Tommy V Cancer – Zombies & Copy Cat

Blog Posts, Dyslexia Friendly, Shorter Novels, Young Adult / Sunday, June 19th, 2016

Tommy V Cancer

Welcome to the Book Monster leg of the #TommyVCancer blog tour. I was glad to be able to post my blog on Father’s Day because, although Tommy’s battle with cancer has been heartbreaking to read, among it all his blog post about his son Arran really touched me. It is incredibly heartfelt and caring and showed what a wonderful father this man is. Please do take the time to read it here:
– TommyVCancer Blog – Arran

Now Tommy has a fight of his own on and bloggers have united to help him out. Diagnosed with stage 4 throat cancer means Tommy has been unable to do class visits, his main bread and butter or even write that much. So we want to help!

Throughout the tour lots of bloggers having been reviewing various books of Tommy’s. If you like the sound of them, then please do buy them or borrow from your library. And maybe even help Tommy and his family by donating what you can, or by becoming a patreon for a monthly fee in return for lots of great writing goodies. All information can be found at the following websites:


Patreon Link:

Paypal Link:

So, down to the books!! I’m a big fan of Tommy Donbavand’s fantastically frightening stories, including the incredibly popular Scream Street series. However, I wanted to select two books one for reluctant teen readers and one aimed specifically at children with dyslexia as I think this is something Tommy does really rather well.



First up is Zombie! Published by Barrington Stoke and including illustrations from Tom Percival.

Zombie! is a short story of two young children, who, on visiting their late Grandad’s grave meet a real zombie called Jake. He’s not your typical walking dead, and soon Nathan learns that although Jake has been dead for 60 years and his arm keeps falling off, this doesn’t get in the way of this party animal having a good time!!


Firstly, this book has been specifically designed to suit more advanced readers with dyslexia. It has off white paper, clear font, plenty of paragraph spacing and brilliant illustrations to break up the text. It’s ideal for children with dyslexia, but also, makes a perfectly great read for ANY child at all.


This is where Tommy excels, because this story is packed full of action, anticipation, scary moments, funny moments, yet it’s a quick read. Despite the shorter length for a middle fiction book, it doesn’t feel rushed at all, Tommy is the master of suspense and builds the story up at the perfect pace. It contains some scary parts, but not so much that I would feel worried at all recommending it to any of our library visitors, because the balance of horror and humour is perfectly done! It would make for an ideal book for parent and child to share together, I can see lots of chuckles being generated by this.

Tom Percival’s illustrations are superb. They have a graphic novel style to them which will stop the book feeling like a younger reader for those children who may be self conscious of having to select a short novel like this. They are a wonderful, visual support to the text.

All in all a fantastically fun accessible romp ideal for various ages, abilities and genders.


Next up is Copy Cat, again written by Tommy Donbavand of course and published by Badger Learning. This is one from a series of books, Teen Reads III, designed specifically for reluctant teen readers. Essentially a short story, yet not lacking in any of the impact, excitement or plot that a longer novel would contain. These teen shorter fiction books pack a huge punch.

Copy Cat is the story of Catherine ‘Cat’ Willows, the new girl at school who struggles to fit in as her peculiar behaviour attracts the wrong attention. Kind girl Stacey feels sorry for Cat, so befriends her. Things start off well, but soon Cat starts behaving more oddly than ever and things take a very sinister turn.

I won’t say anymore than that because the thing I loved about this book was the unexpected plot developments, the twists and turns. Copy Cat is a fast paced rollercoaster ride, which is truly gripping and has an ending which will leave you open mouthed. It’s a very creepy tale, which is all the more scary because it’s really quite believable. Tommy is an expert writer. He doesn’t patronise with these stories. The flow and vocabulary is wonderful and it sucks you into the story headfirst. I seriously could not put this down.

The cover designs for these books, and this in particular are great, they have a spooky grown up feel and would be tempting to any teen. But the content, Tommy’s exceptional writing, is where these stories are special. I’d gladly recommend them to our teen borrowers, the reluctant readers or those who just happen to enjoy a shorter story.

So, two brilliant books. Please do check them out, or any of Tommy Donbavand’s work, he knows what he’s doing when it comes to writing kid lit.


Blog Tour Twitter Chat

Join us!! At the end of the blog tour we will be chatting over on Twitter all things Donbavand!

This will be on 30th June 2016, 8 – 9pm

The hashtag for the chat is #tommyvcancer


About Tommy Donbavand:


Tommy is the author of the popular 13-book Scream Street series for 7 to 10 year olds, published by Walker Books in the UK and Candlewick Press in the US.  His other books include Zombie!, Wolf and Uniform (winner of the Hackney Short Novel Award) for Barrington Stoke, Boredom Busters and Quick Fixes For Kids’ Parties (How To Books), and Making A Drama Out Of A Crisis (Network Continuum).

Tommy lives in Lancashire with his wife and two sons.  He is a HUGE fan of all things Doctor Who, plays blues harmonica, and makes a mean balloon poodle.  He sees sleep as a waste of good writing time.



Thank you for reading this very important Book Monster blog and for any contribution you can make to help Tommy.



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