A fast, fun read that’s undeniably cool, just like its princesses.

READ REVIEW

ONCE UPON A ZOMBIE

BOOK ONE: THE COLOR OF FEAR

Kid-friendly horror featuring iconic fairy-tale heroines for young readers who enjoy their literary fare on the darker side.

Tonally and stylistically reminiscent of the Monster High novels, this middle-grade novel (the first in a planned series) has an intriguing premise: 14-year-old Caitlin, the new kid at a prestigious London academy, gets tricked into visiting the gravesite of Lewis Carroll at night and falls down a proverbial rabbit hole into a magical realm created by particles of imagination. There, she’s befriended by a quartet of popular fairy-tale females—Rapunzel, Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty—who have all become zombified due to the evil machinations of the Queen of Hearts and a being known as the Enchanter. Caitlin learns that she’s the only one who can save both realms from the spreading darkness that is sucking the wonder out of the world and turning the inhabitants into zombies. Caitlin’s mission is daunting—she must somehow take the Queen of Hearts’ magic scepter from her. The queen, however, is guarded by an army of zombie wolves, crows, and bats. As Caitlin, her younger sister, Natalie, and her undead princess besties trek through dangerous fantasy realms en route to the queen’s castle, Caitlin’s crush from school—a boy named Jack—finds his way into the magical realm and experiences his own tribulations. Powered by a fast-paced, action-packed narrative that features beloved childhood characters in a decidedly darker light, this story will surely delight readers of all ages. In one memorable scene, “Tweedledee and Tweedledum were terrorizing the dance floor with some super-loose hip-hop moves. An undead and pale Peter Pan was chatting up a Blood-Eyed, rotting Red Riding Hood.”

A fast, fun read that’s undeniably cool, just like its princesses.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Dog Ear Publisher

Review Posted Online: March 10, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2015

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

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DIARY OF A WIMPY KID

A NOVEL IN CARTOONS

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 1

First volume of a planned three, this edited version of an ongoing online serial records a middle-school everykid’s triumphs and (more often) tribulations through the course of a school year. Largely through his own fault, mishaps seem to plague Greg at every turn, from the minor freak-outs of finding himself permanently seated in class between two pierced stoners and then being saddled with his mom for a substitute teacher, to being forced to wrestle in gym with a weird classmate who has invited him to view his “secret freckle.” Presented in a mix of legible “hand-lettered” text and lots of simple cartoon illustrations with the punch lines often in dialogue balloons, Greg’s escapades, unwavering self-interest and sardonic commentary are a hoot and a half—certain to elicit both gales of giggles and winces of sympathy (not to mention recognition) from young readers. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 0-8109-9313-9

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2007

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