Please, nobody stop Ivy Pocket.

READ REVIEW

SOMEBODY STOP IVY POCKET

Everyone’s favorite maid of mass destruction is back, so baddies beware!

Like Oliver Twist but with decidedly more delusions of grandeur, former maid Ivy Pocket (last seen in Anyone but Ivy Pocket, 2015) finds herself newly adopted by a pair of nefarious coffin makers. Not that Ivy, impervious to hints and clues, is capable of noticing their dire deeds, even though she’s surrounded by villains on every side (a malicious ghost, a familiar face in disguise, and a vengeful sister). Ivy has two remarkable possessions; a magical Clock Diamond that allows wearers to travel between dimensions and a trademark hubris that lends her a strange sort of invincibility. When she discovers that an old friend is trapped in another world, it’s Ivy’s headstrong bravery that is both her downfall and her salvation. Ivy’s self-delusions have become more comforting than annoying in this second adventure. Though she is drugged, hunted, and trapped in a madhouse, nothing leaves so much as a mark on her chipper worldview. Krisp’s writing also proves to be as hilarious as ever (“I…began thrashing the carpet as if it were a wayward son who had just lost the family estate, and quite possibly his pants, in a rather thrilling game of checkers”); his and Cantini’s 19th-century London appears to be largely white. After this book, readers will demand to know more about Ivy’s background, even as they clamor for her next outing.

Please, nobody stop Ivy Pocket. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 31, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-236437-1

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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Written in workhorse prose, it’s an amiable enough read.

ALI CROSS

The prolific king of the beach read is back with an intergenerational mystery for the 9-to-12-year-old set.

Ali Cross, the son of Patterson’s most famous creation, African American homicide detective Alex Cross, is “starting to think the worst might have happened” to his mixed-race friend Gabriel “Gabe” Qualls, who disappeared on Dec. 21 and hasn’t been heard from as of Christmas Eve, when the book opens. Ali offers an impromptu prayer for Gabe at the pre-holiday service at his all-black church as well as an impromptu press conference outside of it as journalists and paparazzi confront Alex about his alleged coma-inducing assault of a murder suspect’s father. Then someone robs the Crosses’ home that night along with four other homes; the Crosses’ Christmas gifts are stolen. Ali, obsessed with finding Gabe and feeling that these events will distract his dad and the police from searching for him, starts his own investigation—complete with looking at some contraband footage of Gabe’s unusually loaded backpack obtained by Ali’s stepmother, also a cop—and questioning his school and gaming pals, a diverse group. Writing in Ali’s voice with occasional cutaways to third-person chapters that follow Alex, Patterson sprinkles the narrative with pop-culture references even as he takes readers through the detective process.

Written in workhorse prose, it’s an amiable enough read. (Mystery. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-316-53041-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

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SPACE CASE

From the Moon Base Alpha series , Vol. 1

When Dr. Holtz’s body is discovered just outside the lunar colony, everyone assumes he made a mistake putting on his spacesuit—but 12-year-old Dashiell “Dash” Gibson has reason to believe this was no accident.

Earth’s first space base has been a living hell for Dash. There’s not much to do on the moon besides schoolwork and virtual-reality gaming, and there’s only a handful of kids his age up there with him. The chance to solve a murder is exactly the type of excitement Dash needs. As clues are found and secrets are uncovered, Dash comes to understand that some of the base’s residents aren’t what they seem to be. With a small cast of characters supplying an excellent variety of suspects, Gibbs creates the best kind of “murder on a train” mystery. The genius, however, is putting the train in space. Closed quarters and techno–mumbo-jumbo add delightful color to the proceedings. Thankfully, the author doesn’t let the high-concept setting overshadow the novel’s mystery. The whodunit is smartly paced and intricately plotted. Best of all, the reveal is actually worth all the buildup. Thrillers too often fly off the rails in their final moments, but the author’s steady hand keeps everything here on track.

Fully absorbing. (Mystery. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4424-9486-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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