Friday, January 05, 2007

Mail Order Mayhem

MAIL ORDER NINJA, v. 1 and 2
story by Joshua Elder
illustrations by Erich Owen
Tokyopop Manga Readers, 2006
Review copies compliments of the author

Timmy has a problem with bullies...both the thuggy kind, like Brock Breckenridge, and the stuck-up rich girl kind, like Felicity Dominique Huntington. He thinks he'll solve his problem by ordering his very own ninja from the Jacques Co. toy catalog, but wouldn't you know it, having your own ninja and winning the election for student body president causes almost as many problems as it solves. In volume 2, Felicity ups the ante by ordering her very own mail order ninja army which wreaks havoc at the school dance and turns the whole town of Cherry Creek, Indiana into an Orwellian nightmare with Felicity herself as Big Sister.

These books are a whole lot of fun! They are chockful of sight gags and puns, the situations are preposterous, and the characters are exaggerated stereotypes (all except for Timmy's 5th grade teacher, Ms. Sarah Melton, who received a "100 Cool Teachers in Children's Literature" nomination for disco dancing with Timmy's ninja in the second book). Kids will love these books. They are part of Tokyopop's Manga Readers series, and are perfect for the targeted age group: 8-12. An 8 year-old will love the action and adventure, and a 12 year-old will be able to get more of the puns and jokes. With the promise of six books in the series, they will all be anxiously waiting for the next volume. I know I will!

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