The Joyous Adventures of Whizzojack
David Bush and Jack Zarb Adami
Independently Published (2021)
Reviewed by Amy Lignor for Reader Views (01/2022)
Like everyone else in the world, as a little girl, I had my favorite places. Like my mom’s bedroom where I could lay out beside her and she would read me a book. (Curious George rocked, by the way!) I also loved the inside of my mind after I read a book, because I got to keep it there, see the characters, and dream about it whenever I wished. But maybe my most favorite place was the children’s reading room of the Hotchkiss Library in the small town of Sharon, Connecticut. Mom went to work there every day, and I can’t count how many times I sat in that room after school, or on Saturdays when I ventured to work with her. I would grab a stack of the latest reads—with the coolest covers on the planet—sit on the red or green beanbag chair and proceed to get lost in some new world that I had never dreamed could possibly exist until that writer brought it to life.
In my day, I had Nancy Drew. Over time, I’ve been able to enjoy the adventures within the walls of Hogwarts beside Harry Potter; take off on some exciting romp with Percy Jackson; and become friends with Crisanta Knight – all series that made life fantastic for so many readers. I am always willing and excited to read the next middle-grade or YA title, because now that I have my own grandchildren, I try to teach them that reading is one of the most thrilling things you can do in life and books are easy to become enamored with.
I opened the cover on this one yesterday, and I didn’t stop reading. I got wrapped up in the tale of this eight-year-old boy who has an addiction for superheroes that grace comic books. Good call, by the way; I still wish I had found a way to be Wonder Woman long ago. The star of this show moves forward with his passion and puts on a costume that, of course, offers him special powers, and he dubs himself Whizzojack. Once he goes this superhero route, thirty-six (yes, I said that right) villains arrive from a locale called Freakyland and come out of the woodwork to battle Whizzojack in his city called Jacktown. Each villain is different, but they are delightful to meet and their backstories are rich with detail; they are written so well that the reader finds themselves feeling a menu of emotions for each one. You are also thrilled to learn about the city, itself, and what it has to do with Whizzojack’s work as he fights for justice and equality for all.
Maybe it’s because middle-grade books come around at the right time in life to help young readers find their own tastes, or maybe it’s because these books do not chastise or talk down to children because the authors show respect for their young characters, that kids begin to fall in love with reading. But whatever the reason may be, the writers behind these memorable and fantastical tales should be held in the highest esteem for the adventures they create.
Watching this engaging superhero is a whole lot of fun. It becomes even more fun for this grandma who saw that the second “author” listed on the book cover is Jack Adami. Turns out, this boy was only five years of age when he helped Whizzojack come alive.
The human issues author David Bush takes on are intricate but delivered in a fun, meaningful way, which makes this a book I will open yet again, curl up on the couch with my beautiful granddaughter this weekend, and introduce her to the caring, one-of-a-kind hero: Whizzojack. And I highly recommend that anyone out there with a child in their lives, ages seven through twelve, does the same thing!