A reliable-enough helping for Robots Rule readers.



From the Robots Rule series , Vol. 3

Since George Gearing uncovered Dr. Micron’s sinister plan to turn robots into killers and control the minds of the unsuspecting citizens of Terabyte Heights (Lots of Bots, 2015), an “anti-robot movement” has taken over the town.

While personal bots are being abandoned by the hundreds at Uncle Otto’s junkyard, George remains holed up in the Secret Mercury Lab, working furiously to bring his trapped parents back from the digital world. Unfortunately, George is stumped. When an irresistible offer for help comes from a criminal mastermind—the one man on Earth George knows can’t be trusted—he finds himself caught up in another techno-battle that may very well cost him the one thing he wants most in the world. Fans of the Robots Rule series will enjoy their reunions with a familiar cast of characters, human and android alike. Jackbot, George’s personal robot, and his lady love bot, Cookie, continue to provide comic relief. Early on in the novel, readers will empathize with an exhausted 11-year-old forgoing sleep and the company of his best friend in an effort to put his family back together. Unfortunately, the parents that George so desperately longs to rescue again remain disappointingly one-dimensional, and their plotline gets lost as the action shifts to Dr. Micron’s latest quest for world domination.

A reliable-enough helping for Robots Rule readers. (Science fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 3, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-544-33932-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2015

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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.


After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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A good questing novel for readers seeking a simple, lighthearted adventure.


From the Fart Quest series , Vol. 1

Three children set out on a quest to prove they can be heroes.

Bartok, a 12-year-old Black boy, was nicknamed Fart by the master he apprentices under after choosing Gas Attack as his first spell to learn. He wants to be an exalted mage instead of an average human. Fart and his group—Pan Silversnow, Moxie Battleborne, and their respective masters—are only three months into a yearlong journey. They must prove they can survive the wilderness of the Fourteen Realms while helping others and defeating evildoers in order to graduate from Krakentop Academy for Heroes. When the masters are obliterated before their very eyes, Moxie and Pan are ready to head back to the academy, but Fart insists that they should use the opportunity to demonstrate their bravery. After taking their masters’ belongings, the trio defeat a hobgoblin then set off in search of heroic escapades. Chaos ensues as the group comes up against giant bees, ogres, and other mythical creatures. Though the story is told from Fart’s perspective, Moxie and Pan are just as important as the three learn to work as a team and recognize each other’s strengths. The humorous writing, wacky names, lively, cartoonlike illustrations, and simple text will especially appeal to reluctant readers. Pan is an elf who is cued as Asian; Moxie is a dwarf who appears White.

A good questing novel for readers seeking a simple, lighthearted adventure. (map) (Fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: Sept. 15, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-20636-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: June 30, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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