Mason Mooney: Doppelganger Detective by Seaerra Miller

Seaerra Miller does it again with another witty, smart outing for that annoying paranormal detective, Mason Mooney. I really enjoyed the first Mason Mooney adventure and this confirms him to be one to follow.

What better night to set a story of a paranormal detective than Halloween? Well, not in Mason’s eyes. It is a silly waste of his valuable time spent amongst folk without a clue about the supernatural. But needs must to keep his friend and sidekick happy – Iris has prepared the school’s party and longs to win the best costume competition. And besides, she thinks she has a way to return Mason’s heart, you know, the one he carries in a jar, back into his body and break the witches contract. What ever could go wrong? Apart from a super nice version of yourself appearing to highlight how mean you are and a rabid beast prowling about the party, tearing the place apart.

Seaerra plays with the stereotypes of high school so well that you feel like you’ve spent so long with each character. Her page layouts are inventive and mix graphic novel styles with more traditional picture book pages. The breaking of the 4th wall is used so well, as the narrator has a unique voice. It is like a part time job to them and it is clear they aren’t Mason’s biggest fan. This makes the tone of the story pitch perfect due to him having the highest opinion about himself, despite being average as a paranormal detective.

Now for the teacher bit. As I’m constantly stating, graphic novels are a powerful tool for creating readers. With vocabulary being a huge focus for teachers across the globe, it is important to highlight that graphic novels and comic books often have challenging content for children to encounter. In Mason Mooney, a reader will read: passive-aggressive, bloated, essential, interference, suspicious; and the list goes on. The only word of warning for UK based teachers is those pesky Americanised words; in themselves a good teaching point.

Turns out frights are alright – get scaring those kids ASAP!

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