LAUGH TILL YOU CRY

Cody and his mom have moved to Houston to take care of his grandmother. As if being the new kid in school isn’t enough, he must also contend with his cousin Hayden and his cohorts who bully him at every turn. The situation turns serious when Cody is blamed for several dangerous pranks. As the problems escalate to include stolen homework projects and secret plots, he tries to shield his grandmother from Hayden’s involvement. An understanding police officer offers support and friendship as Cody solves the mystery of the pranks and forms a truce of sorts with his cousin. Nixon has crafted a lively, fast-paced tale with an intelligent young hero who is creative, courageous, and compassionate. He is surrounded by multidimensional supporting characters who add depth and complexity to a deceptively simple plot. A fine addition to Nixon’s long and distinguished career. Published posthumously, with a moving tribute from Mary Higgins Clark. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2004

ISBN: 0-385-73027-6

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2004

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

MASTERPIECE

Eleven-year-old James Terik isn’t particularly appreciated in the Pompaday household. Marvin, a beetle who lives happily with his “smothering, overinvolved relatives” behind the Pompadays’ kitchen sink, has observed James closely and knows he’s something special even if the boy’s mother and stepfather don’t. Insect and human worlds collide when Marvin uses his front legs to draw a magnificent pen-and-ink miniature for James’s birthday. James is thrilled with his tiny new friend, but is horrified when his mother sees the beetle’s drawing and instantly wants to exploit her suddenly special son’s newfound talents. The web further tangles when the Metropolitan Museum of Art enlists James to help catch a thief by forging a miniature in the style of Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. Delightful intricacies of beetle life—a cottonball bed, playing horseshoes with staples and toothpicks—blend seamlessly with the suspenseful caper as well as the sentimental story of a complicated-but-rewarding friendship that requires a great deal of frantic leg-wiggling on Marvin’s part. Murphy’s charming pen-and-ink drawings populate the short chapters of this funny, winsome novel. (author’s note) (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2008

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8270-8

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Christy Ottaviano/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2008

Did you like this book?

A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

DAUGHTER OF THE DEEP

A teenager faces seemingly insurmountable challenges in this riveting modern-day spinoff of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

For Ana Dakkar and her fellow ninth graders at Harding-Pencroft Academy, there is nothing more momentous than the weekend trials each student must ace at the end of freshman year. Students who fail to showcase their survival skills are asked to leave the academy, a heavily guarded place Ana has thought of as home since the mysterious deaths of her parents. Though Ana’s brother, Dev, is a senior, what happens at trials is such a closely guarded secret that no one in her year knows what to expect. While her group is out on the water for their trials, Harding-Pencroft is demolished in an attack orchestrated by a rival school. As Ana and her classmates discover that the events depicted in Jules Verne’s classic novels were real, Riordan’s lifelong love of the source material is clear—especially when Ana learns information that will help her find a way to protect the group. A foreword by Roshani Chokshi introduces this adventure that is both great entertainment and centers a well-developed protagonist who is thoughtfully shown dealing with loss. Ana is of Bundeli Indian descent, and her group of peers, who are diverse in various ways, experience losses and struggles of their own. (Final illustrations not seen.)

A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star. (Harding-Pencroft Academy guide, cast list) (Adventure. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-07792-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more