A riotously entertaining series closer that should appeal to fantasy-loving children of all ages.


Jim Morgan and the Door at the Edge of the World

A boy-pirate hero attempts to save the world in the high-spirited conclusion to Raney’s (Jim Morgan and the Pirates of the Black Skull, 2013, etc.) middle-grade fantasy series.

Over the course of earlier installments, the orphaned Jim Morgan, currently 14, went from the lap of luxury as an English lord’s son to an adventurous life as a pirate and thief, sailing the seas on a mighty ship, the Spectre, with his friends and co-conspirators, Lacey and brothers George and Peter Ratt. In the last book, Jim came into possession of an incredibly powerful magical object, the Hunter’s Shell; it was split in two, and one half wound up in the hands of the evil Count Cromier and his son, Bartholomew. In this installment, Jim and his friends vow to destroy the Shell before the Cromiers can use it to find the golden trident known as the Treasure of the Ocean, which could doom the world if wielded by the wrong person. Their quest sets them in the path of other pirates, as well as magical creatures, such as dragons, merfolk, ogres and a devious talking cat called Janus Blacktail. The story ends by revealing secrets of Jim’s lineage that will change his life forever. Raney crafts a swashbuckling adventure that’s genuinely thrilling, not only in its rapid pacing, but also in its extremely clever plotting and endlessly inventive set pieces, which mix and match historical and mythological references in a seamless mélange. It captures the flavor of old-fashioned serials and features fleshed-out, youthful protagonists whose lives are a joy to follow. Although this tale is clearly intended to be the culmination of a three-book journey, Raney presents the material in such a way that even someone who joined the ride late won’t have any trouble following the story and, more importantly, caring about the characters and their quest. Overall, this suspenseful, engrossing novel has all the sophistication of the very best YA best-sellers.

A riotously entertaining series closer that should appeal to fantasy-loving children of all ages.

Pub Date: Dec. 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9858359-7-2

Page Count: 396

Publisher: Dreamfarer Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and...


Inspired by Colombian librarian Luis Soriano Bohórquez, Brown’s latest tells of a little girl whose wish comes true when a librarian and two book-laden burros visit her remote village.

Ana loves to read and spends all of her free time either reading alone or to her younger brother. She knows every word of the one book she owns. Although she uses her imagination to create fantastical bedtime tales for her brother, she really wants new books to read. Everything changes when a traveling librarian and his two donkeys, Alfa and Beto, arrive in the village. Besides loaning books to the children until his next visit, the unnamed man also reads them stories and teaches the younger children the alphabet. When Ana suggests that someone write a book about the traveling library, he encourages her to complete this task herself. After she reads her library books, Ana writes her own story for the librarian and gives it to him upon his reappearance—and he makes it part of his biblioburro collection. Parra’s colorful folk-style illustrations of acrylics on board bring Ana’s real and imaginary worlds to life. This is a child-centered complement to Jeanette Winter’s Biblioburro (2010), which focuses on Soriano.

The book is perfect for read-alouds, with occasional, often onomatopoeic Spanish words such as “quiquiriquí,” “tacatac” and “iii-aah” adding to the fun.   (author’s note, glossary of Spanish terms) (Picture book. 4-8)

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-353-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2011

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This companion piece to the other fairy tales Marcia Brown has interpreted (see Puss In Boots, 1952, p. 548 and others) has the smoothness of a good translation and a unique charm to her feathery light pictures. The pictures have been done in sunset colors and the spreads on each page as they illustrate the story have the cumulative effect of soft cloud banks. Gentle.

Pub Date: June 15, 1954

ISBN: 0684126761

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1954

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