THE BOOK OF STOLEN TIME

From the Feylawn Chronicles series , Vol. 2

An exciting, engaging read.

Rufus and Abigail are again thrust into a wild adventure as they try to stop the goblins from destroying Feylawn and the magic it holds.

The beginning of summer was exciting for Rufus Takada Collins, what with saving the fairylike feylings and helping them return to their world. But his family still wants to sell Feylawn, Grandpa Jack’s farm, and Rufus is now stuck at a two-week camp for young entrepreneurs with his cousin, Abigail. One day, when the cousins manage to visit the farm, the feylings warn that a badness is coming and tell of four impossible tasks they must complete to save it. Their parents announce they want to sell to a man who is actually a goblin in disguise, bringing urgency to their challenge. As they get further into their quest and encounter a two-faced monster, a time cabinet, and a moving meadow, they realize there is far more to the story than they realized. Full of magical creatures, action, and adventure, this is an entertaining duology closer. With the unexpected return of familiar characters, betrayals, and a few twists, the story will keep readers on their toes. Rufus and Abigail learn real-world lessons, such as what it means to sacrifice, persevere, and be true to themselves. The previous volume established the cousins as biracial: Rufus is White and Japanese, and Abigail is White and Mexican.

An exciting, engaging read. (map) (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-374-30648-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Nov. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2021

THE WILD ROBOT PROTECTS

From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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