Backmatter on Burroughs and Tarzan may lead new readers to the classics.



From the Tarzan series , Vol. 3

On the 100th anniversary of his creation, Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, returns in updated adventures.

While Tarzan leads his ape family, the Mangani, in search of a better food supply, Jane, her doctor father and the other denizens of the illegal logging camp Karibu Mji deal with a new face: Lord William Greystoke. Ostensibly, he’s in the Congolese jungle to see to his family interests and search for his lost cousin. That cousin may be Tarzan, who is rumored to have survived the plane crash that killed his parents years ago and subsequently been raised by apes. Of course, Greystoke has darker plans. Firstly, he wants to find the downed plane and the research notes that will lead him to the lost city of Opar, thought to be the site of mines rich in the rare mineral coltan. He may also be there to ensure Tarzan doesn’t return to claim his rightful title of Lord Greystoke. Jane and her friend Robbie escape Greystoke’s clutches to warn Tarzan, but the whole party ends up in danger thanks to a mad queen, her man-eating apes and an active volcano. British author Briggs’ third updated tale features modern tech and diction and a Jane who’s no damsel in distress in a believable (enough) and at-times thrilling jungle adventure.

Backmatter on Burroughs and Tarzan may lead new readers to the classics. (Adventure. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4804-0014-6

Page Count: 210

Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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A bone-chilling tale not to be ignored by the universe.


If Anne Frank had been a boy, this is the story her male counterpart might have told. At least, the very beginning of this historical novel reads as such.

It is 1939, and Yanek Gruener is a 10-year old Jew in Kraków when the Nazis invade Poland. His family is forced to live with multiple other families in a tiny apartment as his beloved neighborhood of Podgórze changes from haven to ghetto in a matter of weeks. Readers will be quickly drawn into this first-person account of dwindling freedoms, daily humiliations and heart-wrenching separations from loved ones. Yet as the story darkens, it begs the age-old question of when and how to introduce children to the extremes of human brutality. Based on the true story of the life of Jack Gruener, who remarkably survived not just one, but 10 different concentration camps, this is an extraordinary, memorable and hopeful saga told in unflinching prose. While Gratz’s words and early images are geared for young people, and are less gory than some accounts, Yanek’s later experiences bear a closer resemblance to Elie Wiesel’s Night than more middle-grade offerings, such as Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars. It may well support classroom work with adult review first.

A bone-chilling tale not to be ignored by the universe. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-45901-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

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From the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series , Vol. 1

Edgar Award–winning Riordan leaves the adult world of mystery to begin a fantasy series for younger readers. Twelve-year-old Percy (full name, Perseus) Jackson has attended six schools in six years. Officially diagnosed with ADHD, his lack of self-control gets him in trouble again and again. What if it isn’t his fault? What if all the outrageous incidents that get him kicked out of school are the result of his being a “half-blood,” the product of a relationship between a human and a Greek god? Could it be true that his math teacher Mrs. Dodds transformed into a shriveled hag with bat wings, a Fury, and was trying to kill him? Did he really vanquish her with a pen that turned into a sword? One need not be an expert in Greek mythology to enjoy Percy’s journey to retrieve Zeus’s master bolt from the Underworld, but those who are familiar with the deities and demi-gods will have many an ah-ha moment. Along the way, Percy and his cohort run into Medusa, Cerberus and Pan, among others. The sardonic tone of the narrator’s voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism that questions the realities of our world, family, friendship and loyalty. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7868-5629-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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