Good, gross and ghoulish. Thankfully Substitute Creature’s only a summer away. (Humorous horror. 9-12)

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TEACHER'S PEST

From the Tales From Lovecraft Middle School series , Vol. 3

Insectile legions led by demons from dimensions beyond threaten poor beleaguered Lovecraft Middle School.

When last readers left seventh-grader Robert Arthur, he had just saved the students of LMS (and by extension, the world) for a second time from the encroachments of Cthulhuian otherness and the insanity of crazed physicist Crawford Tillinghast. Unfortunately, Robert had also helped one of Tillinghast’s minions get elected student body president. Now that president, Howard Mergler, seems to have a secret plan to further his master’s scheme to take over first the school and then our whole dimension. Only Robert, his two-headed rat, his erstwhile bully Glenn and ghost girl Karina stand in the way. Glenn’s acting weird (even for him), and Robert fears his mind may not be his own. Is the world doomed? Gilman’s third Lovecraft Middle School title continues the unearthly adventures of Robert and his friends as they defend the school from extradimensional attack. The motion-activated cover of Howard morphing into a giant fly will attract attention, and the often funny (and not-too-scary), easy-on-the-brain text will keep readers reading. It is more advisable with this volume than the first sequel, The Slither Sisters (2012), that readers start with the first, but it’s still not vital.

Good, gross and ghoulish. Thankfully Substitute Creature’s only a summer away. (Humorous horror. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59474-614-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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There’s nothing exceptional here, but the otherworldly elements and headlong pacing will sweep readers along.

HENRY HUNTER AND THE CURSED PIRATES

From the Henry Hunter series , Vol. 2

In a second brush with the supernatural (following Henry Hunter and the Beast of Snagov, 2016), brainy young sleuth Henry and his faithful chronicler, Adolphus, are kidnapped by undead pirates. Yo ho ho!

News that a friend’s parents have vanished on a cruise in the Caribbean prompts the dapper kid detective (looking ever natty in suit, tie, and fedora in Tankard’s lavishly detailed drawings) to take a quick sabbatical from St. Grimbold’s School for Extraordinary Boys and fly to Barbados to investigate. Hardly has he begun than an ectoplasmic tentacle grabs him and his sidekick, Dolf—depositing both aboard the spectral ship of Blackbeard himself. The legendary pirate is still around courtesy of a curse laid on a certain bit of booty and, since ghosts can’t hold shovels, bent on collecting hapless tourists to dig up buried treasure. Matthews enthusiastically chucks bits of pirate lore, along with the odd skeleton, map, and treasure chest, into the enterprise, and for additional atmosphere, the illustrator strews margins and corners with bugs, fish, stormy seas, and nautical jetsam. Aside from a “Rastafarian” guide, the entire cast, living and otherwise, is evidently white (and, with one minor exception, male). By the end, the curse is broken, the pirates gone, the captives rescued, and Henry himself mysteriously vanished in the wake of an encounter with merpeople. Stay tuned.

There’s nothing exceptional here, but the otherworldly elements and headlong pacing will sweep readers along. (Fantasy/mystery. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-51071-039-9

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2017

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Worth a look for fans of Spiderwick and the ever-living Goosebumps.

THE SLITHER SISTERS

From the Tales From Lovecraft Middle School series , Vol. 2

Ancient squirming evil from dark dimensions beyond threatens to take over the world—starting with the student-council presidency.

In series opener Professor Gargoyle (2012), Lovecraft Middle School seventh-grader Robert Arthur and his former nemesis, Glenn Torkells, saved their new school from the eldritch demon inhabiting Professor Goyle’s body. Now, crazed physicist Crawford Tillinghast, currently trapped in another dimension, is attempting to take over Lovecraft Middle School by gaining control of the student council with his minions, two snake-haired demons disguised as popular girls Sarah and Sylvia Price. Can Robert and Glenn defeat the dimension-hopping monsters with the help of ghost girl Karina and slightly creepy librarian Ms. Lavinia, or will the cthulhu hordes overrun us all? Gilman’s second entry picks up where the first left off and adeptly sets up the third, to be released two months hence. It’s another slightly creepy, often funny read that doesn’t require much of its audience (least of all knowledge of the works of H.P. Lovecraft). Occasional action-packed and monster-filled black-and-white illustrations and another motion-activated lenticular cover add eye-catching zest. Though it can stand alone, much is set up in the first book.

Worth a look for fans of Spiderwick and the ever-living Goosebumps. (Humorous horror. 9-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-59474-593-5

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Quirk Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 31, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2012

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