An entertaining fantasy with a quirky, inventive storyline that shows how things invariably turn out badly for bullies.

READ REVIEW

Prince Iggy and the Kingdom of Naysayer

A lonely boy learns how to stand up against a cast of mean bullies in Fynn’s debut middle-grade novel.

Iggy Rose is living a life of hell at the Naysayer Academy. In a school where only bad children survive, not only are the children bullying him, but the headmistress is giving him a hard time, too. Poor Iggy is thrown down a garbage chute by the spiteful Teddy, where, unbeknown to his persecutors, he’s rescued by a mysterious man who insists that the young boy is a long-lost prince who must now stand up and reclaim his kingdom. That’s not going to be easy given that Iggy isn’t convinced he’s a prince and the King of Naysayer has stolen a magic ring from his finger. There’s plenty of knockabout farce to enjoy with Iggy’s new friends: a professor who’s losing his mind, a sea captain whose strength has diminished, a fortuneteller who can’t read the future, and the wonderfully named Henry O’Henry, whose poetic powers are wasting away. Only by reclaiming the ring and his throne can Iggy and his friends halt the withering of their powers and escape the evil Kingdom of Naysayer. The underlying message that bullying never pays is handled with skill, and a humorous approach keeps the story light. The black-and-white illustrations resemble watercolor sketches and possess a rustic charm that complements the tale. It won’t be long before readers are cheering for Iggy as he gets back at the nasty people who’ve made his life a misery at the academy. A second book, Iggy and the Tower of Decisions, follows the intrepid hero’s adventures in his new role as Prince Rose of the Rose Kingdom.

An entertaining fantasy with a quirky, inventive storyline that shows how things invariably turn out badly for bullies.

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2013

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 133

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Review Posted Online: Feb. 23, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2014

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

A NOVEL IN CARTOONS

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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