Lots to like but not for the faint of heart.

READ REVIEW

CHECK OUT THE LIBRARY WEENIES

AND OTHER WARPED AND CREEPY TALES

From the Weenie Stories series

Beware, the weenies return with 30 new tales to warp your mind and chill your spine.

Lubar returns with the ninth collection in 15 years of short and sometimes shivery stories. There are sci-fi stories, horror stories, fantasy stories, and revenge stories. In a medieval village, one tale’s narrator wants a wizard to turn all of the silver in a house into gold. It’s not the narrator’s house; what possible reason could he have…it’s a monstrous reason. Pamela must stay with her great-aunt while her mother’s on a business trip. Great Aunt Hester collects dolls’ heads. Can Pamela stand to sleep in a room lined with staring bodiless dolls? In the title story, the collection’s longest, a group of bullied book lovers are locked out of their library hangout due to mold. When they create a golem to protect themselves, it turns on them. Help arrives from an unexpected quarter. A few are less engaging than others, but they’re short; just turn the page. Fans will be happy at the variety in these tales, and story notes at the close will be fun to investigate for budding authors. Also at the close: a reading and activity guide for grades four through seven that lists the common core standards it supports. Diversity is achieved largely through naming convention.

Lots to like but not for the faint of heart. (Short stories. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-7653-9706-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Starscape/Tom Doherty

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs.

WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM

Rejoice! 25 years later, Wayside School is still in session, and the children in Mrs. Jewls’ 30th-floor classroom haven’t changed a bit.

The surreal yet oddly educational nature of their misadventures hasn’t either. There are out-and-out rib ticklers, such as a spelling lesson featuring made-up words and a determined class effort to collect 1 million nail clippings. Additionally, mean queen Kathy steps through a mirror that turns her weirdly nice and she discovers that she likes it, a four-way friendship survives a dumpster dive after lost homework, and Mrs. Jewls makes sure that a long-threatened “Ultimate Test” allows every student to show off a special talent. Episodic though the 30 new chapters are, there are continuing elements that bind them—even to previous outings, such as the note to an elusive teacher Calvin has been carrying since Sideways Stories From Wayside School (1978) and finally delivers. Add to that plenty of deadpan dialogue (“Arithmetic makes my brain numb,” complains Dameon. “That’s why they’re called ‘numb-ers,’ ” explains D.J.) and a wild storm from the titular cloud that shuffles the school’s contents “like a deck of cards,” and Sachar once again dishes up a confection as scrambled and delicious as lunch lady Miss Mush’s improvised “Rainbow Stew.” Diversity is primarily conveyed in the illustrations.

Ordinary kids in an extraordinary setting: still a recipe for bright achievements and belly laughs. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-296538-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2019

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Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING

A fresh delicious fantasy that children will love.

In the character of 9-year-old Pippi Longstocking, who was lucky to have no parents to tell her what to do, is a juvenile Robin Hood with the authority of Mammy Yokum and a Mighty Mouse. Pippi- red headed, in longstockings (one black and one brown), and the strongest girl in the world was the friend of Tommy and Annika. Calmly and ingeniously she put down the enemy forces of the adult world — with a serene efficiency. The teacher was baffled by her logic in pointing out the futility of learning arithmetic; bullies she hoisted on trees; at the circus Pippi rode bareback, walked the tightrope, and wrestled the wrestling champ; cream and sugar flowed (on the floor) when Pippi attended a ladies' coffee party where she revealed "horrid things" with the complacency of Eliza Doolittle. Champion of fun, freedom and fantasy and long happy thoughts,

Pippi is an inspired creation knit from daydreams.

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 1950

ISBN: 978-0-14-030957-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1950

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