Reader Reviewed Jonny Jakes Investigates the Hamburgers of Doom by Malcolm Judge

Jonny Jakes Investigates the Hamburgers of Doom

Written by Malcolm Judge

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

June 2015 Debut of the Month The Hamburgers of Doom is exactly the kind of nutty adventure that fans of sci-fi comics will love. Jonny Jakes is undercover editor of a scurrilous school newspaper, regularly dishing the dirt on teachers. It’s too much for his headmaster, who steps down, but there’s something really odd about his replacement. Jonny misses out on the scoop – New Head is Alien – but organises resistance when he works out what – or rather who – is on the menu for the school’s celebration lunch. Jonny has a great line in deadpan humour, the situation comedy is satisfyingly wacky, and the author (a teacher) pokes fun at staff and pupils alike! ~ Andrea Reece

A Piece of Passion from Penny West, Curious Fox editor I’ve got something I’ve been keeping secret. It’s a killer scoop that needs to be brought to the attention of the public. And you can read all about it on June 4th.

Jonny runs an underground school newspaper, which exposes hypocritical teachers and moldy baked beans in the school canteen. But he must constantly avoid being unmasked himself.

It could be a lonely job, but Jonny quickly discovers an ally in Norris Morris, who’s the brawn to Jonny’s brains. Together they set about investigating some strange goings on at Woodford School, putting their mettle to the ultimate test when they must enter the girls’ toilets (duh-duh-duuuuuuuh)!

One important part of Jonny’s investigative journal is his photographic evidence, complete with doodles to tell the full story. When we were looking for an illustrator to capture Jonny’s style, Alan Brown hit the nail on the head first time with his drawing of our junior journalist – camera at the ready, determined expression.

For an editor, there’s a magical stage where you send the edited manuscript to the designer and it comes back looking like a real book, with all the newspaper clippings, Post-its and survival guide pages come to life. Though sometimes, you do get a little too involved and I did have a lengthy discussion with the designer about the exact shade of neon yellow to use on the front cover.

The Curious Fox team and I are so excited for this world exclusive to hit the headlines in June. Just watch out for the alien snot on page 77.

Longlisted for the Times/Chicken House writing competition. The judges commented: "the story really gallops along from one situation to the next at a rollicking pace....sparky writing".

Stop press...

Malcolm will be appearing at the Cheltenham Festival on Sunday 11th October. Click here to find out more.

Further information from the Cheltenham Festival.

Reader Reviews

Kids love to read and so in addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read their full reviews.

  • Alexander Bisland, age 9 - 'I really enjoyed this book and the pictures and comics in it. I recommend this book to 8+ readers who like picture, adventure and long books! I read it in a day!'
  • Emily Lonsdale, age 9 - 'Fantastically funny book in the style of a journal'
  • Hannah Maxwell, age 14 - 'This is an amusing and well thought out book. This is a book that both the children and their parents will enjoy.'
  • Lucas, age 10 - 'A funny book about aliens and reporters for a newspaper that has been banned.'
  • Toby, age 8 - 'This book was exciting, scary and intense. I was excited to keep reading right to the last word. I wouldn't want to be at Jonny's school but I do like the idea of being an undercover reporter.'
  • Tomasz Hawryszczuk, age 10 - 'Really funny book about a boy called Jonny (but that's not his real name). If you like ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ and ‘Tom Gates’, you will like this too.'
  • Henry Smith, age 10 - 'I really enjoyed this book as its complete nonsense but really funny.'
  • Matthew Kirk, age 9 - 'I really enjoyed this book, Jonny was a pretty cool character. This book had me laughing out loud and made me want to keep on reading. 9/10'
  • Sam Harper, age 11 - 'A brilliantly funny book which I polished off in a day, this is a great start to a new series. I can’t wait to get my hands on it.'
  • William Longlands, age 11 - '5/10 I found this book quite weird. There was way too much fantasy in it for me.'
  • Isaac Phelan, age 11 - 'This brilliant book took me to another world. No author could have crammed more hilarious jokes into one book. If you like aliens, food or plans for world domination, this is the book for you.'
  • Alex Hall, age 9 - 'The title made me think that this was going to be an amusing story. It started off being funny but ended with a serious situation.  I enjoyed this book!'
  • Melissa - 'The book is well written and keeps you wanting to read on. Rating: 9.5/10.'


Jonny Jakes Investigates the Hamburgers of Doom by Malcolm Judge

Meet Jonny Jakes, undercover schoolboy reporter. He offends everyone he writes about and hates anyone finding out his real name.

It's not Jonny Jakes.

When a new head teacher rolls in to town, Jonny sniffs out his first earth-shattering exclusive. He just didn't expect it to be so out-of-this-world....

About the Author

Malcolm Judge

Malcolm Judge has always dreamed of being a writer, but along the way he’s tried his hand at many different jobs: newspaper boy, waiter, caddy, pot washer, conservation officer, carer, tree surgeon before finally settling on teaching. He is now a drama teacher and fits his writing around his day job. In a quest for world fame, Malcolm competed in The World Coal Carrying Championships. He did not win, but he did go on to beat the winner (his former PE teacher) in a training race, which almost counts as world fame. He lives in Cumbria with his wife and three sons.

A Q&A with Malcolm Judge

Describe your book in one sentence? Jonny Jakes (undercover schoolboy reporter) Vs Mr. Jones (evil alien maniac).

What inspired you to write your book? The opportunity to try and be rude and funny at the same time.

Favourite character in your book? Jonny

Favourite sentence or line in your book? ‘Out there was T.V., electricity and food that wouldn’t kill you.’

Describe yourself in three words? Optimistic, creative, modest.

Shakespeare or Dickens? Shakespeare

Your favourite author? Too many to choose from.

Favourite character from a book? Huckleberry Finn

If you weren’t an author, you would be… An international film star

Favourite place/setting to read a book? Somewhere in the mountains with a cup of tea.

If you had a dinner party what three authors or characters from literature would you invite? Shakespeare, Gandalf, Death (The Terry Pratchett version).

Where do you get your ideas from? It’s a good question and I’m not really sure. The best ones have a habit of coming completely out of nowhere.

Do you base your characters on people you know? Not consciously but I’m sure that must happen from time to time.

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Book Info


240 pages


Malcolm Judge
More books by Malcolm Judge


Curious Fox

Publication date

4th June 2015




Publisher Profile

Curious Fox is an imprint of Curious Fox


Curious Fox is an exciting imprint for young readers of all ages.  Our mission is to publish imaginative, creative, and jaw-droppingly enjoyable books that will take readers on a journey through new adventures and experiences. Inspired by the curious nature of the fox, the imprint is designed to spark the curiosity of young readers, from beautiful picture books; un-put-down-able middle grade series to thought-provoking YA novels. Curious Fox is also the official publisher of Warner Brothers brands including DC Comics Justice League, Looney Tunes and top dog Scooby-Doo.

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