Superheroes capture the imagination of many boys and girls. The flashy superpowers and pithy one liners are so appealing that you’d forget that be wearing tights in public. But what if you were born into a family with superpowers? No, not with a Mom and Dad that fight for justice and honor.
How about a couple parents that spend their time creating homicidal ficus trees and training zombies with tofu (It has the same consistency as brains). It’s just another day with the family when your parents try to take over the world.
Things go a little bit awry when his parents take him along to a super villain convention. It is attacked by a hoard of smoke monsters who are engulfing and seemingly disintegrating every villainous person they can find. Josh watches helplessly as his parents are vanished right before his eyes.
Who could have done such a dastardly thing? It could have been one of the villains looking to remove the competition, but there is honor among evil geniuses and radioactive monsters. A hero perhaps? It seems a bit too devious to be any of the showboating blowhards that parade around saving the world. Josh needs to track down his parents and the rest of the villains before these smoke creatures get out of hand and start attacking innocent people. The son of two super villains must become the hero.
The author, Lee Bacon, does a fantastic job of fleshing out the familial dynamics of superhero and supervillain households. He does it with clever humor and unsuspecting wit. If you were a fan of Pixar’s The Incredibles, then you’ll be right at home within the pages of Joshua Dread. Bacon takes time and care with his characters and you’ll find that even though Josh is the son of super villains, he’s quite a likeable kid.
Even though Joshua Dread is aimed at middle grade readers, there is fun for all ages to be had within its story. The jokes are clever and the story is fun and those don’t have age restrictions.
If you’re waiting for the inevitable Incredibles 2, then you should definitely check out Joshua Dread for the other side of the story. Who likes watching heroes all the time anyway?
We’re giving away a copy thanks to Random House Kids. Just leave a comment about what superpower you’d have if you were a superhero or villain. We’ll pick one of you at random next week, and send you a copy.