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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A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached.

EXTRA YARN

A little girl in a town of white snow and soot-blackened chimneys opens a small box and discovers a never-ending gift of colorful yarn.

Annabelle knits herself a sweater, and with the leftover yarn, she knits one for her dog, and with the yarn left over from that, she knits one for a neighbor and for her classmates and for her teacher and for her family and for the birdhouse and for the buildings in town. All and everything are warm, cozy and colorful until a clotheshorse of an archduke arrives. Annabelle refuses his monetary offers, whereupon the box is stolen. The greedy archduke gets his just deserts when he opens the box to find it empty. It wends its way back to Annabelle, who ends up happily sitting in a knit-covered tree. Klassen, who worked on the film Coraline, uses inks, gouache and colorized scans of a sweater to create a stylized, linear design of dark geometric shapes against a white background. The stitches of the sweaters add a subdued rainbow. Barnett entertained middle-grade readers with his Brixton Brothers detective series. Here, he maintains a folkloric narrative that results in a traditional story arc complete with repetition, drama and a satisfying conclusion.

A quiet story of sharing with no strings attached. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-06-195338-5

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2011

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IGGY PECK, ARCHITECT

A repressive teacher almost ruins second grade for a prodigy in this amusing, if overwritten, tale. Having shown a fascination with great buildings since constructing a model of the Leaning Tower of Pisa from used diapers at age two, Iggy sinks into boredom after Miss Greer announces, throwing an armload of histories and craft projects into the trash, that architecture will be a taboo subject in her class. Happily, she changes her views when the collapse of a footbridge leaves the picnicking class stranded on an island, whereupon Iggy enlists his mates to build a suspension bridge from string, rulers and fruit roll-ups. Familiar buildings and other structures, made with unusual materials or, on the closing pages, drawn on graph paper, decorate Roberts’s faintly retro cartoon illustrations. They add an audience-broadening element of sophistication—as would Beaty’s decision to cast the text into verse, if it did not result in such lines as “After twelve long days / that passed in a haze / of reading, writing and arithmetic, / Miss Greer took the class / to Blue River Pass / for a hike and an old-fashioned picnic.” Another John Lithgow she is not, nor is Iggy another Remarkable Farkle McBride (2000), but it’s always salutary to see young talent vindicated. (Picture book. 6-8)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-8109-1106-2

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2007

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