What to read after... Dread Wood 28/02/24
The Last Firefox
Charlie would like to be braver; to not be scared by the geese in the park and to have the courage to stand up to the bullies at school. If he can't do that, how can he be a proper big brother to the new baby his two dads are hoping to adopt?
Then a magical door to another world brings him a Firefox which is under threat from a bad king and a monstrous shape-shifting beast. To keep the fox cub safe, Charlie must keep him a secret. But that's easier said than done when it has a tendency to burst into flames, with chaotic consequences.
Charlie must search his soul and overcome his fears if he's to succeed in his mission. But sometimes everyone needs a little help from their friends.
The fantasy and reality strands of this funny, heart-warming adventure provide wonderful contrasts. The genuinely scary beast is a constant, looming presence but the practicalities of hiding a flammable creature at school bring things right down to earth.
It's great to see an adoptive family with same-sex parents as incidental to an enchanting tale about loyalty, love, self-confidence and finding your inner courage.
Note: Charlie and his friends take a life-threatening risk on a railway line. Parents/teachers may wish to discuss this with readers.