The Quest Diaries of Max Crack by Jules Faber

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Macmillan, 2019, ISBN: 9781760783907.
(Age: 8+) Themes: New school, Friendship, School life, Family life. The Quest Diaries of Max Crack is Jules Faber's first children's book. he's the popular illustrator of Ahn Do's Weirdo series. Written in a diary format with lined pages, filled with humourous cartoons, action diagrams and funny conversations with speech bubbles, only child Max is anxious to fit in at his new school. The stream of consciousness style gives the reader insight his school and home life. To help him settle in, he's prepared a Quest, a list of tasks and challenges some harder than others to fulfil.
Max meets his soon to be best friend when he lands in a flooded drain and hits his head on a submerged trolley. Frankie comes from a big, rambunctious family full of older brothers fighting. They speak in a descriptive new way and welcome Max, who is an only child, into their home. Frankie and Max's relationship is built on a shared love of drawing cartoons, after school adventures, practising for the upcoming Spelling Bee and completing the Quest. He wants to make a new friend, explore his new town, win a trophy, solve a mystery and have his photo in the local paper.
Max and Frankie learn to trust and help each other and as all friends do compete against each other, fall out and then reconnect. Along the way, there's a search for buried treasure, an epic bike ride, a chance to earn money by selling copies of their comic book at the school fete and plenty of joking around. Each boy has a great sense of humour and love to talk in puns.
Faber's cartoons add humour to the fast-paced action, they are integral to Max's diary entries. The Quest Diaries of Max Crack gives the reader insight into the chaotic mind of an eleven year as he copes with a new town, home and school. Exploring themes of friendship, acceptance, identity with a dash of mystery and adventure, this is an engaging addition to the diary genre.
Rhyllis Bignell