Not genre-shattering but a solid read for genre fans.



From the Nevermoor series , Vol. 1

Readers will feel as though Harry Potter is meeting Alice in Wonderland in this first of a new series.

Morrigan Crow, a pale, white child, was born cursed. She’s the town scapegoat, blamed for everything bad that happens in Jackalfax. All cursed children are expected to live for 12 years, and as Morrigan is about to turn 11, she has one year until she dies on Eventide, when the old Age gives way to the new. Unfortunately, experts have incorrectly predicted the length of this Age, and Morrigan will die in just a few days. With not even a year’s worth of a future, things look bleak, but then the letter arrives. It’s an invitation to compete for a coveted spot in the prestigious Wundrous Society. On the day she’s to die, Morrigan’s new patron, white, freckled, and very gingery Jupiter North, whisks her away to Nevermoor, where the competition takes place. Successful completion of the four trials of the competition will earn Morrigan lifelong Society membership, giving her what she’s always wanted: to belong. If she fails she must go home, where the Hunt of Smoke and Shadow (the death of all cursed children) will kill her. Several important secondary characters have brown or dark skin, including Jupiter’s nephew, Jack. The geography, politics, and magic of Morrigan’s world are created with care, and Morrigan is a brave free-thinker readers will look forward to meeting again.

Not genre-shattering but a solid read for genre fans. (Fantasy. 8-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-316-50888-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

Did you like this book?

Dizzyingly silly.


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

Did you like this book?