No disguise can mask P.K. Pinkerton’s stout heart and steely resolve in Lawrence’s third (and mighty fine) Wild West...

P.K. PINKERTON AND THE PISTOL-PACKING WIDOWS

From the P.K. Pinkerton series , Vol. 3

Twelve-year-old half-Lakota “double-orphan” detective P.K. Pinkerton heads to Carson City in the third of the disarming Western Mysteries series.

The year is 1862, and news of P.K.’s private-eye prowess has spread through the Nevada Territory. A high-class Virginia City courtesan hires the detective to spy on her possibly unfaithful fiance, the very same Poker Face Jace who is P.K.’s beloved mentor. P.K. has what he calls a “Thorn,” difficulty showing or reading emotion; Jace has taught his protégé to read people’s “tells,” and not just around the poker table. As P.K. shadows Jace in Carson City, he thinks “Blind Widow Woman” will be his best disguise ever—until his “sock bosom” migrates north. (P.K.’s true gender is deliberately left iffy until the end.) Carson City is alive with gamblers and guns, drinkers and desperados…even a young Sam Clemens. The silver mines are humming, the railroad’s coming, and the colorful legislature wrangles the law. P.K.—the best kind of hero—navigates it all with unblinking acceptance of the salty characters he meets, straight-shooting honesty and impressive investigative work. The young detective’s dryly hilarious first-person accounts keep the story at a gallop.

No disguise can mask P.K. Pinkerton’s stout heart and steely resolve in Lawrence’s third (and mighty fine) Wild West adventure. (maps) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: March 6, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25635-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star.

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DAUGHTER OF THE DEEP

A teenager faces seemingly insurmountable challenges in this riveting modern-day spinoff of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

For Ana Dakkar and her fellow ninth graders at Harding-Pencroft Academy, there is nothing more momentous than the weekend trials each student must ace at the end of freshman year. Students who fail to showcase their survival skills are asked to leave the academy, a heavily guarded place Ana has thought of as home since the mysterious deaths of her parents. Though Ana’s brother, Dev, is a senior, what happens at trials is such a closely guarded secret that no one in her year knows what to expect. While her group is out on the water for their trials, Harding-Pencroft is demolished in an attack orchestrated by a rival school. As Ana and her classmates discover that the events depicted in Jules Verne’s classic novels were real, Riordan’s lifelong love of the source material is clear—especially when Ana learns information that will help her find a way to protect the group. A foreword by Roshani Chokshi introduces this adventure that is both great entertainment and centers a well-developed protagonist who is thoughtfully shown dealing with loss. Ana is of Bundeli Indian descent, and her group of peers, who are diverse in various ways, experience losses and struggles of their own. (Final illustrations not seen.)

A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star. (Harding-Pencroft Academy guide, cast list) (Adventure. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-07792-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

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Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense.

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REFUGEE

In the midst of political turmoil, how do you escape the only country that you’ve ever known and navigate a new life? Parallel stories of three different middle school–aged refugees—Josef from Nazi Germany in 1938, Isabel from 1994 Cuba, and Mahmoud from 2015 Aleppo—eventually intertwine for maximum impact.

Three countries, three time periods, three brave protagonists. Yet these three refugee odysseys have so much in common. Each traverses a landscape ruled by a dictator and must balance freedom, family, and responsibility. Each initially leaves by boat, struggles between visibility and invisibility, copes with repeated obstacles and heart-wrenching loss, and gains resilience in the process. Each third-person narrative offers an accessible look at migration under duress, in which the behavior of familiar adults changes unpredictably, strangers exploit the vulnerabilities of transients, and circumstances seem driven by random luck. Mahmoud eventually concludes that visibility is best: “See us….Hear us. Help us.” With this book, Gratz accomplishes a feat that is nothing short of brilliant, offering a skillfully wrought narrative laced with global and intergenerational reverberations that signal hope for the future. Excellent for older middle grade and above in classrooms, book groups, and/or communities looking to increase empathy for new and existing arrivals from afar.

Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense. (maps, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-88083-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

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