DiscoverMiddle Grade

Midnight on Fireworks Island

By Christopher Ciko

Worth reading 😎

Great story and characters! Loved the whole idea of a points reward system for prison! Ending seemed quick but overall, a great book!

Synopsis

Midnight on Fireworks Island is a hilarious yet deep and compelling story of two mischievous boys sent to Rockweiler Academy, a reform school for boys too young to be enter into the main prison system. Rockweiler is notoriously evil. There are stories about a mysterious School Master that could read people's minds, and punishments were so severe kids begged to be paddled. For those who not only survive Rockweiler but rise to the top and graduate with honors, there is Fireworks Island; a private island were you light off your own personal fireworks display every night.

4 stars for the story idea and the character development! Loved the whole idea of the points system in the academy and how the boys had to work on their ability to follow rules. Joey and Figgy were fantastic and it was good to see them grow and change in their new environment. There were a few formatting and grammar issues in the Kindle version, and a few chapters that weren't all the necessary to the storyline. Also the end seemed a little quick compared to the rest, hence the drop to a 3 star but overall, I really did enjoy it!

Reviewed by

I am a substitute teacher in Arizona and love to find new Young Adult and Middle Grade books to suggest to the students. I am currently working towards a Master's program at ASU in Secondary Education so I can teach English Language Arts to Junior High students.

Synopsis

Midnight on Fireworks Island is a hilarious yet deep and compelling story of two mischievous boys sent to Rockweiler Academy, a reform school for boys too young to be enter into the main prison system. Rockweiler is notoriously evil. There are stories about a mysterious School Master that could read people's minds, and punishments were so severe kids begged to be paddled. For those who not only survive Rockweiler but rise to the top and graduate with honors, there is Fireworks Island; a private island were you light off your own personal fireworks display every night.

Strike One


              Although I am only a teenager, I have already lived a remarkable life. It has been so crazy that I am telling this story from jail. I wanted to share my story, so it wouldn’t happen to you. I know what you’re thinking; it could never happen to me. Believe me, that’s exactly what I thought. Here’s my story.  

               I was born with a certain sense about me. As a young boy they would say, if you have a question, whatever it is, ask Joey. It might not look like it, but he knows the answer. My legend started when I picked my first Super bowl champion at eighteen months old. This sense was telling me more then which team was going to win professional sporting events, this sense told me right from wrong.

               The thing is I never listened to the Voice. I heard the Voice but never listened, that was until one day; I said STOP! I guess its time to introduce myself. My name is Joey Johnson, every one knew me as JJ, and believe me everyone in my town knew me. By the age of four, I was three-for-three in picking Super bowl champions, two of which were upsets. I was already a local celebrity so when I disappeared it made national news.

               I’m the middle child in a family of three and as you’ll see sometimes I got lost. Once a month, my Mom, my Dad, my older brother Michael and my younger sister Kate went to Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house for dinner. Their house was one of my favorite places, not because of the house but because of the strange contradiction of smells that bombarded my nostrils.

               You see, Grandma’s and Grandpa’s house was directly across the highway from a Krispy Krème donut factory. That factory produced a smell better than anything in the world to me. I’ve even debated my Sunday school teacher that that’s what heaven smelled like; she being a large woman was easily swayed by my argument.

               On the fateful day, as we pulled up I didn’t see anything but the Krispy Kreme donut factory. The car doors popped open and I inhaled deeply through my nose.…..Yes! We’re down wind from the donut factory and the smell was heavenly. I shut my eyes and breathed deep only through my nose. I was eating donuts with my nose, that’s all I needed, the smell of the donuts paralyzed me. My Dad knew the routine; he unbuckled my safety belt, lifted me out of the car and carried me up to the house. For as long as I could remember, one of my life’s goals was to find the source of that incredible smell.

               A great contradiction brewed inside me as my Father set me down on the porch. You see, I loved my Grand Parents, but their house stunk! I don’t know what it could be, I looked for piles of dirty underwear; I ask them if they had a pet skunk. I never figured it out; it’s an unsolved mystery still on my books.

               The unpleasant odor of the house actually made the smell of those sweet, sweet, donuts even more alluring. I would say hello, then as quickly as possible slip outside to the front hammock. I would lay back, close my eyes and sniff. By closing my eyes I was able to concentrate all my senses on smell. It was like I was living inside a giant Krispy Krème donut.

               My stomach was already growling when I heard Grandma yell out that she had forgotten to turn on the oven and dinner would be two hours late. I was so hungry; I became possessed by the smell. Like a zombie, I got up from the hammock, crossed the yard and slipped through the fence. 

               I don’t even remember how I made it across the eight-lane highway, but before I knew it, I was crawled under a barbed-wire fence and shimmed my way into the Krispy Krème donut factory.

               I slid down a vent and found myself inside a gigantic donut machine, a machine that had a sole purpose of making donuts. I watched mesmerized by row after row of donuts that suddenly appeared, and move on, only to be replaced by another row, and another row. I imagined the machine was giving birth to them. I was hungry; I reached up and grabbed one. Yum, it was delicious. I grabbed another. It was heaven. I grabbed another. There were donuts all around me. I grabbed another.

               It was incredible. I wanted to sit down but there wasn’t any furniture under the donut machine. I decide to use the most abundant resource available - donuts. I snatched donuts off the conveyor belt and made a chair out of donuts. It was super comfortable and I have to admit, rather stylish. By the time I finished my donut bed I forgotten all about dinner or my parents.

               The police arrived at Grandma’s and Grandpa’s probably about the time I had eaten my thirty-fifth donut and I was lying down on my most comfortable donut bed. The FBI and SWAT team arrived about the time I was drifting off to sleep.

               They questioned everyone in the neighborhood. I made the national news. It was a mystery so they brought in a Psychic. The Psychic said, “I have a strong feeling he is in heaven.” That made my parents faint.

I was happily living inside the donut machine. Every now and then one of the workers would get a glimpse of me through the machinery. I became like Bigfoot, an Alien, the Loch Ness Monster of the donut factory. Workers began talking about the mysterious Donut boy who would pop up, grab a donut and disappear. I was also gaining three pounds a day.

If you’re wondering how they finally found me, I had gained so much weight from the donuts I could barely move. I would wake up on my donut bed, roll over, take a few bites of my donut pillow and go back to sleep. One morning I was awakened by a worker, they had stopped the machine to see why donut production was down. Everyone was happy to see me, but I was still in trouble.

About the author

Christopher Ciko is an accomplished writer, teacher and father. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and five kids. view profile

Published on November 20, 2015

50000 words

Genre: Middle Grade

Reviewed by

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