Next book

A DASH OF DRAGON

Mix a dash of humor with some action and adventure, throw in a couple of cute boys plus a gutsy heroine—this novel is a...

In a world where fantasy, technology, and high-stakes cooking collide, a young chef fights to keep her restaurant afloat while struggling to preserve her freedom.

Unlike her nemesis at Chef’s Academy, Gregorian “Greg” LaSilvian, 13-year-old Lailu Loganberry did not grow up in a privileged household. Through sheer hard work and determination, Lailu graduates at the top of her class with the special skills to hunt down dangerous, mystical beasts and cook them. Instead of working for a household—the usual route for academy graduates—Lailu chooses to open a restaurant with her mentor, Sullivan Slipshod, serving dishes like kraken hot pot, batyrdactyl meat pie, and basilisk fish with mandrake herb sauce. On opening day, Mr. Boss, a ruthless loan shark, pays her a visit and reveals that Master Slipshod has borrowed money from him. If they can’t pay him back within a year, they’re doomed to work for him forever. As Lailu devises a plan to come up with the money, she finds herself embroiled in a web of intrigue involving the king’s executioner, the elf Mafia, and Mr. Boss and his lackeys. Lang and Bartkowski create an enjoyably fizzy fantasy world, peopling it with diverse humans as well as magical species. Lailu appears to be Asian, while Greg seems to be white. The plot rockets along, the third-person narration peppered by agreeably colloquial dialogue.

Mix a dash of humor with some action and adventure, throw in a couple of cute boys plus a gutsy heroine—this novel is a recipe for success—perfect for Top Chef fans with a penchant for the fantastical. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: July 11, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-7793-2

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: April 25, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

Next book

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

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

Next book

WORST BROOMMATE EVER!

From the Middle School and Other Disasters series , Vol. 1

Serves up light sorcery mixed with middle school friendships.

With her witch mom and human dad, Heidi Heckelbeck was first introduced to readers in a long-running eponymous series about her elementary school life.

Now she’s off to middle school at Broomsfield Academy, her mom’s alma mater. The boarding school, ostensibly an ordinary one, secretly provides special classes for witches and wizards. Those with magical talents must keep them secret, but that’s hard for Heidi. To her great dismay, her “broommate” is her nemesis from home, Melanie Maplethorpe. Is the rude, mean girl of her nightmares also a witch? Despite the rules against using magic outside her special classes, Heidi uses her powers to play a prank on Melanie, whose music is too loud. When the girls are partnered during Broommate Bonding Day, they find out that they are more alike than they think—but that doesn’t mean it’s completely smooth sailing ahead, especially when both of them have crushes on the same boy. There are sweet, detailed, grayscale illustrations scattered throughout, and many of Heidi’s thoughts are emphasized in different type sizes. The story moves quickly, and it may particularly appeal to reluctant readers. Loyal readers of the first series can easily transition to this, and others looking for an accessible read with a touch of magic will also enjoy it. Heidi and Melanie appear White; some secondary characters bring racial diversity.

Serves up light sorcery mixed with middle school friendships. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 30, 2023

ISBN: 9781665925280

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Feb. 7, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2023

Close Quickview