Crack up written and illustrated by Jules Faber

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Max Crack series. Macmillan, 2020. ISBN: 9781760783914.
(Age: 8+). Recommended. Crack Up by Jules Faber is the second in the Max Crack series. The books are hand written in journal style and feature illustrations and diagrams, conversations and entertaining anecdotes throughout. In this story Max and his best mate Frankie are on the search for a new quest or two. The major quests turn out to include finding a meteorite and having it named after them, reuniting two feuding sisters, making a movie The Quest for Freedom Island, setting a world record with their classmates and the final quest - attending a pop concert. Over the course of the journal they undertake a number of smaller quests as well with support for all quests from their family and friends. The two boys also have a talent for drawing as well as vivid imaginations and create comics to sell. Their strong friendship and comradery is key to the story but in this book there is also an added interest when they both begin to show an awareness of girls of their own age.
Jules Faber is a well know cartoonist and illustrator who has illustrated the WeirDo series by comedian Anh Do, David Warner's Kaboom Kid series, Michael Pryor's Leo Da Vinci series and Alex Ratt's Stinky Street Stories. He has an intuitive understanding about what style appeals to those middle primary readers who enjoy humour, slapstick comedy and an action packed read. At the end of the book are blank pages for the reader to complete with headings such as Your Quest List, Your Favourite Movie, World Records you want to set plus Places you want to explore. Themes: Friendship, Journal Writing, Quests, World Records, School Life, Family Life, Humour.
Kathryn Beilby