Ignatius Macfarland has always been teased in school about his name. The other children call him things like “Iggy Piggy” and worse. This has led Ignatius to feel out of place. He is convinced that he must have been dropped off on Earth by aliens. Thinking that they will perhaps come back to pick him up, Ignatius spends his nights watching the sky with his telescope.
But one day, when the teasing gets to be just a little bit too much Ignatius decides to take matters in his own hands. The aliens are taking too long to come pick him up. Ignatius plans to build a spaceship that will take him out in space.
After recruiting a few of his friends and spending a few days at work Ignatius finally has his creation ready: a rickety space ship made out of garbage cans, with a couple pounds of fireworks underneath for propulsion.
When the time comes to test it out Ignatius lights the fuse. Unfortunately he is caught in the explosion. When the blast dies down Ignatius finds himself sitting among the wreckage of his spaceship. The only problem is the landscape around him has changed. The ground is still the same, and Ignatius can see the familiar hills in the distance, but the plants and animals around him are all different. Ignatius’ town and home are gone.
Before long Ignatius realizes that something has gone terribly wrong. Apparently the spaceship’s explosion launched him into some sort of parallel reality where cats act like dogs and trees have spines like cacti.
Then Ignatius discovers the truth about the parallel frequency that his spaceship has taken him to. A former English teacher from Ignatius’ town has already arrive here, and he is doing his best to make this world just like the one he came from, even if it means destroying the local culture.
Ignatius soon finds himself involved in a grand struggle to free the native people from the dictator’s oppressive rule.
“Ignatius Macfarland: Frequenaut” is Paul Feig’s debut kid’s novel. Overall the plot has great possibilities, but I was rather disturbed by the way Paul Feig presented the story. For one thing he uses way too much violence. Ignatius spends much of the story being chased by the dictator’s thugs, who wield battle axes and swords. No one is really hurt or killed, but I still feel that the story is much too violent.
In addition, Paul Feig’s characters use profanity and expletives. Not only are a few outright curses used by one character, but Ignatius himself regularly uses questionable expletives that don’t really conceal anything.
To summarize, I think that “Ignatius Macfarland: Frequenaut” could have been an excellent children’s book, but due to unfortunate decisions by its author the book is barely appropriate for children.