Children’s Book Review – Take a Trip to Black Sand Beach – Farmville


Children’s Book Review – Take a Trip to Black Sand Beach

Posted at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, September 16, 2022

Editor’s note: Page McWilliams is the child of Juanita Giles, executive director of the Virginia Children’s Book Festival, and Longwood University’s assistant vice president of communications, Matthew McWilliams. Each month, Page will share his thoughts on a book he’s read, giving people a child’s perspective.

Hi! My name is Page McWilliams. Once a month I will write a review on the books. I’m 12, in seventh grade, and have two sisters. I like to draw and I like to write. I have two best friends, two dogs and six cats. I also like to share the books that I like.

I like books because either you see an image in your head and believe that’s what something really looks like, or you have a more vivid image and reactions. My favorite books are graphic novels and chapter books.

Let’s dive into what I have for you all today; a review of Richard Fairgray’s “Black Sand Beach” graphic novel series. Part horror, part thriller, part black comedy, the series is about four children, Harry (Dash), Lilly, Elanor, and Andy, who spend the summer at Black Sand Beach, populated by purple-skinned barbarians, and monsters that eat faces and wear them later. Dash thinks he hasn’t been to Black Sand Beach in six years, but he did spend the summer there. When the kids realize Dash has no memory of the previous summer, they work together to figure out why.

Here is an example of what they learn.

“That… that’s what I hit the snake with.”

This is one of my JOURNALS! To do what-

I didn’t steal it… I umm- I found it in the lighthouse. That’s not the weirdest part. Look at the dates.

This is- this is my diary from last summer.

Yes, and every entry is about Black Sand Beach. You were HERE last summer, Dash.

Guaranteed to send chills down their spines, kids will be captivated by the adventures of Dash, Andy, Elanor and Lilly, the Molchuks and monsters like Umbra and Doug. (Who wouldn’t be captivated by a pasty monster called Doug?)

I would give it a solid 9. stars. It’s a mysterious and sometimes spooky series, full of spooky and often detailed illustrations, that will leave kids thirsty for more from the book, not water on the beach. (I heard the water at the beach tasted bad.)

The only reason I took half a star off is because I feel like some of them don’t make much sense, but I’m not sure that’s meant to TO DO. Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t read it just because it’s scary at times; you should. But try not to run to your parents. I actually recommend it to adults who like thrillers, it’s basically the same thing, just a bit more kid-friendly. I enjoyed it because it has all kinds of weird things that capture your mind. There are a lot of bad jokes and good humor. I think similar books are “Cardboard”, “Ghostopolis”, and “Badisland” by Doug Tennapel (not the Doug Monster).

If you like “Black Sand Beach”, I also recommend Kazu Kibushi’s “Amulet” series. The ninth volume should be out soon. You might also like “The Cardboard Kingdom”, by Chad Sell. That’s all for today! Hope you enjoyed it!

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