The Bad Guys is a series of children’s books written and illustrated by Aaron Blabey. It won several awards, including Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis Nominee, Australian Independent Booksellers Indie Book Award, and Monarch Award Nominee. The series revolves around a group of animal characters who are typically seen as villains, such as a shark, a snake, a wolf, and a piranha. They band together to become “Good Guys” and adventure.
The main theme of the series is the idea that anyone can change their ways and become a hero, no matter their past or reputation. The characters, typically seen as scary or dangerous, come together to use their unique skills and abilities to help others and save the day. The series also explores themes of friendship, teamwork, and the importance of standing up for what is right. I’m here to show the Bad Guys series in order and express my reading experience with you.
Bad Guys Books In Order (Reading Order/Guide)
Each book in the series features a new adventure for the characters, with plenty of humor and action. Overall, “The Bad Guys” series is a fun read for children, with positive messages about personal growth and the power of teamwork.
Each book of the series can be enjoyed as a standalone. However, reading them in order can help you better understand the characters and their development over time. The books do have an overarching story arc that progresses throughout the series. So reading them in order can provide a complete reading experience.
If you are starting the series for the first time, I recommend beginning with the first book, “Bad Guys,.” Then following the series in order will introduce you to the main characters and their motivations. Here are the Bad Guys series in order (17 books):
- The Bad Guys (2015).
- Mission Unpluckable (2015).
- The Furball Strikes Back (2016).
- Attack of the Zittens (2016).
- Intergalactic Gas (2017).
- Alien vs. Bad Guys (2017).
- Do-You-Think-He-Saurus?! (2018).
- Superbad (2018).
- The Big Bad Wolf (2019).
- The Baddest Day Ever (2019).
- Dawn of the Underlord (2020).
- The One?! (2020).
- Cut to the Chase (2021).
- They’re Bee-Hind You! (2021).
- Open Wide and Say Arrrgh! (2022).
- The Bad Guys in the Others?! (2022).
- The Bad Guys in Let the Games Begin! (2023).
Tropes: Children’s literature, Teamwork, Friendship, Action.
Checkout my list: Bad Guys Books List
1. The Bad Guys
The book follows the story of Mr. Wolf, who is tired of being seen as a bad guy and decides to form a team of other misunderstood animals to do some good deeds. The book’s central theme is redemption and breaking free from stereotypes, as Mr. Wolf and his team try to prove that they can be heroes despite their bad reputations.
The book also features a lot of humor and action, making it an engaging read. The illustrations are simple but effective, with a lot of visual humor that will appeal to young readers. The book’s pacing is well done, with a good mix of action, comedy, and character development. Overall, it teaches valuable lessons about teamwork, friendship, and breaking free from stereotypes which is an excellent introduction to the series.
2. Mission Unpluckable
We follow the adventures of Mr. Wolf and his team of reformed villains as they attempt to rescue a chicken from a high-security facility. The characters learn to work together and support each other to achieve their goal. The book also touches on the theme of selflessness, as the characters put their safety on the line to save someone else.
I love a moral lesson about not judging others based on their appearances or past actions, as the characters learn that even villains can become heroes. The illustrations in the book are colorful and expressive, adding to the book’s overall appeal for young readers.
3. The Furball Strikes Back
This book follows the story of Mr. Wolf and his team of reformed villains as they embark on a new mission to save the world from an evil alien invasion. We see the importance of standing up for what is right, even when difficult. The characters face tough challenges and must make difficult decisions to save the world. The book also touches on the theme of friendship and loyalty, as the characters must rely on each other to succeed.
4. Attack of the Zittens
Mr. Wolf and his team face off against an army of alien kittens with explosive acne, known as the Zittens. The book’s message is the importance of accepting others for who they are, even if they are different. The characters learn to work together and get the help of their enemies to defeat the Zittens. The book also touches on forgiveness, acceptance, and teamwork.
5. Intergalactic Gas
Mr. Wolf and his team attempt to save the galaxy from a deadly fart cloud that threatens to destroy everything in its path. The book’s central theme is the importance of environmental responsibility and the consequences of our actions.
The author raises awareness about the impact of pollution and encourages readers to take action to protect the environment. The storyline, plot, narration, and character development are engaging. Overall, it’s an entertaining read that teaches valuable lessons about environmental responsibility and the impact of pollution.
6. Alien vs Bad Guys
Mr. Wolf and his team encounter a group of aliens determined to destroy Earth. We get to see and learn the importance of working together and putting aside differences to achieve a common goal. The characters learn to trust each other and work as a team to defeat the alien invaders.
They discover that Dr. Marmalade is an alien in disguise and are celebrated as heroes for stopping his weapon. My favorite character is Mr. Snake due to his humor and expressions. Art is also praised as being good. However, the book ends on a cliffhanger, as it is unclear if the characters have escaped at the right time.
Mr. Wolf and his team travel back in time to the age of the dinosaurs. Throughout the story, they encounter various dinosaurs, which they initially perceive as threats, but they eventually learn to see things from their perspective and form friendships with them. The book also touches on the theme of facing our fears and overcoming obstacles. It’s suitable for children aged 7-10 and is an excellent addition to the “Bad Guys” series.
Mr. Wolf and his team attempt to save the world from an evil villain known as the Superbad. The book’s main theme is the importance of courage and perseverance in the face of adversity. Throughout the story, the characters face numerous challenges and setbacks, but they never give up and continue to fight for what they believe in.
9. The Big Bad Wolf
Mr. Wolf and his team attempt to clear Mr. Wolf’s name and prove that he is not the “Big Bad Wolf.” They learn to look beyond Mr. Wolf’s fearsome reputation and see him for who he truly is. The book also touches on the theme of redemption and the possibility of change. Mr. Wolf is initially seen as a villain. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that he has a good heart and is trying to make up for his past mistakes.
10. The Baddest Day Ever
This book is about empathy and consideration for others. In the story, Pig the Pug has a bad day and takes his frustrations out on his friends, Trevor the sausage dog and Daisy, the bulldog. He refuses to share his toys and treats and destroys Trevor’s prized possession. However, when Pig gets stuck in a tight spot, his friends rescue him despite his past behavior. This leads Pig to realize the error of his ways, and he apologizes to his friends, showing that he has learned the value of kindness and consideration.
The book’s illustrations are colorful and humorous, with exaggerated facial expressions and body language that will entertain young readers. Overall, “The Baddest Day Ever” is a fun and engaging book that teaches an important lesson about treating others with kindness and empathy.
11. The Baddest Day Ever
The story revolves around the death of Mr. Snake and the invasion of Earth by Dr. Marmalade. The Good Guys Club and the International League of Heroes unite to form a new group called Shadow Squad G to fight the invasion. However, they are almost defeated until Mr. Snake returns with all the superpowers and helps them defeat Dr. Marmalade. Mr. Snake offers the aliens a chance to free themselves from Dr. Marmalade’s bullying, and they agree to take him to a faraway galaxy.
Although the story was not as funny as other books in the series, the illustrations were excellent. The return of Mr. Snake and his acquisition of superpowers made for an exciting plot twist. The book ends with Mr. Piranha and Mr. Shark discussing the potential consequences of Mr. Snake’s newfound powers, leaving room for a possible continuation of the story in the next book.
12. Dawn of the Underlord
The Bad Guys are trying to stop the evil Dr. Marmalade from taking over the world. They travel to the planet of the Underlord, where they encounter various challenges and obstacles, including strange creatures and treacherous terrain. Along the way, they learn more about each other and the importance of teamwork.
The book’s central theme is the power of teamwork and collaboration in overcoming challenges. The story also touches on the idea of redemption, as the Bad Guys try to make up for their past misdeeds by using their skills and abilities for good.
If you enjoy children’s books with funny and relatable characters, adventure, and humor, then the “Bad Guys” series is worth checking out.
13. Cut to the Chase
Mr. Snake tries to help the team by turning them evil but ultimately realizes he would rather die well than live badly. Multiple plotlines involve new characters and the gang descending a mountain of glass shards. When they catch up to Mr. Snake, it becomes an emotional journey to save him while embarking on a second multiverse trip.
14. They’re Bee-Hind You!
Mr. Wolf taught Mr. Snake both how to be good and bad to stand up to his bullies. However, Snake eventually turned bad again, causing emotional turmoil for the team. This book is not fast-paced as previous books but emphasizes the deep exploration of friendship.
15. Open Wide and Say Arrrgh!
This book is an improvement over the previous one, with lead-up moments that finally serve a purpose. The evil Splaarghön is coming from many directions, including a drill-crazy dentist and nurse. The “bad” heroes come together to avoid falling under his traps.
16. The Bad Guys in the Others?!
The book is an excellent addition to the series, with lots of action. There are some reveals, and it ends on a cliffhanger. Due to the many characters and side quests, reading the entire series for a refresher might be beneficial. However, the plot does not move much, with the author continuing to crank out more books, which is sad.
17. The Bad Guys in Let the Games Begin!
The illustrated series features Bad Guys doing good deeds, whether the reader likes it or not. In this book, the group will be reunited. Readers will meet the real Dread Overlord Splaarghön, and one character will change everything readers thought they knew. This is the highly anticipated book that readers have been waiting for.
I did not enjoy the last few books in the series, as the humor and fun elements are missing. You may want to try The Bad Guys series if you enjoy action, humor, and adventure with illustrations throughout.
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