With a cameo from Batman himself, this origin story presents an entertaining new team of supers.


Setting their debut superhero graphic-novel series for kids in the suburbs of East Gotham, Quinn, Lunetta, and Gil introduce readers to an unlikely DC Comics duo.

Sloane MacBrute and Piper Pájaro are both 13 but are otherwise very different from each other. Piper is Latinx, the brown-skinned daughter of scientists working in Antarctica; she lives with Abuela and Uncle John, a police officer. She also has superstrength and can lift a small car. Sloane is white and happens to be the granddaughter of the Bear, the notorious goon; she is also a robotics genius. When her recently laid-off mother’s health declines, Bear dispatches Sloane, as her supervillain alter ego, Gray, to steal a device from a research facility. Piper, who moonlights as the superhero Hummingbird, learns about a threat to the device her parents created, so she shows up to protect it. The late-night mission goes awry, and the device somehow causes both girls to switch bodies, forcing them to work together to switch them back and thwart the Bear. Co-authors Lunetta and Quinn’s quick dialogue, narration, and pacing are successful, and from Abuela, readers hear Spanish peppered throughout the story. Gil’s illustrations are dynamic, filling spreads with noir-toned purple and dark-blue hues. Panels cut from aerial views and zoom into the fast-paced action, building momentum.

With a cameo from Batman himself, this origin story presents an entertaining new team of supers. (Graphic adventure. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4012-9325-3

Page Count: 144

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: Jan. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?