The Dentist of Darkness by David O'Connell
The Dundoodle Mysteries bk. 2. Bloomsbury Children's books,
2019. ISBN: 9781408887080.
(Age: 7-10) Highly recommended. Themes: Mystery, Dentists, Confectionary, Dragons, magic, friendship. Archie McBudge has a life that most children would dream of. He owns a Confectionary Factory and has magical powers! But for Archie all he really wants is a summer holiday relaxing with his friends and testing, or even inventing, new sweets in the factory.
But it seems he has been summoned by the Wyrdie Tree, the source of all the magic in the town of Dundoodle to save it from dying. He has been told he has magical powers, but he has yet to work out how to make his wyrdworking powers work.
The town sees the arrival of a new threat to his factory in a creepy looking Dentist who seems determined to rid Dundoodle of all sweet things and ruin the upcoming festivities of Unquiet night (a summer version of Halloween). It seems the townspeople are being taken over by his influence, but Archie and his friends soon discover he is not the only enemy in their path - the Mirk is back and is determined to take the magic from the Wyrdie tree when it is at its most vulnerable on Unquiet Night. Archie and his friends face many exciting adventures and near misses in this story, and they need to work together to come up with some imaginative solutions if they are to save the Tree and defeat their enemies.
The book is easy to read and would be great to read to a class as it has plenty of action and danger as well as interesting information about a quirky place that will appeal to children who love fantasy.
This is David O'Connell's second book in this series, a follow up to The Chocolate Factory Ghost where the town of Dundoodle is first introduced. This book has a short introduction to the first book at the end. There is also a map to show the places around Dundoodle that are mentioned in this adventure and this assists readers to follow the children's adventures.