out – and boy, the alleged culprits certainly are from out there. Perhaps the book could have done less in that regard – there must still be scope for finding fault in the common-or-garden, everyday school situation – but I enjoyed this a lot. What you get this time is completely silly – partly the reason for me not giving anything like a full plot summary – and yet completely fun. Yes, the bare bones of the scenario would make any 'right-thinking' adult scoff, but the way everything reaches new heights of absurdity, then is tied together in one bravura scene at the end is, to my mind, close to the height of fiction-writing, for this age-range at least.
And that's the issue of the whole series – what is 'right-thinking', and what isn't. I've said before in my reviews of these titles how many adults would fail to see past the silly fonts, the seriously basic cartoonish illustrations, and the regular moments of irregular writing. But if 'right-thinking' leads you to pour scorn on a book such as this, I think you're clearly in the wrong. Much like our hero, then, most of the time. Go out on a (risky) limb and buy these books.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
A new entrant to the shelf marked 'books that look too different from what we used to read as kids, but appeal to the youth of today' is Sherlock Holmes and the Disappearing Diamond (Baker Street Academy) by Sam Hearn.
You can read more book reviews or buy Danger Really is Everywhere: School of Danger by David O'Doherty and Chris Judge at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Danger Really is Everywhere: School of Danger by David O'Doherty and Chris Judge at Amazon.com.
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