Boy Vs Beast Fully Loaded by Mac Park
I took a risk this week and asked my son what book he would recommend for younger boys moving on to Chapter Books, and he recommended Boy vs Beast. He happily gave me Fully Loaded to read, a compendium of the first four books in this series (Aquatan or Water Beast, Terradon or Rock Beast, Infernix or Fire Beast and Tornados or Air Beast).
In the Boy Vs Beast books 12 year old Kai Masters lives in a high tech light house and works as a Boarder Control Guard. The boarder he controls is between the earth and the lands of Beastium. It turns out that once man and beast shared this world, but the beasts decided they wanted to dominate. Humans forced them to leave the world and live behind a wall in their own world, Beastium. every now and then a beast decides it wants to enter earth and it is up to the boarder guards to prevent them from passing the wall.
Yes it is another hero book. But boys do seem to love a hero! What is different about these books is that they are like a video game in paperback. Each book is like a level in a video game. A beast presents itself ready to fight, Kai identifies it and enters its land to fight it. As he wins battles he gets more battle gear or upgrades, and if he loses a battle then the beast gets stronger. All we know about Kai is that his father and grandfather were also boarder guards. Apart from this we do not meet any family or friends. The only other ‘good guy” is Kai’s battle partner, a robotic dog called BC3. This simplistic format without a backstory is great for reluctant readers as the books are all action. As an added bonus for those who have to be ‘encouraged’ to read, each of the main battles moves along very quickly as they are told in comic format, meaning there is lots of action and very little words.
I cannot say hand on hart that I enjoyed reading the four books I was given, but I am a girl. I can see why boys like them, and I can see why so many boys like them. They are short, action packed stories with cool gadget and scary monsters who always get beaten in the end. So if you have young boys just moving to chapter books you should definitely try one of these.