384pp., pbk., RRP $A19.99
. On a volcanic island, in the middle of shark-infested waters, stands The Cruel School. The lessons are appalling, the school dinners are revolting and the teachers are terrifying – especially the mysterious Science teacher Doctor Doktur.
When Larker is sent to the school, she quickly realises something very odd is going on… something involving Doctor Doktur, a pair of strange spectacles, and a ‘Monsterfication Machine’. And ultimately she finds herself face to face with a real life Megamonster.
There seems to be no escape – but for Larker, nothing is impossible…
Walliams has previously said that his current writing for children is done to put a smile on the face of his readers, and while this book appears somewhat dark from its synopsis. nevertheless it is a prime example of Walliams knowing his audience and what they want to read. Using predominantly dialogue and a range of graphic techniques, it is easily accessible to the newly independent reader and my informal research shows that Walliams is the go-to author at this time, particularly for boys.
One to suggest to your students in lockdown – it’s readily available online – or one to save to welcome them back.