Next book

THE GLORIOUS ADVENTURES OF THE SUNSHINE QUEEN

A companion to the achingly effervescent prairie epic Stop the Train! (2003). The adventure begins with a bored 12-year-old girl named Cissy Sissney in a small Oklahoma town in the 1890s. Cissy’s boredom comes to an abrupt halt when a diphtheria outbreak forces her and her friends Tibbie and Kookie to flee town in the care of their current school teacher. They hope to take refuge with their beloved former teacher, Miss Loucien, who has become part of a touring theater group. The little band of travelers locates the troupe on a dilapidated paddle wheeler, and, little by little, they become trusted members of a dysfunctional family of actors and performers of every stripe. As The Sunshine Queen steams down the Missouri River, the crew tries to make a living by stopping at various towns to put on shows. Unfortunately, they find trouble much more often than money, and high jinks always ensue, leading to the troupe's attempt to rescue Miss Loucien’s brother-in-law from being unjustly executed. The plot involves strategically placed rumors, a private train and a daring impersonation of Queen Victoria and her advisors. This one has a bit of a Huck Finn feel, and those readers who like their adventures with heavy doses of plot twists and tomfoolery will be smitten. (Historical fiction. 10-14)

 

Pub Date: May 17, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-06-200806-0

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: April 3, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2011

Next book

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 17


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner

Next book

REFUGEE

Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 17


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner

In the midst of political turmoil, how do you escape the only country that you’ve ever known and navigate a new life? Parallel stories of three different middle school–aged refugees—Josef from Nazi Germany in 1938, Isabel from 1994 Cuba, and Mahmoud from 2015 Aleppo—eventually intertwine for maximum impact.

Three countries, three time periods, three brave protagonists. Yet these three refugee odysseys have so much in common. Each traverses a landscape ruled by a dictator and must balance freedom, family, and responsibility. Each initially leaves by boat, struggles between visibility and invisibility, copes with repeated obstacles and heart-wrenching loss, and gains resilience in the process. Each third-person narrative offers an accessible look at migration under duress, in which the behavior of familiar adults changes unpredictably, strangers exploit the vulnerabilities of transients, and circumstances seem driven by random luck. Mahmoud eventually concludes that visibility is best: “See us….Hear us. Help us.” With this book, Gratz accomplishes a feat that is nothing short of brilliant, offering a skillfully wrought narrative laced with global and intergenerational reverberations that signal hope for the future. Excellent for older middle grade and above in classrooms, book groups, and/or communities looking to increase empathy for new and existing arrivals from afar.

Poignant, respectful, and historically accurate while pulsating with emotional turmoil, adventure, and suspense. (maps, author’s note) (Historical fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-88083-1

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2017

Close Quickview