Robert Muchamore has a way of getting children reading. I was going to say boys, if I hadn’t known more girl fans of his, than boy fans. I read his first Cherub book some years ago, which was entertaining in an Alex Rider sort of vein, but I felt I didn’t have time to follow a series that grew very quickly. Also, have to admit to finding the description of the first boy’s mother offensive. You can kill off fictional parents if you need to, without insulting them as well.
I was more interested in Robert’s new mini series, Henderson’s Boys, which is a WW2 prequel to Cherub. Yet again, there’s a need to kill off parents. I would have liked to see the newly orphaned children a little more upset over the whole orphaning process, because I don’t think it would have made them any less heroic.
The violence is quite spectacular, in a James Bond kind of way. You just know you’ve got the right to kill indiscriminately, and it doesn’t allow for Germans being human beings, too. Setting aside any feelings of being pc, it’s a fast paced adventure that’s very easy to read. The book comes wrapped in a rather nice map which shows what happened, and when and where, in 1940. Three children make their way through France, and eventually meet up with the help of Charles Henderson, a British spy.
Robert assures himself of loyal readers by ending with a cliff hanger, followed by the first chapter of book two. I defy any child not be desperate for the next instalment.