This is the start of a series by award-winning comic book writer, Richard Fairgray. Richard is a Kiwi who is legally blind and currently lives in the States.
Middle-grade students who love a bit of spookiness and mystery, will enjoy this story in full-colour graphic novel format.
Dash’s family and his friend Lily are spending the summer at the beach house with his family. There are some delightful and eccentric characters in Dash’s extended family: His aunt Lynne, the tough almost-bully; his uncle, on another planet; the monster-like neighbours and then the zombie green animals certainly add interest to the story.
The ghosts of past shipwrecks call out to Dash, so he and his cousins set off to the decommissioned lighthouse to figure out what’s going on. There is a subplot involving the neighbours, zombie cows and magic purple potatoes. While this part of the book has closure, the lighthouse mystery is not solved and then they discover Dash’s journal which he can’t remember anything about, leading to an impatient wait for the next instalment. Although primarily a spooky mystery, Fairgray adds humour; for example how Dash got his name.
While not a great reader of graphic novels, I found the layout of the pictures and speech bubbles easy to follow. The artwork is bright and engaging.
Title: Black Sand Beach: Are You Afraid of the Light? (Book 1)
Author & Illustrator: Richard Fairgray
Publication: 21 July 2020
Reviewer: Nova Gibson, Library Manager, Massey Primary School, Auckland
How are you recommending this book? Recommended
Opening line: Jimmy Beaver gets to go to space camp!
You can buy this book here