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In my last post I wrote about the creative partnership of authors Cid and Mo, and their new series of books: ‘The Janksters’, which are designed to appeal to, and help enthuse reluctant boy readers between the ages of 7 and 11.

Cid and Mo were kind enough to send me a copy of their first book: ‘The Janksters and the Talking Slug’, for me to review, and to read with my son Oscar.

Oscar is six, and when he first went to school he flatly refused to learn to read.  It was our journey with Oscar, to find in him the inspiration and enthusiasm for reading, that inspired this blog.

He’s a good test case, although he has long since got over his reluctance to read, and is now devouring books enthusiastically.

My initial thoughts were to read the book with him, given that it is for a slightly higher age group.

He soon put me right about things, as he took the book to bed with him and announced that he didn’t want my help.

Two nights later he announced that he had read it, and he loved it, and he wanted to read it to me.

I was unsure of whether this was true, given that it is 69 pages long and I wasn’t sure how he would cope with some of the more complex words in the book.

Over the next few days he read to me every night, and with the exception of about half a dozen words where he needed my help he read it brilliantly.

Being able to read fluently, and being able to comprehend what it is you are reading are two different matters.  As we read, I asked him questions about the text, and he was able to explain things to me clearly. He was also able to use his imagination to fill out the scenes in the book.

I was delighted.

I was even more delighted that on the second night of reading to me we were going to finish reading at a certain point, and then, when he had achieved that goal, he begged me to sit for longer because he wanted to read me the next part of the story because he found it so funny and he wanted to share it with me and couldn’t wait for the next day.

He now sleeps with the book by his pillow every night, and is very excited that the next book is soon to be published.

I think this speaks volumes for the book’s appeal to young boys.

The story is about two boys called Billy and Sam.  Billy’s Uncle Tallis has a magic joke shop, and he helps Billy and Sam to put the school bully, Dexter Slin, in his place when he gives them a magical talking slug.

The book is fully of silly pranks and small boy humour which Oscar found utterly appealing in every way.  The story is funny and simple, but with lots of interest points to  laugh about and talk about.  It also deals with the more serious issue of bullying, but in a humorous way which puts the heroes of the story, Billy and Sam in charge of what happens to them, and the bully.

Judging by Oscar’s reaction, and my own experience with boy readers of the age group this book is designed for,  I think it will be a big success. The book is fresh, and funny and appealing and is something I think a lot of the boys in our school would actively want to read.

The second book in the series is due to be published soon.

Information about what inspires Cid and Mo, their educational goals and their current book is available via their website. You can find it by clicking on the link here.

You can follow their Twitter feed here: @CidandMo