Fans will be glad of the promise of an adventure in Atlantis to come; Celia and Oliver know adventure is only thrilling when...



From the Accidental Adventure series , Vol. 2

Is it any wonder 11-year-old twins Oliver and Celia Navel hate explorers, given that all explorers ever do is nearly get them killed? Television is so much safer.

Celia and Oliver barely escaped Tibet with their lives (We Are Not Eaten by Yaks, 2011), and they failed to convince their mother (an explorer, of course) to give up her quest for the Lost Library of Alexandria and return home. Now, thanks to their father (another explorer), they’re indentured for the entirety of summer vacation to Sir Edmund Titheltorpe-Schmidt III (yeah, yet another explorer), who has them searching Machu Picchu for a clue to the Lost Library’s location. All in all, they’re looking forward to sixth grade (that’s saying something). When school goes disastrously wrong, the twins find themselves dragged off to the Amazon. At least they’re in the company of their idol Corey Brandt, star of Sunset High and Agent Zero, who’s hired the family as consultants for his hit show The Celebrity Adventurist. When Dad and Sir Edmund are kidnapped by cannibals, the twins must use their television-derived smarts to rescue them…or, at the very least, survive. London’s second in the Accidental Adventure series has more thrills and more mystery (and naturally more complaining and more laughs) than the first.

Fans will be glad of the promise of an adventure in Atlantis to come; Celia and Oliver know adventure is only thrilling when it happens to someone else. (Humorous adventure. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25488-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Sept. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2011

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Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick.

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An elderly witch, a magical girl, a brave carpenter, a wise monster, a tiny dragon, paper birds, and a madwoman converge to thwart a magician who feeds on sorrow.

Every year Elders of the Protectorate leave a baby in the forest, warning everyone an evil Witch demands this sacrifice. In reality, every year, a kind witch named Xan rescues the babies and find families for them. One year Xan saves a baby girl with a crescent birthmark who accidentally feeds on moonlight and becomes “enmagicked.” Magic babies can be tricky, so Xan adopts little Luna herself and lovingly raises her, with help from an ancient swamp monster and a chatty, wee dragon. Luna’s magical powers emerge as her 13th birthday approaches. Meanwhile, Luna’s deranged real mother enters the forest to find her daughter. Simultaneously, a young carpenter from the Protectorate enters the forest to kill the Witch and end the sacrifices. Xan also enters the forest to rescue the next sacrificed child, and Luna, the monster, and the dragon enter the forest to protect Xan. In the dramatic denouement, a volcano erupts, the real villain attempts to destroy all, and love prevails. Replete with traditional motifs, this nontraditional fairy tale boasts sinister and endearing characters, magical elements, strong storytelling, and unleashed forces. Luna has black eyes, curly, black hair, and “amber” skin.

Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61620-567-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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