A rich, satisfying mix of romance, horror, and time travel.

Marking Time

From the The Immortal Descendants series , Vol. 1

In this YA fantasy debut, a teen attends an exclusive boarding school where she learns that she’s from a superpowered lineage.

Seventeen-year-old Saira Elian and her mother live in Venice, California. Saira loves free-running at night and tagging the most hidden walls she can find. On a night when her mother has vanished—which seems to happen every two years—she visits her favorite secluded “art gallery” and admires a spiral graffito by an artist named Doran. Then someone calls out, naming her “Clocker.” She eludes him, but the police catch up with her. When they insist on reaching a family contact, the only person she can think of is Millicent Elian, the grandmother who lives in England. Saira flies to the dour family manor and finds herself locked in a bedroom. She escapes for some forest free-running only to discover someone pursuing her. When she reaches a car on the road for help, she again encounters the man calling her Clocker. She runs from the “reptilian voice” and hitches another ride to a train station. The rescuer—whom she’s named Wolf—tells her about a “Spiral at Whitechapel.” When she reaches Whitechapel station, she does indeed find a painted spiral, just like the one in Venice. Tracing her fingers across the lines, Saira feels, “Stretched and pulled, with a thrumming sound underneath my screams.” That she’s transported to Whitechapel in the year 1888 isn’t immediately apparent. Then again, White’s complex series opener isn’t your typical YA fantasy. Sure, St. Brigid’s boarding school is reminiscent of Hogwarts (and even Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in the X-Men series), with teachers who specialize in arcane disciplines and transform into animals. But the thick pretzel of a plot involving Immortal lineages—Time, Nature, War, Fate, and Death—and their superpowered Descendants is fabulously unique. Best of all, the plot continuously rewards lovers of clever fantasy rules (like “if you try to travel within your own lifetime, the spiral will skip you back to a time before you were born”), and contains a seemingly endless cache of twists. A heartwarming finale allows characters and new relationships to blossom in further volumes.

A rich, satisfying mix of romance, horror, and time travel.

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-9885368-1-4

Page Count: 436

Publisher: Corazon Entertainment

Review Posted Online: Nov. 14, 2016

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ABIYOYO RETURNS

The seemingly ageless Seeger brings back his renowned giant for another go in a tuneful tale that, like the art, is a bit sketchy, but chockful of worthy messages. Faced with yearly floods and droughts since they’ve cut down all their trees, the townsfolk decide to build a dam—but the project is stymied by a boulder that is too huge to move. Call on Abiyoyo, suggests the granddaughter of the man with the magic wand, then just “Zoop Zoop” him away again. But the rock that Abiyoyo obligingly flings aside smashes the wand. How to avoid Abiyoyo’s destruction now? Sing the monster to sleep, then make it a peaceful, tree-planting member of the community, of course. Seeger sums it up in a postscript: “every community must learn to manage its giants.” Hays, who illustrated the original (1986), creates colorful, if unfinished-looking, scenes featuring a notably multicultural human cast and a towering Cubist fantasy of a giant. The song, based on a Xhosa lullaby, still has that hard-to-resist sing-along potential, and the themes of waging peace, collective action, and the benefits of sound ecological practices are presented in ways that children will both appreciate and enjoy. (Picture book. 5-9)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-689-83271-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2001

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A DOG NAMED SAM

A book that will make young dog-owners smile in recognition and confirm dogless readers' worst suspicions about the mayhem caused by pets, even winsome ones. Sam, who bears passing resemblance to an affable golden retriever, is praised for fetching the family newspaper, and goes on to fetch every other newspaper on the block. In the next story, only the children love Sam's swimming; he is yelled at by lifeguards and fishermen alike when he splashes through every watering hole he can find. Finally, there is woe to the entire family when Sam is bored and lonely for one long night. Boland has an essential message, captured in both both story and illustrations of this Easy-to-Read: Kids and dogs belong together, especially when it's a fun-loving canine like Sam. An appealing tale. (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: April 1, 1996

ISBN: 0-8037-1530-7

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1996

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