Intriguing all the way through.

THE CREEPING

Although she remembers little, Stella witnessed her friend Jeanie’s murder when they were 6 years old. Now Stella needs to learn just what kind of monster was responsible.

Was it a supernatural monster? Is it still out there in the woods today, waiting for redheaded little girls to kill? Certainly most residents of Savage, near Minneapolis, believe in the supernatural monster. Shane, the police detective in charge of Jeanie’s case, has no doubt the monster is human. Mrs. Griever, a seemingly crazy old lady living on the outskirts of town, has no doubt the monster is centuries old. When another redheaded little girl turns up dead, Stella believes the two cases must be connected. Warned by Shane that she may be in real danger, Stella nevertheless constantly risks her safety to investigate what she increasingly believes may be a truly paranormal beast of some kind, especially when she and another childhood friend learn that Jeanie was far from the first redheaded little girl to be murdered in Savage. Sirowy’s main focus—the rift between legend and fact—slowly emerges. With Shane as the voice of skeptical reality and Mrs. Griever the purveyor of longstanding local legends, Stella eventually must learn which is correct if she is to survive. Although the story takes rather too long to tell, it delivers with a nicely suspenseful plot that builds to a crisis point.

Intriguing all the way through. (Suspense. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-1886-7

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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This gripping page-turner will keep readers guessing until the final twist.

SHE'S GONE

Seventeen-year-old Hunter Gifford has no memories of the car accident he was in the night of the homecoming dance with Chloe Summers, his now-missing girlfriend.

In the small southern Kentucky city of Bentley, comments on social media condemn Hunter as responsible for Chloe’s disappearance. When he attends the community vigil for her, Chloe’s mother publicly accuses Hunter of obstructing the investigation. Hunter’s own mom died when he was 15 and his sister, Olivia, was 12. Their dad has awkwardly attempted to pull his weight as a solo parent, and Hunter has stepped in and nurtured Livvy. Small but mighty Livvy is an ardent defender of her brother and is fiercely in love with her girlfriend, Gabriela. To make things worse, childhood friend Daniel informs Hunter that he’s making a true-crime documentary about Chloe. Hunter is upset, especially since it makes him look like a prime suspect, and a subsequent dramatic event draws more attention to the video. Hunter and Chloe met in creative writing club, and he knew she kept a journal—but it’s missing. Enter the sleuthing team of Hunter, Livvy, and Gabriela, who hatch a plan to find it. The dynamics between Hunter and Livvy and Livvy and Gabriela are endearing and will charm readers, who will root for them to solve the well-executed mystery. Main characters default to White; Gabriela is Mexican American.

This gripping page-turner will keep readers guessing until the final twist. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-72825-420-3

Page Count: 360

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2022

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A reimagined folktale as grand as its painted visuals are sublime.

SHUNA'S JOURNEY

A dangerous quest to feed an impoverished land leads to chance encounters and awe-inspiring sights.

Shuna, the prince of a humble, struggling country, acts on the advice of a dying traveler from an Eastern land to seek out seeds that will grow bountiful grains. What he finds is a hostile city built on greed with an active slave trade. After meeting Thea and her little sister, Shuna fights to free them from enslavers. Every scene in this cinematic work stands apart with breathtaking watercolors aided by expert staging and blocking. The sights along Shuna’s journey range from a derelict ship in a treacherous desert to supernatural creatures and settings. The certainty and simplicity of Shuna’s motivations along with Thea’s own narrative arc allow the story to move nimbly from one larger-than-life spectacle to another. The pages read right-to-left manga style, while large panels and minimal dialogue create an immediate, immersive experience for readers. The narration sits outside or along the edges of panels, allowing the lush visuals maximum room to impress. Afterwords from the author and translator describe the story’s roots in a Tibetan folktale as well as comparisons to Miyazaki’s later animated works; this story, translated from Japanese, was originally published in Japan in 1983 before Miyazaki rose to fame with Studio Ghibli. The story’s cultural origins are cued through characters’ garb and other visual elements.

A reimagined folktale as grand as its painted visuals are sublime. (Graphic fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-84652-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022

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