Few authors can pull off a children’s book that starts by killing off the protagonist in the first paragraph. In the The Fall of Fergal, Philip Ardagh not only pulls it off but does it in a way that makes you want to laugh (after you’re done squirming from the image of Fergal falling out of a window and hitting the pavement with a SPLAT!). This is the first book in a trilogy (yes I know, another trilogy!) and it’s just as delightfully wacky as Philip Ardagh’s other books. Packed with wacky characters (there is a talented typist who turns into a jackal, a mustachioed ventriloquist and a pair of twins pretending to be one person) and bizarre situations (after going SPLAT! Fergal’s brain ends up preserved in pickling vinegar) this story definitely lives up to being The First Unlikely Exploit. It’s a great read for elementary-age kids.