An action-packed tale that answers some long-awaited questions; fans will look forward to the promised sequel.


From the Kyoshi Novels series , Vol. 1

The origins of Kyoshi, from the beloved television series Avatar: The Last Airbender, have been shrouded in mystery—until now.

Orphaned Kyoshi is treated as an outcast in the small coastal village of Yokoya. To survive she works in the mansion of Avatar Yun as his servant and companion. When she accompanies Yun to a treaty negotiation, violence breaks out, unleashing Kyoshi’s hidden earthbending capabilities and throwing doubt on Yun’s legitimacy. Yun and Kyoshi engage in a ritual to find out who the true Avatar is only to be betrayed by one of his mentors, Jianzhu, forcing Kyoshi to flee. With the help of Rangi, a Firebender warrior and friend, they now must evade Jianzhu and his extensive network. Kyoshi receives tutelage from a group of bandits, the self-proclaimed Flying Opera Company, in hopes of taking revenge on Jianzhu. As with the original, a mix of East Asian cultures provides the template for character profiles and worldbuilding. Yee (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, 2017) artfully weaves in political entanglements as well as complex cultural identities to fully immerse readers in Kyoshi’s world. The pace strikes a careful balance between page-turning conflicts and revelations of Kyoshi's past. Each page is efficient in its storytelling, furthering the plot without lessening the suspense. Knowledge of the original series is ideal for full enjoyment.

An action-packed tale that answers some long-awaited questions; fans will look forward to the promised sequel. (Fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: July 16, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3504-2

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Sensitive subject matter that could have benefited from a subtler, more sober touch.


A Jewish girl joins up with Polish resistance groups to fight for her people against the evils of the Holocaust.

Chaya Lindner is forcibly separated from her family when they are consigned to the Jewish ghetto in Krakow. The 16-year-old is taken in by the leaders of Akiva, a fledgling Jewish resistance group that offers her the opportunity to become a courier, using her fair coloring to pass for Polish and sneak into ghettos to smuggle in supplies and information. Chaya’s missions quickly become more dangerous, taking her on a perilous journey from a disastrous mission in Krakow to the ghastly ghetto of Lodz and eventually to Warsaw to aid the Jews there in their gathering uprising inside the walls of the ghetto. Through it all, she is partnered with a secretive young girl whom she is reluctant to trust. The trajectory of the narrative skews toward the sensational, highlighting moments of resistance via cinematic action sequences but not pausing to linger on the emotional toll of the Holocaust’s atrocities. Younger readers without sufficient historical knowledge may not appreciate the gravity of the events depicted. The principal characters lack depth, and their actions and the situations they find themselves in often require too much suspension of disbelief to pass for realism.

Sensitive subject matter that could have benefited from a subtler, more sober touch. (afterword) (Historical fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-14847-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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From the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series , Vol. 1

Edgar Award–winning Riordan leaves the adult world of mystery to begin a fantasy series for younger readers. Twelve-year-old Percy (full name, Perseus) Jackson has attended six schools in six years. Officially diagnosed with ADHD, his lack of self-control gets him in trouble again and again. What if it isn’t his fault? What if all the outrageous incidents that get him kicked out of school are the result of his being a “half-blood,” the product of a relationship between a human and a Greek god? Could it be true that his math teacher Mrs. Dodds transformed into a shriveled hag with bat wings, a Fury, and was trying to kill him? Did he really vanquish her with a pen that turned into a sword? One need not be an expert in Greek mythology to enjoy Percy’s journey to retrieve Zeus’s master bolt from the Underworld, but those who are familiar with the deities and demi-gods will have many an ah-ha moment. Along the way, Percy and his cohort run into Medusa, Cerberus and Pan, among others. The sardonic tone of the narrator’s voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism that questions the realities of our world, family, friendship and loyalty. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7868-5629-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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