SECRET OF THE THREE TREASURES

A young adventurer-in-training keeps her wits about her and her eyes on the prize despite an uncooperative mother, snickering classmates and her own clumsiness—for there is Lost Treasure to be found, and more, in her seemingly ordinary Connecticut town. Modeling herself after the intrepid heroine of her absent dad’s adventure novels, Tiernay plunges headlong into an investigation after overhearing a restaurant conversation about lost Revolutionary War Era gold, and then learning that a sword of similar vintage has vanished from a local antiques shop. Some library research, a bit of spying and a late-night chase later, she and Kevin, nerdy but game son of the man her mom is dating, find themselves locked in an abandoned cellar with not only the sword, but an entire trove of stolen loot. Simner deftly tucks in clues, subplots and enough tongue-in-cheek humor to keep the suspense from turning scary. Her focused determination overriding all obstacles and mishaps, Tiernay makes an appealing protagonist, and by the triumphant close she’s not only helped solve a rash of local crimes, but has even unearthed that gold. Fine fare for recent Cam Jansen and Encyclopedia Brown graduates. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: June 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-8234-1914-2

Page Count: 134

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2006

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KENNY & THE DRAGON

Reports of children requesting rewrites of The Reluctant Dragon are rare at best, but this new version may be pleasing to young or adult readers less attuned to the pleasures of literary period pieces. Along with modernizing the language—“Hmf! This Beowulf fellow had a severe anger management problem”—DiTerlizzi dials down the original’s violence. The red-blooded Boy is transformed into a pacifistic bunny named Kenny, St. George is just George the badger, a retired knight who owns a bookstore, and there is no actual spearing (or, for that matter, references to the annoyed knight’s “Oriental language”) in the climactic show-fight with the friendly, crème-brulée-loving dragon Grahame. In look and spirit, the author’s finely detailed drawings of animals in human dress are more in the style of Lynn Munsinger than, for instance, Ernest Shepard or Michael Hague. They do, however, nicely reflect the bright, informal tone of the text. A readable, if denatured, rendition of a faded classic. (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Aug. 5, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-4169-3977-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2008

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A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves.

SCAREDY CAT

Two shelter cats take on a mysterious puss with weird powers who is terrorizing the feline community.

Hardly have timorous (and aptly named) Poop and her sophisticated buddy, Pasha, been brought home by their new “human beans” for a two-week trial than they are accosted by fiery-eyed Scaredy Cat, utterly trashing the kitchen with a click of his claws and, hissing that he’s in charge of the neighborhood, threatening that if they don’t act like proper cats—disdaining ordinary cat food and any summons (they are not dogs, after all), clawing the furniture instead of the scratching post, and showing like “cattitude”—it’ll be back to the shelter for them. Will Poop and Pasha prove to be fraidycats or flee to the cowed clowder of homeless cats hiding from the bully in the nearby woods? Nope, they are made of sterner stuff and resolutely set out to enlist feline allies in a “quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of purrs!” Cast into a gazillion very short chapters related by furry narrators Poop and Pasha, who are helpfully depicted in portrait vignettes by Herzog at each chapter’s head, the ensuing adventures test the defiant kitties’ courage (and, in some cases, attention spans) on the way to a spooky but poignant climax set, appropriately enough as it happens, in a pet graveyard.

A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves. (Adventure. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49443-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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