A paranormal that’s at its best when it’s real.

SUPERNATURAL HERO

Remarkably, this ghost story is much sadder before Andy’s grandfather dies than afterward.

This middle-grade fantasy opens by showing the full pain of losing someone to cancer. At the funeral, in a lovely moment, Andy thinks, “I can’t tell if they’re all crying for Grandpa or if other people have died as well and they’re also being buried today. I don’t dare ask anyone.” But when Grandpa comes back as a spirit, the book turns instantly hopeful. He’s smiling, and he promises never to leave his grandson. The change in tone works surprisingly well at first, but in its later chapters, the book becomes a comic adventure, with Grandpa giving Andy tips on how to woo his crush, and then, abruptly, a thriller, complete with an evil phantom who threatens said crush. This figure appears and, literally, disappears with so little warning that the novel turns into a cartoon, but Krac’s surreal, smudged gray-black drawings are so disturbing that they add a whole layer of menace to the story. Unfortunately, they don’t make the underwritten love interest any less of a cliché (or the cast less uniformly white). Gadot leaves too many plot points unexplained—perhaps to set up later books in the trilogy—but in its slowest, most nuanced scenes, this story about ghosts shows the entire richness of life.

A paranormal that’s at its best when it’s real. (Supernatural adventure. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 11, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-58270-688-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Beyond Words Publishing

Review Posted Online: April 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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SWINDLE

From the Swindle series , Vol. 1

Eleven-year-old Griffin Bing is “the man with the plan.” If something needs doing, Griffin carefully plans a fix and his best friend Ben usually gets roped in as assistant. When the town council ignores his plan for a skate park on the grounds of the soon-to-be demolished Rockford House, Griffin plans a camp-out in the house. While there, he discovers a rare Babe Ruth baseball card. His family’s money worries are suddenly a thing of the past, until unscrupulous collectables dealer S. Wendell Palomino swindles him. Griffin and Ben plan to snatch the card back with a little help. Pet-lover Savannah whispers the blood-thirsty Doberman. Rock-climber “Pitch” takes care of scaling the house. Budding-actor Logan distracts the nosy neighbor. Computer-expert Melissa hacks Palomino’s e-mail and the house alarm. Little goes according to plan, but everything turns out all right in this improbable but fun romp by the prolific and always entertaining Korman. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-439-90344-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2008

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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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