A safe adventure packed with imagination.

THE SOUGHT SIX

THE STERLING CONE

This debut novel sees six young school friends transported to a magical land and trained to be its protectors.

Twelve-year-old identical twins Jenna and Hallie Dalmore and their friends Jules, Lindsay, Alan, and Thomas live on the same street in Peterborough, Ontario. One day, Jenna and Hallie arrive home from school and find an old friend of their mom’s waiting—Annabel Scott, who hasn’t seen them since they were babies. Annabel is from Pawcombe, a magical realm that can be entered only by way of Root Paths—trees that exist both in Pawcombe and Canada, linking the two places. She says that Jenna, Hallie, and the others are in danger. Unbeknown to them, all six were born in Pawcombe and have a dangerous enemy there. Now that the evil Zyngor has learned of their existence, the Sought Six have no choice but to return home and fight him. Annabel herself was once part of a Sought Six group, as were Jenna and Hallie’s mom and Jules’ uncle. The six friends will be trained well. But can they survive Zyngor’s attacks and beat him to the Sterling Cone—a powerful artifact that in his hands could plunge Pawcombe into ruins? When discussing their friendship group, Jenna and Hallie make reference to the Fantastic Four and the Magnificent Seven. An equally apt comparison would be The Famous Five or others of Enid Blyton’s numerous middle-grade series. Klug upholds the Blyton tradition, crafting a simply told story with plenty of action and exposition and perhaps one or two protagonists more than necessary. Jenna and Hallie are distinct characters (in both speech and personality), as are Alan and Thomas, but Jules and Lindsay don’t offer much in this series opener. The adults in the tale are memorable and always sufficiently close at hand that young readers won’t be taken too far from their comfort zone. The plot moves quickly, its twists not so subtly foreshadowed. Klug’s prose may not be the most polished, but for most readers that won’t matter. Like J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, the sparkle here comes from an abundance of magical ideas. Knock four times—Pawcombe awaits.

A safe adventure packed with imagination.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-913206-01-7

Page Count: 322

Publisher: Emmie Press

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2020

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However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the...

TUCK EVERLASTING

At a time when death has become an acceptable, even voguish subject in children's fiction, Natalie Babbitt comes through with a stylistic gem about living forever. 

Protected Winnie, the ten-year-old heroine, is not immortal, but when she comes upon young Jesse Tuck drinking from a secret spring in her parents' woods, she finds herself involved with a family who, having innocently drunk the same water some 87 years earlier, haven't aged a moment since. Though the mood is delicate, there is no lack of action, with the Tucks (previously suspected of witchcraft) now pursued for kidnapping Winnie; Mae Tuck, the middle aged mother, striking and killing a stranger who is onto their secret and would sell the water; and Winnie taking Mae's place in prison so that the Tucks can get away before she is hanged from the neck until....? Though Babbitt makes the family a sad one, most of their reasons for discontent are circumstantial and there isn't a great deal of wisdom to be gleaned from their fate or Winnie's decision not to share it. 

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the first week in August when this takes place to "the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning") help to justify the extravagant early assertion that had the secret about to be revealed been known at the time of the action, the very earth "would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin." (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1975

ISBN: 0312369816

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1975

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A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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