Monday—Into the Cave of Thieves (Total Mayhem #1)

Ralph Lazar and Lisa Swerling. Scholastic, $6.99 paper (208p) ISBN 978-1-338-77037-7
Dash Candoo, 11, who appears to be a character of color with dark curly hair, has a penchant for narrating in lists and a knack for attracting “total mayhem.” When Dash’s breakfast is interrupted by the random appearance of three combat-ready, ninja-like wrestle-scallywags and the two-tailed Devil-Cat, he’s in for a so-called “total mayhem situation.” Dash handily vanquishes these unusual foes, but the bedlam continues over the course of a day at Swedhump Elementary, which features unlikely classes such as “Vegetables” and “Paper Airplanes.” A sprawling, fast-paced plot unfolds, involving the world’s largest carrot, the theft of a trophy and the world’s most expensive perfume, underground tunnels, a quadcycle chase, and an abundance of Bond-esque gadgets used by Dash and his white sidekick and best friend, Rob Newman. Rough, doodle-like b&w line drawings are paired with a typeface of varying size, conveying the feel of a child’s notebook. With enough detailed world-building to fill an almanac, Lazar and Swerling (Happiness Is...) concoct a high-octane caper in this early graphic novel series starter. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 7–10. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 07/21/2021
Release date: 08/03/2021
Genre: Children's
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