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STAR WARS: THE HIGH REPUBLIC

ESCAPE FROM VALO

From the Star Wars: The High Republic series

An immersive and compassionate adventure.

Far from Republic aid, beyond the impassable Stormwall, four young Jedi and an aspiring space pirate band together to fight the tyrannical Nihil regime.

After the fall of Starlight Beacon, Jedi Padawan Ram Jomaram followed his instincts back to his home planet, Valo, in hopes of gathering a resistance, but when he arrived, the conquering Nihil had already beaten Valo into submission. Under the guise of the Scarlet Skull, Ram persists alone, until three stranded younglings discover his hideout and insist on joining him. Fourteen-year-old Zyle Keem, descendant of a legendary pirate, burns for the chance to prove themself on a dangerous mission, but once again, their mother leaves them behind in boring safety. When Zyle overhears rumors about a treasure trove of medical supplies submerged on a sunken ship on Valo, they seize the opportunity for glory. This coming-of-age adventure thrusts into hyper speed from the opening scenes, fueled by high action, suspenseful conflict, and perilous stakes. Older and Wong develop a racially diverse and casually queer cast of complex characters, including the antagonists. As Ram, Zyle, and the younglings team up, they navigate attachments, duty, stirring romantic crushes, and desire for belonging. Color illustrations capture the cinematic drama at key moments in the story, and vivid descriptions bring the Force to life. The narration provides enough context for this installment of the High Republic series to stand alone.

An immersive and compassionate adventure. (timeline) (Fantasy. 8-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 30, 2024

ISBN: 9781368093804

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

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THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL

From the School for Good and Evil series , Vol. 1

Rich and strange (and kitted out with an eye-catching cover), but stronger in the set pieces than the internal logic.

Chainani works an elaborate sea change akin to Gregory Maguire’s Wicked (1995), though he leaves the waters muddied.

Every four years, two children, one regarded as particularly nice and the other particularly nasty, are snatched from the village of Gavaldon by the shadowy School Master to attend the divided titular school. Those who survive to graduate become major or minor characters in fairy tales. When it happens to sweet, Disney princess–like Sophie and  her friend Agatha, plain of features, sour of disposition and low of self-esteem, they are both horrified to discover that they’ve been dropped not where they expect but at Evil and at Good respectively. Gradually—too gradually, as the author strings out hundreds of pages of Hogwarts-style pranks, classroom mishaps and competitions both academic and romantic—it becomes clear that the placement wasn’t a mistake at all. Growing into their true natures amid revelations and marked physical changes, the two spark escalating rivalry between the wings of the school. This leads up to a vicious climactic fight that sees Good and Evil repeatedly switching sides. At this point, readers are likely to feel suddenly left behind, as, thanks to summary deus ex machina resolutions, everything turns out swell(ish).

Rich and strange (and kitted out with an eye-catching cover), but stronger in the set pieces than the internal logic. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-210489-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

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A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

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