More “faldoolery” for fans.

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TREASURE OF THE GOLDEN SKULL

From the Maudlin Towers series , Vol. 2

Could there be hidden pirate treasure somewhere about that might save the decrepit old school from closing?

Once again, students Arthur Mildew and Algernon “Sponge” Spongely-Partwork set off on a round of “detectivating,” as only a stash of gems purportedly left by Greenbeard the pirate can save Maudlin Towers from being shut down. Fortunately, there are plenty of only mildly obscure clues to the trove’s location scattered about the grounds. Unfortunately, news of the trove gets out, and soon the faculty is suddenly replaced by a bevy of more colorful, if perhaps less qualified, strangers with names like Jacques Blacques and Leather-Nose Susan who bill themselves as descendants of Greenbeard’s crew. There are other, more subtle, treasure hunters on the prowl too. Plainly considering this as but one in a continuous string of episodes, Priestley chucks in references to previous events, an encounter with a time-traveling teacher who was dead in the previous outing, and a giant, floating eyeball explicitly slated to reappear in a future one. Channeling Edward Gorey, the author gives the all-white cast depicted in frequent ink drawings and closing gallery a comically cadaverous look. This import is coming to the U.S. as is, complete with British spellings and punctuation conventions for an immersive experience.

More “faldoolery” for fans. (Gothic farce. 10-12)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4088-7310-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2019

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Wholesome shading to bland, but well-stocked with exotic creatures and locales, plus an agreeable cast headed by a child...

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES

A San Diego preteen learns that she’s an elf, with a place in magic school if she moves to the elves’ hidden realm.

Having felt like an outsider since a knock on the head at age 5 left her able to read minds, Sophie is thrilled when hunky teen stranger Fitz convinces her that she’s not human at all and transports her to the land of Lumenaria, where the ageless elves live. Taken in by a loving couple who run a sanctuary for extinct and mythical animals, Sophie quickly gathers friends and rivals at Foxfire, a distinctly Hogwarts-style school. She also uncovers both clues to her mysterious origins and hints that a rash of strangely hard-to-quench wildfires back on Earth are signs of some dark scheme at work. Though Messenger introduces several characters with inner conflicts and ambiguous agendas, Sophie herself is more simply drawn as a smart, radiant newcomer who unwillingly becomes the center of attention while developing what turn out to be uncommonly powerful magical abilities—reminiscent of the younger Harry Potter, though lacking that streak of mischievousness that rescues Harry from seeming a little too perfect. The author puts her through a kidnapping and several close brushes with death before leaving her poised, amid hints of a higher destiny and still-anonymous enemies, for sequels.

Wholesome shading to bland, but well-stocked with exotic creatures and locales, plus an agreeable cast headed by a child who, while overly fond of screaming, rises to every challenge. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4593-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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An entertaining continuation to a magical series that celebrates diversity with a magical twist.

WISHED

From the Fairy Tale Reform School series , Vol. 5

With Rumpelstiltskin and his band of villains still on the loose, the students and staff of Fairy Tale Reform School are on high alert as they prepare for the next attack.

Classes are devoted to teaching battle techniques and conjuring new weapons, which narrator Gilly finds preferable to learning history or manners. But Maxine, her ogress friend, has had it with all the doom and gloom. The last straw is when the agenda at the Royal Lady-in-Waiting meeting is changed from “How to Plan the Perfect Fairy Garden Party” to designing flying rocks and creating flower darts. While on a class field trip to the village to investigate their future careers, Maxine finds a magic lamp housing a genie named Darlene. Her wish that everyone be happy works a little too well. War preparations are put on hold as the school fills with flowers, laughter, and plans for a musical production. But when Gilly is tapped to fill in for the local chief of the dwarf police, things really take a turn for the worse. The students, including fairies, ogres, and the part-human/part-beast offspring of Beauty and the ex-Beast, focus on friendship and supporting one another in spite of their differences. Humility, forgiveness, and loyalty are also highly regarded in the FTRS community. Human Gilly is white, but there is racial as well as species diversity at FTRS.

An entertaining continuation to a magical series that celebrates diversity with a magical twist. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5167-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Nov. 21, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2018

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