Brimming with adventure, tenacity, and magic.

An orphan is chosen for an intergalactic mission beyond his wildest dreams.

Zero Adedji always dreamed of becoming a Saba, or licensed adventurer who harnesses Koba magic using Kobastickers. Zero lives alone in Cégolim, the City of Children, helping stranded travelers through his company, Zero Worries. When he touches a mysterious object one day, it turns out to be the sought-after Jupiter Kobasticker—and it chooses him to possess it. When bounty hunters try to kill him to get it, he’s saved by members of the Shango Heart Guild and invited to join them. Zero works hard to master the Jupiter, which is rumored to grant immortality to every 13th user—and he’s the 25th. Zoe Sitso, Zero’s mentor, asks him, along with guild members Camih and Ladi Hyung, to retrieve the Mask of the Shaman King so its rightful owner can destroy it. The mask grants wishes—but at a steep price, and it could release powerful villain Zomon the Dark King from the Oblong Dimension. The trio fights alongside unlikely allies to retrieve it. Unfortunately, the Space Mafia, who wouldn’t flinch at sacrificing others for their own gain, are also out to possess the mask. Togolese debut author Adodo’s debut bursts forth with wonderful worldbuilding drawing from African mythology and culture. Nail-biting scenes are balanced by comedic moments. In a fantasy-diverse galaxy, Zero and Camih read Black; their relationship is founded on respect, avoiding common sexist tropes.

Brimming with adventure, tenacity, and magic. (character sketches) (Science fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 4, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-324-03077-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Norton Young Readers

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2022


From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021


However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the...

At a time when death has become an acceptable, even voguish subject in children's fiction, Natalie Babbitt comes through with a stylistic gem about living forever. 

Protected Winnie, the ten-year-old heroine, is not immortal, but when she comes upon young Jesse Tuck drinking from a secret spring in her parents' woods, she finds herself involved with a family who, having innocently drunk the same water some 87 years earlier, haven't aged a moment since. Though the mood is delicate, there is no lack of action, with the Tucks (previously suspected of witchcraft) now pursued for kidnapping Winnie; Mae Tuck, the middle aged mother, striking and killing a stranger who is onto their secret and would sell the water; and Winnie taking Mae's place in prison so that the Tucks can get away before she is hanged from the neck until....? Though Babbitt makes the family a sad one, most of their reasons for discontent are circumstantial and there isn't a great deal of wisdom to be gleaned from their fate or Winnie's decision not to share it. 

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the first week in August when this takes place to "the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning") help to justify the extravagant early assertion that had the secret about to be revealed been known at the time of the action, the very earth "would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin." (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1975

ISBN: 0312369816

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1975

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