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- author Jackie French

Friday 23 August 2019

Review: The Gruesome General: Costa Banana

Rosa Fernando is the President’s daughter.

Her father is the much-loved (or so he believes) President Pablo Fernando of Costa Banana.

President Fernando has some strange laws — all children in Costa Banana must be called Pablo, everyone must call him ‘Great Leader Genius’ or ‘Big Strong Man’ and on Fridays everyone must eat banana soup — but the president truly believes everyone loves him, and he believes everyone will love his son Fico when he becomes president, because girls are absolutely not smart enough to become presidents, so Rosa absolutely never will.

Rosa, of course, disagrees. Actually, she disagrees with a lot her father says and does. She knows she would make a great president one day, but she also believes the people should get to choose their leader. 

Rosa takes every opportunity to persuade her father he has it all wrong, but he never listens. 

Until the family discovers there’s a spy in their mansion, and Rosa decides she’ll uncover the spy’s identity and prove to her father once and for all that girls can do anything!

Competing with her brother (who’s also determined to uncover the spy’s identity), Rosa must use her wits to outsmart the spy and reveal who they are and what they are planning. It isn’t easy, particularly when no one in your family believes she can do it, but Rosa won’t give up. 

The Gruesome General: Costa Banana is a funny and fast paced mystery-adventure. Filled with huge doses of fun and even more ridiculousness, it’s a book junior readers are going to adore.

Funky black and white illustrations by Elly Hees are scattered throughout and there are loads of spy tricks to learn along the way. Heaps of fun and an easy read for younger readers, The Gruesome General: Costa Banana is a fabulous mystery adventure for kids, and I dare say the start of a very cool new series.

Title: The Gruesome General: Costa Banana
Author: Jozua Douglas (translated by Michele Hutchison)
Illustrator: Elly Hees
Publisher: Affirm Press, $14.99
Publication Date: 26 March 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925870091
For ages: 9 - 12
Type: Middle Fiction