Wednesday 13 March 2024

The Moon-Faced Ghoul-Thing - Barry Hutchison and Chris Mould - Benjamin Blank Book 3

The Moon-Faced Ghoul-Thing
Benjamin Blank Book 3
Chris Mould (Illustrator)
ISBN 9780857635235
eISBN 9780857635242

Last year before beginning this series I encountered the works of J.D. Kirk I also discovered that Kirk publishes children’s books as Barry Hutchison, and other adult fiction as Barry J. Hutchison. I have read 25 stories published under the Kirk name and I am now branching out to the ones under the Hutchinson names and have read another 24 under those names. He is over 200 books across the three pen names, according to his website. But I have been unable to find a complete list. This is the fourteenth under the name Barry Hutchison. If I had known that or I might not have picked up this first one. Friends call me a ‘completionist’ in that when I find an author I like, I try to read everything they have published. I have enjoyed all I have read from his pen and this one was no different.

The description of this novel is:

“In an alternate 15th century, where dragons roam, sailing ships transform into submarines, and blacksmiths build steampunk robots, ten-year-old orphan Benjamin Blank battles monsters, rescues people in peril and discovers fantastic new lands, but never quite manages to get his homework handed in on time.

In his third adventure, it's the Feast of Scarrabus, and Ben and his friends are out, stalking the dark streets, armed only with bags of sweets. But Ben doesn't play by the rules, and soon the Moon-Faced Ghoul-Thing is after him, dragging him into a dark realm from which there's no return... Or is there?

An hilarious series from Barry Hutchison, perfect for fans of Beast Quest, and brilliantly illustrated by Chris Mould.”

This is a good early chapter book or middle grade read. It is recommended for readers 7-9 years of age but I could see readers who are reluctant readers or who struggle with reading enjoying it up to ages 12 or 13. There are numerous illustrations by Chris Mould done in a pen and ink style. The illustrations add to the story, and are often as humorous as the words by Hutchison. Our main cast of characters include:

Benjamin Blank
Paradise Little
Wesley Chant
The Moon-Faced Ghoul-Thing
Mr Nuttendudge the Goblin
Burnie the Dragon
Lord Scarrabus

This story is an adventure or quest In that on the night of the Feast of Lord Scarrabus, children are supposed to leave treats on all the porches. One of the three thinks since it doesn’t matter and isn’t real why should ne not keep on the candies. That was his first big mistake. Benjamin Blank strikes again, nothing much has happened for a few months and he is bored. So worst case they have an adventure, best case he gets a sack full of loot. Then the Moon-faced Ghoul-Thing takes the three friends in the middle of the night. He deposits them in Lord Scarrabus’s castle, and gives them their clothes. Things go downhill from here. 

The story was another fun read. As is often the case with Hutchison’s writings for young readers it has humorous characters, intense action, and just a fair bit of humour. It is a story young readers would love, especially reluctant readers. The style reminds me a lot of the works of Dan Gutman, Tony Abbot, Andrew Clements, and Chris d'Lacey. It was an entertaining read, currently this is the end of this series. To some extent the story does wrap up, but I feel like there could be more instore for the trio, or maybe that is just hopeful thinking on my part. A fun read in a great series for young readers.   

The Moon-Faced Ghoul-Thing - Barry Hutchison and Chris Mould - Benjamin Blank Book 3 Illustration 1

The Moon-Faced Ghoul-Thing - Barry Hutchison and Chris Mould - Benjamin Blank Book 3 Illustration 2

The Moon-Faced Ghoul-Thing - Barry Hutchison and Chris Mould - Benjamin Blank Book 3 Illustration 3

Books by J.D. Kirk:

DCI Logan Series:

Robert Hoon Thrillers:

DI Heather Filson Series:

Contributed to:
Everyday Kindness: A Collection of Uplifting Tales to Brighten Your Day

Books as Barry J. Hutchison:
Dan Deadman Space Detective Series:

Space Team Series:
The Search for Splurt 
Song of the Space Siren 
The Guns of Nana Joan 
Return of the Dead Guy 
Planet of the Japes 
The Time Titan of Tomorrow 
The King of Space Must Die 
Sting of the Mustard Mines 
Sentienced to Death
The Hunt for Reduk Topa
A Lot of Weird Space Shizz: Collected Short Stories

Sidekicks Initiative Series:

The Bug Books Series:
Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Complete Season One

Other Books:

Children’s books as Barry Hutchison:
Invisible Fiends Series:
The Crowmaster 
Doc Mortis 
The Beast 
The Darkest Corners 

The Missing Remote of the Apocalypse
The Book of Doom 

Benjamin Blank Series:

Beaky Malone Series:

Generator Rex Series:

Living Ted Series:
Revenge of the Living Ted
Invasion of the Living Ted

Spectre Collectors Series:
Too Ghoul for School
A New York Nightmare!

Other works:

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