As an agent for the Supernatural Immigration Task Force, it is Frank Gallows’s job to catch ghosts on Earth and send them back to the afterlife. However, during one particularly tricky deportation, he accidentally zaps a young—living—boy. Garth Hale suddenly finds himself surrounded by mummies and goblins in a crumbling, ghastly city, with a skeleton horse and his long-departed grandfather as his only friends. Gallows comes crashing into the afterlife, as well, on a daring rescue mission. As this bumbling team tries to find a way home, they end up face to face with the evil ruler of Ghostopolis, who doesn’t look too kindly upon mortals in his city. With a cast of characters that is sometimes one too many, in a world that includes seven kingdoms of infinite zombies, this ghost-filled graphic novel could easily overwhelm, but TenNapel reins it in by deftly illustrating each essential moment and emotion. Creepy details, quick quips and a wry, deadpan (pun absolutely intended) humor are sure to delight. (Graphic fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: July 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-545-21027-0

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010


The scion of a once-prominent, wealthy family, Hector Bell engages in ingenious bartering and wishful thinking to support his wife and sons, Cyrus and Darius, on the decaying estate, while he writes stories no one wants to read. Now it’s time to present the town with the Bell Gift, a requirement of the original land grant, but unlike his forebears, Hector has nothing to give. Exasperated by Hector, Cyrus is preparing to head off to university and study engineering, but his younger brother, Darius, longs to solve their father’s dilemma. When a small earthquake opens up a cave on the estate, Darius thinks he’s found the answer, but each step brings new challenges. He’ll need inventive ideas, resourcefulness and most of all help from his friends to meet them. Much of the pleasure in this ode to “life [as] what happens while you’re busy making plans” lies in Hirsch’s dry, understated humor and his subtly charming characters, who are willing to put up with one another’s foibles and eccentricities, however annoying, for the sake of friendship. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-935279-65-5

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Kane Miller

Review Posted Online: July 29, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2010


From the Nola's Worlds series

Bubble-gum–tinged whimsy abounds in this stylish French graphic-novel import. Cotton-candy–tressed Nola spends her days dreaming in her peaceful town, Alta Donna. Her world is cozy and ordinary until she meets the aloof and mysterious Damiano and Inés. Nola quickly learns that there are strange forces after the siblings and is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery. Nola and her friends radiate a funky fashion sense, constantly changing clothes and hairstyles; it’s hard to imagine a reader who wouldn’t want to raid her closet. This first installment propels forward with the force of a rocket—albeit a very pink, fanciful one. Luckily for the ravenous reader, the whole trilogy releases simultaneously (#2, Ferrets and Ferreting Out, PLB: 978-0-7613-6504-4; #3, Even for a Dreamer Like Me, PLB: 978-0-7613-6505-1). Though it's a fantastic visual experience, the actual plot is thin; even as Nola delves into the mystery in the subsequent volumes, the narrative never really gains any degree of complexity. However, with its upbeat palette (courtesy of Pop), manga-inspired art and hip characters, this charmer is sure to please preteen girls. (Graphic fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7613-6538-9

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Graphic Universe

Review Posted Online: Sept. 27, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2010

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