Books by Antonio Javier Caparo

STINGRAY CITY by Ellen Prager
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 3, 2016

"Eco-sleuths triumph again, but it might be just as well to send them to retirement now. (afterword) (Adventure. 10-12)"
When the stingray population at a famed Grand Cayman attraction plummets mysteriously, it's time to call in the Sea Guardians. Read full book review >
THE RELIC OF PERILOUS FALLS by Raymond Arroyo
CHILDREN'S
Released: March 8, 2016

"An unhappy blend of an imitative story and mediocre writing. (Fantasy. 8-11)"
When an impulsive bet sets an ancient prophecy in motion, one boy might be all that stands between a small town and the forces of evil. Read full book review >
RUDOLPH SHINES AGAIN by Robert L. May
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 22, 2015

"Those who appreciated Caparo's illustrations in the original edition will also like this sequel and will probably overlook the unsuccessful story. (Picture book. 3-7)"
In this sequel to the original story about the famous reindeer with a glowing red nose, Rudolph loses his special power and then gains it back after helping find two lost bunnies. Read full book review >
THE SHARK RIDER by Ellen Prager
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2015

"A few leaky seams aside, a seaworthy sequel to Shark Whisperer (2014). (maps, afterword) (Adventure. 10-12)"
Mysterious fish kills lead a team of young Sea Guardians to the British Virgin Islands for a round of investigative dives, brushes with disaster and, yes, shark riding. Read full book review >
RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER by Robert L. May
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 30, 2014

"Rudolph and his contribution to the Santa saga seem firmly entrenched in American Christmas tradition, and this fresh look at the reindeer that triumphs over rejection and a seeming disability may be a new holiday classic. (Picture book. 4-8)"
The original 1939 story about a reindeer with a noteworthy nose serves as the text of this lavishly illustrated, oversize interpretation of Rudolph's place in Christmas lore. Read full book review >
THE SHARK WHISPERER by Ellen Prager
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2014

"Some may feel that the climactic eco-revenge is carried a bit far, but it's a splashy startup with a promising premise. (maps) (Adventure. 10-12)"
With help from an array of friendly wildlife, a band of summer campers stages a rescue and stymies a ruthless harvester of shark fins in this series opener. Read full book review >
MISSING ON SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN by Elise Broach
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 21, 2011

"Broach reserves plenty of suspicious characters, spooky landscapes and loose ends for the slated sequels, which both boys and girls will savor. (author's note) (Mystery. 8-12)"
This engrossing mystery pits three brothers recently transplanted from Chicago against the rocky caverns of Arizona's Superstition Mountain. Read full book review >
THE MAGIC THIEF: FOUND by Sarah Prineas
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2010

The wild magical menace barely fended off in Magic Thief: Lost (2009) is headed for the town of Wellmet, and only the guttersnipe-turned-wizard's apprentice Connwaer and his gruff master, Nevery Flinglas, realize the danger. Having sacrificed his "locus magicalicus," Conn's first priority is finding a replacement—meaning concocting a finding spell that (as usual) results in spectacularly destructive pyrotechnics and the sudden necessity of a long and dangerous journey. Narrator Conn continues to be one of the most deliciously infuriating protagonists ever, so focused on saving his beloved city that he ignores such hazards as the sentence of exile its annoyed leaders impose on him and more distracted than upset when a supposedly extinct dragon snatches him away. Once again Prineas dishes up a nimble plot laced with explosions and large-scale magic-working, enhanced by Caparo's spot-art portraits, punctuated with brief letters or journal entries and capped with a section of capsule bios and recipes. The author brings the story to a strong close, too—but, good news, she has admitted in an interview to considering further sequels. (Fantasy. 11-13)Read full book review >
THE MAGIC THIEF by Sarah Prineas
CHILDREN'S
Released: May 1, 2009

Apprentice magician Conn battles a new magical threat while continuing to drive friend and foe alike mad with irritation in this headlong sequel. As the clueless magicians of the local college continue to deny reality, a rising tide of attacks from Dementor-like Shadowmen prompts the Duchess to send her daughter Rowan to the distant desert city of Desh to see if it has been similarly afflicted. Having blown up his home in a pyrotechnic experiment and left beloved bodyguard/nanny/cook Benet badly injured, remorseful Conn invites himself along—and soon finds evidence that the sorcerer-king of Desh is hiding something ugly indeed. Told in a mix of narrative and correspondence, the tale hurtles along to a climax in which Conn deals Evil a sharp setback that also sets up the next episode. Readers of the opener will understand the sometimes complex relationships better than latecomers, but the sequel stands sturdily on its own, and Conn, equally gifted at picking locks and being a thorn in the side of all, remains a vivid, memorable lead. (maps, recipes, thumbnail bios) (Fantasy. 11-13) Read full book review >
THE MAGIC THIEF by Sarah Prineas
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 1, 2008

An uncommonly engaging young narrator kicks this debut fantasy ahead of the general run. Street-rat Connwaer's skill at picking locks and pockets comes back to bite him when he tries to steal the "locus magicalicus" talisman of gruff sorcerer Nevery Flinglas. Suddenly, Conn finds himself apprenticed to the magician, searching for a locus magicalicus of his own (all magicians have to have one), and deeply involved in discovering why all magic is rapidly draining out of the town of Wellmet. Canny, a quick study and endowed with a heroic appetite for biscuits, Conn works his way into the hearts of both his master and the mystery, meeting several memorable characters—notably Benet, a surly hired thug who can cook and knit as well as he can break heads—along the way to a literally explosive climax. All in all a sturdy start, illustrated with Caparo's realistic portraits at the chapter heads and reminiscent of Angie Sage's Septimus Heap tales (Queste, 2008, etc.) in style and setting. (map; glossary, runes and biscuit recipe not seen) (Fantasy. 10-13) Read full book review >