Members of persecuted minorities unite to fight crime: icky, impish, and thematically rich.

A 10-year-old vampire courageously agrees to help two mortal children track down a serial killer.

Readers fond of nocturnal whodunits festooned with sly twists and tweaks from opening page to terrifying climax are in for a treat—but Moulton has much to offer here besides gore and glory. Found as a baby in the ruins of a synagogue following a hate crime and bitten to save his life, Adam has been raised by his vampiric foster moms in strict isolation from dangerous mortals. But so appalled is he to learn of a series of gruesome murders around his hometown of Lacey, Washington, that he nerves himself to hide his fangs with a scarf, control his yearning for blood (something Victor, his toxically adolescent foster bro, is disinclined to do), and join two chance-met amateur investigators: Luis and Shoshana. The killer’s identity makes things complicated and scary—but if, by the end, the threat hasn’t been permanently dealt with, it’s at least resolved for the moment, and Adam has strengthened bonds with not only his mortal friends, but family too, specifically Victor and Sung, his nonbinary, college-aged, Korean foster sibling. Shoshana helps Adam understand how, as an “obligate hemovore,” he can still be Jewish, and this story, which features an ethnically diverse cast, thoughtfully pushes back against significant antisemitic elements in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and vampire lore in general.

Members of persecuted minorities unite to fight crime: icky, impish, and thematically rich. (author’s note) (Light horror. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 5, 2023

ISBN: 9781774880494

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Tundra Books

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2023


From the School for Good and Evil series , Vol. 1

Rich and strange (and kitted out with an eye-catching cover), but stronger in the set pieces than the internal logic.

Chainani works an elaborate sea change akin to Gregory Maguire’s Wicked (1995), though he leaves the waters muddied.

Every four years, two children, one regarded as particularly nice and the other particularly nasty, are snatched from the village of Gavaldon by the shadowy School Master to attend the divided titular school. Those who survive to graduate become major or minor characters in fairy tales. When it happens to sweet, Disney princess–like Sophie and  her friend Agatha, plain of features, sour of disposition and low of self-esteem, they are both horrified to discover that they’ve been dropped not where they expect but at Evil and at Good respectively. Gradually—too gradually, as the author strings out hundreds of pages of Hogwarts-style pranks, classroom mishaps and competitions both academic and romantic—it becomes clear that the placement wasn’t a mistake at all. Growing into their true natures amid revelations and marked physical changes, the two spark escalating rivalry between the wings of the school. This leads up to a vicious climactic fight that sees Good and Evil repeatedly switching sides. At this point, readers are likely to feel suddenly left behind, as, thanks to summary deus ex machina resolutions, everything turns out swell(ish).

Rich and strange (and kitted out with an eye-catching cover), but stronger in the set pieces than the internal logic. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-210489-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013



From award winner Telgemeier (Smile, 2010), a pitch-perfect graphic novel portrayal of a middle school musical, adroitly capturing the drama both on and offstage.

Seventh-grader Callie Marin is over-the-moon to be on stage crew again this year for Eucalyptus Middle School’s production of Moon over Mississippi. Callie's just getting over popular baseball jock and eighth-grader Greg, who crushed her when he left Callie to return to his girlfriend, Bonnie, the stuck-up star of the play. Callie's healing heart is quickly captured by Justin and Jesse Mendocino, the two very cute twins who are working on the play with her. Equally determined to make the best sets possible with a shoestring budget and to get one of the Mendocino boys to notice her, the immensely likable Callie will find this to be an extremely drama-filled experience indeed. The palpably engaging and whip-smart characterization ensures that the charisma and camaraderie run high among those working on the production. When Greg snubs Callie in the halls and misses her reference to Guys and Dolls, one of her friends assuredly tells her, "Don't worry, Cal. We’re the cool kids….He's the dork." With the clear, stylish art, the strongly appealing characters and just the right pinch of drama, this book will undoubtedly make readers stand up and cheer.

Brava!  (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-32698-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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