Nail-biting journey with a heart.

GRIZZLY PEAK

From the Aaron's Wilderness series

An adventure trip in British Columbia’s Cariboo Mountains may be the best chance for a father and son to reconnect.

After being expelled from school for carrying a pocket knife, eighth-grader Aaron strikes a deal with his parents. Rather than attending a camp in Montana for juvenile delinquents, Aaron agrees to a kayak trip with his father. The only problem is he and his dad can barely stand to be in the same room together. How are they going to survive two weeks alone in the wilderness? From the start, the trip becomes a contest of wills, each loath to allow the other to take the lead. The sound of their kayak paddles clacking together is a constant reminder of just how out of sync they have become. But when a life-threatening accident incapacitates his father, Aaron is forced to find the very qualities that his father was demanding all along. The richly realized setting makes the familiar story of a headstrong white teen squaring off against his father fresh. Aaron moves from arrogance to humility and a calm assurance. But his father also grows, realizing Aaron is yearning for the same respect and freedom that he craved from his own father. Pencil illustrations accompany the text.

Nail-biting journey with a heart. (Adventure. 8-11)

Pub Date: Feb. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943328-77-2

Page Count: 172

Publisher: WestWinds Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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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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Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet!

WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE

From the Ryan Hart series , Vol. 1

Ryan Hart is navigating the fourth grade and all its challenges with determination.

Her mom named her Ryan because it means “king,” and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name; Ryan knows it means she is a leader. So when changes occur or disaster strikes, budding chef Ryan does her best to find the positive and “make sunshine.” When her dad is laid off from the post office, the family must make adjustments that include moving into a smaller house, selling their car, and changing how they shop for groceries. But Ryan gets to stay at Vernon Elementary, and her mom still finds a way to get her the ingredients she needs to practice new recipes. Her older brother, Ray, can be bossy, but he finds little ways to support her, especially when she is down—as does the whole family. Each episodic chapter confronts Ryan with a situation; intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching, they should be familiar and accessible to readers, as when Ryan fumbles her Easter speech despite careful practice. Ryan, her family, and friends are Black, and Watson continues to bring visibility to both Portland, Oregon, generally and its Black community specifically, making another wonderful contribution that allows Black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love.

Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0056-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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