A fellow English teacher recommended Jasper Fforde as an author I should read a few years back. She suspected that I would enjoy his dry humor. She was right.
I decided to start with his YA series The Chronicles of Kazam because I wanted to find another series to recommend to my students who are Harry Potter fans. Not only can I recommend this first book in the series to my students, but also to any of my friends who enjoyed Harry Potter.
The story is this fantastic social commentary about greed, commercialism, entitlement, deception, and more, but it's perfectly balanced by imaginative world building. Even if younger readers don't always pick up on Fforde's underlying messages, they'll enjoy every whimsical detail, right down to the Quarkbeast.