I feel incredibly honoured to part of the Tommy vs. Cancer blog tour. Following Tommy’s story has been incredibly moving, emotional, and eye-opening. Tommy has been bravely fighting the terrible disease and has managed to keep up his good humour each step of the way in his blog here.
People like Tommy are a true inspiration for people fighting cancer. Despite some of the horrific ordeals that Tommy has been through, he has been incredibly strong-willed and positive. For that reason it’s a real privilege to be part of the blog tour.
Today I am reviewing Tommy’s children’s book Scream Street: The Terror of the Nightwatchman.
The ninth crazy adventure in this comedy horror series for ghouls and girls may keep them up at night reading under the covers!
When Luke and Resus wake up to discover that Cleo has been kidnapped, the intrepid pair follow a perplexing trail into a strange new G.H.O.U.L. community. Here they stumble upon a terrible plot involving the much feared Nightwatchman, who feeds on children s dreams in order to satisfy his own evil thirst for power. Can the boys continue their quest to return the second relic, while also rescuing Cleo from her greatest nightmare?
Reading this book brought me right back to when I was a child. I absolutely loved anything to do with magic and the supernatural as a kid, as you would expect. I felt like that little girl all over again, the girl who devoured the Charlie Bone series and adored anything comedic.
Now that I work in children’s publishing myself, I was able to appreciate just how charming, appealing, hilarious and engaging this book is. Luke and Resus have this amazing chemistry together. I love how they have so much fun together whilst still maintaining that relationship where occasionally Luke has to pull Resus back in line. Resus is a very loveable and fun-loving character, but doesn’t always have a lot of common sense. Luke balances that out and is really quite clever, and the character pairing just really works.
The big variety of supernatural characters in this book: witches, banshees, trolls, werewolves, vampires, ogres – is perfect for a children’s book. They are not faceless, nameless characters either: each has their own unique personality. Tommy has built a real world, a real universe, in these books, and even reading book 9 was not difficult in terms of catching up with the story.
The concept of the Nightwatchman, that steals children when they’re in the throes of a terrible nightmare and then keeps them captive, permanently asleep, is such an ingenious idea. In this way Tommy has expertly managed to inject real fear and terror into an equally hilarious and charming tale.
The story is absolutely packed with action and literary style, while being completely accessible for children. The writing style just fuels the imagination, and then provides such rich imagery for those who might not have a burning imagination:
To Luke, everything seemed to happen in slow motion. As he crashed through the smaller branches, his vision was filled by the rapidly approaching flock of birds, beaks open wide. For a brief moment, the ravens appeared to merge together to form a snarling, shadowy creature with blazing white eyes.
Wonderful illustrations are such a charming addition to this lovely tale, and despite the fact that I’m 25 years old, I’m seriously tempted to go back and read the others. I think I probably will. You’re never too old to read children’s books! And this one was really great.
About the author:
Tommy is the author of the popular 13-bookScream Street series for 7 to 10 year olds, published by Walker Books in the UK andCandlewick Press in the US. His other books include Zombie!, Wolf and Uniform(winner of the Hackney Short Novel Award) for Barrington Stoke, Boredom Bustersand Quick Fixes For Kids’ Parties (How To Books), and Making A Drama Out Of A Crisis (Network Continuum).
In theatre, Tommy’s plays have been performed to thousands of children on national tours to venues such as The Hackney Empire, Leeds City Varieties, and Nottingham Playhouse. These productions include Hey Diddle Diddle,Rumplestiltskin, Jack & Jill In The Forgotten Nursery, and Humpty Dumpty And The Incredibly Daring Rescue Of The Alien Princess From Deep Space. He is also responsible for five episodes of the CBBC TV series, Planet Cook(Platinum Films).
As an actor, Tommy played the Clearlake MC in the West End musical Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story for over eight years, in addition to roles in the moviesZombie Love Stories (where he battled hordes of Scottish undead) and Going Off Big Time (where he was beaten up on a bouncy castle). A veteran of pantomime, he has portrayed just about every comic character from Abanazer to an Ugly Sister.
Tommy lives in Lancashire with his wife and two sons. He is a HUGE fan of all things Doctor Who, plays blues harmonica, and makes a mean balloon poodle. He sees sleep as a waste of good writing time.
If you want to donate to Tommy and his family during this financially and emotionally difficult time, please visit this link.