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D-39

A ROBODOG'S JOURNEY

A girl-meets-dog story of hope, perseverance, and survival.

Twelve-year-old Klynt Tovis enjoys tinkering with and restoring gadgets.

She lives with her father on their family farm in a war-torn country where the greedy, violent, and unjust actions of warring factions have resulted in a time of scarcity and fear. Klynt’s only company when school is out is her father and, occasionally, her neighbor’s young son, Jopa. That is, until the day when a D-39 robodog—a realistic dog robot—turns up on her farm. Klynt and D-39 soon become inseparable. After a bomb forces them into their underground bunker for 21 days, Klynt and her father emerge to discover a world destroyed by violence. They head out for rations but end up separating when Klynt decides to stay back with Jopa, whom they discover all alone. After three days without word from her father, Klynt realizes that something must be wrong and that she must take charge. She sets out with D-39 and Jopa on a journey to find their families and, hopefully, salvation. Latham uses an invented lexicon of delightfully creative and expressive hybrid words—jinglesnap, boomblasts, itchglitchy—to tell this tale of a girl and her dog sticking together through illness, pain, and near-death experiences. This is an appealing story for animal-loving readers seeking a slow-paced, atmospheric adventure story. Human characters read as White by default.

A girl-meets-dog story of hope, perseverance, and survival. (glossary) (Dystopian. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 18, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-62354-181-1

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Charlesbridge

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2021

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THE ONE AND ONLY FAMILY

From the One and Only series , Vol. 4

Not the most satisfying wrap-up, but it’s always good to spend time in the world of this series.

Beloved gorilla Ivan becomes a father to rambunctious twins in this finale to a quartet that began with 2012’s Newbery Award–winning The One and Only Ivan.

Life hasn’t always been easy for silverback gorilla Ivan, who’s spent most of his life being mistreated in captivity. Now he’s living in a wildlife sanctuary, but he still gets to see his two best friends. Young elephant Ruby lives in the grassy habitat next door, and former stray dog Bob has a home with one of the zookeepers. All three were rescued from the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. Ivan’s expanded world includes fellow gorilla Kinyani—the two are about to become parents, and Ivan is revisiting the traumas of his past in light of what he wants the twins to know. When the subject inevitably comes up, Applegate’s trust and respect for readers is evident. She doesn’t shy away from hard truths as Ivan wrestles with the fact that poachers killed his family. Readers will need the context provided by knowledge of the earlier books to feel the full emotional impact of this story. The rushed ending unfortunately falls flat, detracting from the central message that a complex life can still contain hope. Final art not seen.

Not the most satisfying wrap-up, but it’s always good to spend time in the world of this series. (gorilla games, glossary, author’s note) (Verse fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2024

ISBN: 9780063221123

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

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THE WILD ROBOT PROTECTS

From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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