Readers who liked Greyson’s first adventure will be more than happy with this latest outing.

GREYSON GRAY: FAIR GAME

Tweedt’s (Greyson Gray: Camp Legend, 2012) preteen hero returns, this time combating terrorists that are planning an attack at the Iowa State Fair.

It’s been less than two months since 12 year-old Greyson Gray foiled a terrorist plot in his previous adventure. He’s now under the protection of FBI Agent Kip, who guards Greyson against possible retaliation from Everett Oliver Emory, the notorious terrorist brother of the man whose plans Greyson ruined. The boy is allowed to attend the fair with his friends, but it’s not long before Pluribus, an anti-government group with a possible connection to Emory, makes its presence known. There are four presidential candidates at the fair, which leads Greyson and his pals to expect the worst. This second book in Tweedt’s series has a similar plot to the first, in which Greyson fought terrorists at a sports camp, but a decidedly darker tone: Not everyone makes it to the end, and not everything is neatly resolved. Greyson, still sporting his trademark fanny pack, shows some new signs of maturity as he questions what, if anything, lies beyond death. There are some other familiar faces, including meek, stuttering Liam; twins Jarryd and Nick; and romantic interest Sydney. This time, Greyson has competition for Sydney’s affections in the form of Sam, the charming son of a governor. Jarryd, as in the previous book, provides comic relief even when he isn’t trying to do so; his text to Greyson to let him know he’s at the “rondayvoo” is particularly hilarious. But many new characters are just as memorable, including an unnamed assassin whose peeling skin (from radiation poisoning) is reminiscent of a snake’s; his creepiest moment comes when he asks Greyson, who’s watching Sam and Sydney on the dance floor, “Something troublin’ it?”—“it” meaning Greyson. The book’s final third is almost exclusively made up of action scenes, as it bounces among the perspectives of different characters, including Greyson, Kip, Greyson’s mom and Jarryd, while maintaining an impressive, tireless pace. Overall, this novel is both an improvement over the last installment and a fitting lead-in for the next in the series.

Readers who liked Greyson’s first adventure will be more than happy with this latest outing.

Pub Date: Nov. 22, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4936-5677-6

Page Count: 340

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2014

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Sensitive subject matter that could have benefited from a subtler, more sober touch.

RESISTANCE

A Jewish girl joins up with Polish resistance groups to fight for her people against the evils of the Holocaust.

Chaya Lindner is forcibly separated from her family when they are consigned to the Jewish ghetto in Krakow. The 16-year-old is taken in by the leaders of Akiva, a fledgling Jewish resistance group that offers her the opportunity to become a courier, using her fair coloring to pass for Polish and sneak into ghettos to smuggle in supplies and information. Chaya’s missions quickly become more dangerous, taking her on a perilous journey from a disastrous mission in Krakow to the ghastly ghetto of Lodz and eventually to Warsaw to aid the Jews there in their gathering uprising inside the walls of the ghetto. Through it all, she is partnered with a secretive young girl whom she is reluctant to trust. The trajectory of the narrative skews toward the sensational, highlighting moments of resistance via cinematic action sequences but not pausing to linger on the emotional toll of the Holocaust’s atrocities. Younger readers without sufficient historical knowledge may not appreciate the gravity of the events depicted. The principal characters lack depth, and their actions and the situations they find themselves in often require too much suspension of disbelief to pass for realism.

Sensitive subject matter that could have benefited from a subtler, more sober touch. (afterword) (Historical fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-14847-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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THE LIGHTNING THIEF

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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