Nevertheless, an action-packed tale with guns and boat chases that will appeal to reluctant readers

INTO THE TRAP

“What happens on the water stays on the water,” is the attitude in this fishing community on the fictional New England community of Fog Island.

Things are not going well for 12-year-old Eddie Atwell and his family. Poachers have stolen roughly 1,000 pounds of lobsters from the Atwell’s “car” (the mostly submerged, enclosed pen used to hold lobsters in seawater), and Eddie’s dad is on the mainland having surgery. All the action takes place within 24 hours, with each chapter heading counting down the minutes. At 4:05 in the morning, Eddie sneaks away from his sister Laurie to go fishing on Greenhead Point. At 5:01, he stumbles upon the stolen lobsters and learns Laurie’s boyfriend, Jake, is one of the poachers. At 5:40, Eddie meets 13-year-old Briggs Fairfield, a geeky rich kid who escaped from the nearby sailing camp because he is being bullied by Marty, one of the counselors—who also happens to be the ringleader of the thieves. By 9:45 that evening, the chase is on. The story is relies a touch too heavily on character and regional stereotypes, while some of the situations seem far-fetched.

Nevertheless, an action-packed tale with guns and boat chases that will appeal to reluctant readers . (Adventure. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 19, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-59643-585-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Roaring Brook

Review Posted Online: May 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2011

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Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles.

A MAP OF DAYS

From the Peculiar Children series , Vol. 4

The victory of Jacob and his fellow peculiars over the previous episode’s wights and hollowgasts turns out to be only one move in a larger game as Riggs (Tales of the Peculiar, 2016, etc.) shifts the scene to America.

Reading largely as a setup for a new (if not exactly original) story arc, the tale commences just after Jacob’s timely rescue from his decidedly hostile parents. Following aimless visits back to newly liberated Devil’s Acre and perfunctory normalling lessons for his magically talented friends, Jacob eventually sets out on a road trip to find and recruit Noor, a powerful but imperiled young peculiar of Asian Indian ancestry. Along the way he encounters a semilawless patchwork of peculiar gangs, syndicates, and isolated small communities—many at loggerheads, some in the midst of negotiating a tentative alliance with the Ymbryne Council, but all threatened by the shadowy Organization. The by-now-tangled skein of rivalries, romantic troubles, and family issues continues to ravel amid bursts of savage violence and low comedy (“I had never seen an invisible person throw up before,” Jacob writes, “and it was something I won’t soon forget”). A fresh set of found snapshots serves, as before, to add an eldritch atmosphere to each set of incidents. The cast defaults to white but includes several people of color with active roles.

Not much forward momentum but a tasty array of chills, thrills, and chortles. (Horror/Fantasy. 12-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7352-3214-3

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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AKATA WITCH

Who can't love a story about a Nigerian-American 12-year-old with albinism who discovers latent magical abilities and saves the world? Sunny lives in Nigeria after spending the first nine years of her life in New York. She can't play soccer with the boys because, as she says, "being albino made the sun my enemy," and she has only enemies at school. When a boy in her class, Orlu, rescues her from a beating, Sunny is drawn in to a magical world she's never known existed. Sunny, it seems, is a Leopard person, one of the magical folk who live in a world mostly populated by ignorant Lambs. Now she spends the day in mundane Lamb school and sneaks out at night to learn magic with her cadre of Leopard friends: a handsome American bad boy, an arrogant girl who is Orlu’s childhood friend and Orlu himself. Though Sunny's initiative is thin—she is pushed into most of her choices by her friends and by Leopard adults—the worldbuilding for Leopard society is stellar, packed with details that will enthrall readers bored with the same old magical worlds. Meanwhile, those looking for a touch of the familiar will find it in Sunny's biggest victories, which are entirely non-magical (the detailed dynamism of Sunny's soccer match is more thrilling than her magical world saving). Ebulliently original. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 14, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-670-01196-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2011

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