Will have readers rolling on the floor with laughter.

BOY MEETS GHOUL

HALF TERM AND OTHER HORRORS

From the Boy Meets series , Vol. 2

This sequel to Boy Meets Hamster (2020) does not suffer from sophomore slump.

After escaping a summer caravan park with his dignity (and a new boyfriend), English teen Dylan and his family are back in a second adventure complete with the same dry wit and frantic humor of their first outing. This time, football-savant Dylan is signed up for Feet of the Future, a weeklong soccer training camp in Manchester during his school’s half-term break. Best friend Kayla is tagging along once more, as she’s signed up for the accompanying cheerleader training. Of course, this is a ruse: Kayla is really there for metal group Deathsplash Nightmares’ Ghoulish Games gig on Halloween. Sure, the concert is sold out, but Kayla has plans to create a viral video in order to win tickets from a local radio station. With Leo off dancing in a show and their contact limited to text and the occasional video chat, Dylan is distracted by fellow footie teammate and original school crush Freddie. Readers of the first story will be clamoring to pick up this second adventure, and its British slang combines with quick-paced humor to deliver a hilarious punch. Most main characters are White; the first volume cues Kayla as biracial (Filipino/White) and Leo as Black.

Will have readers rolling on the floor with laughter. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5098-4867-6

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Pan Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2020

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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TRASH

In an unnamed country (a thinly veiled Philippines), three teenage boys pick trash for a meager living. A bag of cash in the trash might be—well, not their ticket out of poverty but at least a minor windfall. With 1,100 pesos, maybe they can eat chicken occasionally, instead of just rice. Gardo and Raphael are determined not to give any of it to the police who've been sniffing around, so they enlist their friend Rat. In alternating and tightly paced points of view, supplemented by occasional other voices, the boys relate the intrigue in which they're quickly enmeshed. A murdered houseboy, an orphaned girl, a treasure map, a secret code, corrupt politicians and 10,000,000 missing dollars: It all adds up to a cracker of a thriller. Sadly, the setting relies on Third World poverty tourism for its flavor, as if this otherwise enjoyable caper were being told by Olivia, the story's British charity worker who muses with vacuous sentimentality on the children that "break your heart" and "change your life." Nevertheless, a zippy and classic briefcase-full-of-money thrill ride. (Thriller. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-385-75214-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: David Fickling/Random

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2010

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