This dashing adventure is a satisfying addition to this lively series.

ALICE-MIRANDA ON VACATION

From the Alice-Miranda series , Vol. 2

The dauntless Alice-Miranda returns in a sequel fraught with mystery (Alice-Miranda at School, 2011).

Having resolved the problems at her boarding school, Alice-Miranda is looking forward to her school holiday. However, with a penchant for seeking out mysteries, the plucky sleuth is soon surrounded by intrigue. With a cast of both familiar and new characters, Harvey moves the action to the bucolic estate of Alice-Miranda’s family. Accompanied by her school friend Jacinta, Alice-Miranda soon uncovers several puzzling scenarios: A famous movie star is staying with Alice-Miranda's family, an enigmatic driver of an unknown car secretly visits Granny Bert, Daisy the maid spends her days crying and a new bully is on the scene. The forthright Jacinta provides a nice foil for Alice-Miranda’s unwavering sweetness. A dash of corporate espionage involving a top-secret formula and a royal abduction make for thrilling adventures for the duo.  Harvey provides ample clues for the clever Alice-Miranda—and perceptive readers—as she unravels the tangled plots surrounding her family and friends. With her trademark aplomb, Alice-Miranda successfully routs bumbling criminals without ever compromising her impeccable manners.

This dashing adventure is a satisfying addition to this lively series. (Mystery. 7-11)

Pub Date: April 10, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-385-73995-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2012

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We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face.

THE BAD GUYS

From the Bad Guys series , Vol. 1

Four misunderstood villains endeavor to turn over a new leaf…or a new rap sheet in Blabey's frenzied romp.

As readers open the first page of this early chapter book, Mr. Wolf is right there to greet them, bemoaning his reputation. "Just because I've got BIG POINTY TEETH and RAZOR-SHARP CLAWS and I occasionally like to dress up like an OLD LADY, that doesn't mean… / … I'm a BAD GUY." To prove this very fact, Mr. Wolf enlists three equally slandered friends into the Good Guys Club: Mr. Snake (aka the Chicken Swallower), Mr. Piranha (aka the Butt Biter), and Mr. Shark (aka Jaws). After some convincing from Mr. Wolf, the foursome sets off determined to un-smirch their names (and reluctantly curbing their appetites). Although these predators find that not everyone is ready to be at the receiving end of their helpful efforts, they use all their Bad Guy know-how to manage a few hilarious good deeds. Blabey has hit the proverbial nail on the head, kissed it full on the mouth, and handed it a stick of Acme dynamite. With illustrations that startle in their manic comedy and deadpan direct address and with a narrative that follows four endearingly sardonic characters trying to push past (sometimes successfully) their fear-causing natures, this book instantly joins the classic ranks of Captain Underpants and The Stinky Cheese Man.

We challenge anyone to read this and keep a straight face. (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: Jan. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-91240-2

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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