A fun page-turner sure to steal readers’ attention.

LILY THE THIEF

It might be a man’s world, but one young thief wants to change that.

In this graphic offering from Finnish author/illustrator Kukkonen, Lily, a small, parentless girl with choppy dark hair is an extremely talented thief who bounds about her seemingly medieval village, picking pockets with panache. She works with elderly, gray-bearded Seamus, who treats her kindly, serving as her parental figure. Lily is determined to prove herself and secure a spot in the male-only thieves’ guild. When the Guildmaster laughs off any chance of entry because of her age and gender, she steals one of the scrolls that act as the guild’s job assignments out of spite. Lily soon finds herself facing corrupt nobility, the shadowy Brotherhood, and a mysterious legend as she dashes through dungeons and rushes among relics. Lily must now decide exactly how far she will go to get what she wants. A headstrong character, often blinded by her own impetuousness, Lily is a joy to follow as she wends her way through a male-dominated world (Lily is, in fact, nearly the only female character). Her sass, swords, and soaring arrows keep the pages flying and eyes racing over tidy panels colored by Bazot with a palette of cool blues countered by warm brown tones. Lily’s adventures feel familiar and a bit well trodden, but they are as cozy and comfortable as a warm blanket on a cold day. All characters present white.

A fun page-turner sure to steal readers’ attention. (Graphic fantasy. 7-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-19355-1

Page Count: 288

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Did you like this book?

A witty addition to the long-running series.

THE DEEP END

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 15

The Wimpy Kid hits the road.

The Heffley clan has been stuck living together in Gramma’s basement for two months, waiting for the family home to be repaired, and the constant togetherness has been getting on everybody’s nerves. Luckily Greg’s Uncle Gary has a camper waiting for someone to use it, and so the Heffleys set off on the open road looking for an adventurous vacation, hoping the changing scenery will bring a spark back to the family unit. The winding road leads the Heffleys to a sprawling RV park, a setting teeming with possibilities for Greg to get up to his usual shenanigans. Greg’s snarky asides and misadventures continue to entertain. At this point the Wimpy Kid books run like a well-oiled machine, paced perfectly with witty lines, smart gags, and charming cartoons. Kinney knows just where to put a joke, the precise moment to give a character shading, and exactly how to get the narrative rolling, spinning out the oddest plot developments. The appreciation Kinney has for these characters seeps through the novels, endearing the Heffleys to readers even through this title, the 15th installment in a franchise boasting spinoffs, movies, and merchandise. There may come a time when Greg and his family overstay their welcome, but thankfully that day still seems far off.

A witty addition to the long-running series. (Humor. 7-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 27, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4197-4868-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more