Something wicked this way comes...hopefully, a sequel in the making.



From the Order of the Night Jay series , Vol. 1

Camp Jay Bird is alive with secrets...or is it?

In his comics, Frank is the mighty Super Bear, who fears only three things: math, his dad, and summer camp. But in real life, shy and nervous Frank is about as unbearlike as a bear can be. Sent away to camp by his father, he’s sure that his summer is ruined; the only thing worse than the bullies are the bugs, and he's the only bear there, to boot! At least with a friend by his side, Ricky, a hyperexcitable raccoon, the ordeal has the potential to become an adventure...perhaps more of an adventure than either bargained for. In the (un)dead of night, Frank and Ricky soon discover that some secrets are better left undisturbed. Schnapp's debut graphic novel doesn't seem certain whether it'll become a detective-duo heist, a moving and cautionary tale of friendship and openness prevailing against prejudice, or a chilling campfire yarn, but it somehow manages to be all three and more. Varying in size, palette, and intricacy, the panels are wonderfully dynamic and engaging. Hints of characterization come through both explicitly and in the easy-to-overlook details, and even minor characters are imbued with surprising depth. The first in a thrilling series, this one forgoes the cliffhanger entirely and plunges straight over the edge, leaving readers hungry for more.

Something wicked this way comes...hopefully, a sequel in the making. (Graphic novel. 8-12.)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-60309-510-5

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Top Shelf Productions

Review Posted Online: May 11, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2022

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.


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

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Wonderfully weird.


The first third of the ancient epic Beowulf adapted for a young audience.

Long ago, in an unnamed suburb, lived Carl, “detector of gold,” who, with toys and treats, cemented a lasting legacy of childhood revels. As time claimed countless kid-kings, the cardboard crown was passed on. Roger, king of our age, turns his ambitions skyward and constructs Treeheart, a stronghold against such evils as bullies. But the safehouse is besieged by detractors, the worst of them the dreaded Mr. Grindle, a cranky middle-aged man able to condemn kids to the pall of adulthood with a single withering touch. One wild night, Grindle desecrates the hall, heralding an age of silent sorrow. Hope washes in from foreign ’burbs in the form of Bea Wolf, “bride of battle,” with “sixty kids’ strength” in each hand. Will she reclaim Treeheart from Grindle’s fell grasp? Weinersmith’s richly evocative turns of phrase run the gamut from hilarious to heart-rending and maintain the flavor of the original without bogging the pace down amid the kennings. Boulet’s illustrations imbue the shenanigans with gleeful energy and a touch of dark absurdity that children, seeing their own fears and triumphs reflected, will delight in. However tempted time-broken adults might be to scoff at the slapdash magical realism and sympathize with Grindle, doing so in the face of such an unabashedly joyful ode to the freedom of the child’s mind is an impossible task. The cast of characters is diverse.

Wonderfully weird. (note detailing the history of the original and the author’s adaptational techniques, sketchbook) (Graphic novel. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-1-250-77629-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Nov. 16, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2022

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