This leisurely, lyrical, romantic and realistic version is one to savor and to read aloud, and again, and again.

EAST OF THE SUN, WEST OF THE MOON

Reimagined for the 21st century, a familiar folk tale becomes a haunting love story and a reminder that first love may not last a lifetime.

The traditional Scandinavian tale relates the attraction between a great white bear and a young girl, her betrayal, and her subsequent journey to find him and free him from his enchantment. In Morris’ telling, the ending is modern. The story begins in reality. She’s the eldest child of immigrants seeking asylum and struggling in a new country. Even those readers who don’t know the fairy-tale background will know that fantasy is coming from the very beginning, when a polar bear performs a feat of magic on a gritty city street. But while the girl loved the bear, the woman, grown and given a name—Berneen—has more complex emotions. Modern references appear occasionally throughout the text, but this is folklore world, with a splendid variety of landscapes. Watercolor paintings between chapters show fields and forests in several seasons, a southwestern desert and the icy wastes of the frozen north. There are spreads showing the girl, the bear and the castle as well, and tiny vignettes throughout indicate breaks in the action. 

This leisurely, lyrical, romantic and realistic version is one to savor and to read aloud, and again, and again. (Fantasy. 11-15)

Pub Date: March 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-84780-294-1

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Frances Lincoln

Review Posted Online: Feb. 18, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish.

THE MECHANICAL MIND OF JOHN COGGIN

The dreary prospect of spending a lifetime making caskets instead of wonderful inventions prompts a young orphan to snatch up his little sister and flee. Where? To the circus, of course.

Fortunately or otherwise, John and 6-year-old Page join up with Boz—sometime human cannonball for the seedy Wandering Wayfarers and a “vertically challenged” trickster with a fantastic gift for sowing chaos. Alas, the budding engineer barely has time to settle in to begin work on an experimental circus wagon powered by chicken poop and dubbed (with questionable forethought) the Autopsy. The hot pursuit of malign and indomitable Great-Aunt Beauregard, the Coggins’ only living relative, forces all three to leave the troupe for further flights and misadventures. Teele spins her adventure around a sturdy protagonist whose love for his little sister is matched only by his fierce desire for something better in life for them both and tucks in an outstanding supporting cast featuring several notably strong-minded, independent women (Page, whose glare “would kill spiders dead,” not least among them). Better yet, in Boz she has created a scene-stealing force of nature, a free spirit who’s never happier than when he’s stirring up mischief. A climactic clutch culminating in a magnificently destructive display of fireworks leaves the Coggin sibs well-positioned for bright futures. (Illustrations not seen.)

A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish. (Adventure. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234510-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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A thrilling conclusion to a beautifully crafted, heart-stopping trilogy.

THRIVE

From the Overthrow series , Vol. 3

This is the moment teens Seth, Anaya, and Petra have both been anticipating and dreading ever since aliens called cryptogens began attempting to colonize the Earth: the chance to defend their planet.

In an earlier volume, Seth, Anaya, and Petra began growing physical characteristics that made them realize they were half alien. Seth has wings, Petra has a tail, and Anaya has fur. They also have the power of telepathy, which Anaya uses to converse with Terra, a cryptogen rebel looking for human allies who could help stop the invasion of Earth. Terra plans to use a virus stored in the three teens’ bodies to disarm the flyers, which are the winged aliens that are both masterminding the invasion and enslaving the other species of cryptogens known as swimmers and runners. But Terra and her allies can’t pull any of this off without the help of Anaya, Seth, and Petra. Although the trio is anxious about their abilities, they don’t have much of a choice—the entire human race is depending on them for salvation. Like its predecessors, this trilogy closer is fast-paced and well structured. Despite its post-apocalyptic setting, the story is fundamentally character driven, and it is incredibly satisfying to watch each protagonist overcome their inner battles within the context of the larger human-alien war. Main characters read as White.

A thrilling conclusion to a beautifully crafted, heart-stopping trilogy. (Science fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984894-80-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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