Readership may be limited to fans of the earlier Magnus Fin books and those enamored of under-the-sea adventures.

MAGNUS FIN AND THE SELKIE SECRET

From the Magnus Fin series , Vol. 3

Magnus Fin, half-human, half-selkie, is thrilled when a sea storm washes up a box sure to contain riches.

When he tries to open it though, the box releases a burst of red light that leaves his hand throbbing. Worse, it tears a layer of his human skin to reveal seal skin. With this, two chains of events are set in motion: A news reporter gets wind of Fin’s oddities, and Fin is asked to return the box to King Neptune. After healing his hand, Fin’s selkie grandmother explains that the chest contains a wealth of wisdom desperately needed by Neptune to rule prudently. However, the key has been lost. She asks Fin to keep the selkie secret even as he finds the key and delivers both it and the treasure to the king. The story is a continuation of adventures begun in two earlier books, and children who have not read them may feel lost when Magnus, in his quest, must revisit a monster’s castle that he previously destroyed. Some characters and situations are not fully described, and the environmental theme feels tacked-on here. Even some new plot developments feel slight and their resolutions pat, such as the reporter who decides to do good rather than seek sensation.

Readership may be limited to fans of the earlier Magnus Fin books and those enamored of under-the-sea adventures. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-86315-865-0

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Floris

Review Posted Online: June 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2012

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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An apocalyptic adventure with a whole lot of heart.

THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH AND THE ZOMBIE PARADE

From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 2

Thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan and his crew of monster-fighting besties are fresh off their victorious battle against the evil Blarg, but there’s no rest for the weary in the middle of a Monster Apocalypse.

First, Joe’s Pizza has become the local monster hangout. And second, the zombies seem to be disappearing. Thankfully, the white boy, his not-so-secret Latina love, June Del Toro, his African-American, science-nerd best friend, Quint, and pre-apocalypse bully–turned-ally Dirk, a large white boy who loves to garden, befriend a man-monster who might have the answers to everything. Equal parts humor, adventure, and warmth, the book offers fans of the series and new readers alike an entirely agreeable outing. Jack’s witty narration and Holgate’s pitch-perfect illustrations make for a terrific read that’s particularly well suited for middle-grade boys who might otherwise be reluctant to pick up a book. There are plenty of foul-smelling, brain-sucking monsters and gizmos and gadgets to delight, but at its core, this is a story about friendship. Orphaned at birth and raised by a foster family he describes as jerks, Jack has always longed for a family of his own. Now that he has one, the only thing scarier than the monsters is the thought of losing them.

An apocalyptic adventure with a whole lot of heart. (Horror. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-670-01662-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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