A savvy choice for readers of fantasy; individual readers and book clubs will love it and demand to know when the sequel...

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THE LAST

From the Endling series , Vol. 1

What do you do when you’re the last of your kind?

Applegate transports her readers to a new land, one inhabited by numerous sentient species, six of which have fought to the top of the food chain: humans, dairnes, felivets, natites, terramants, and raptidons. In this world, readers meet Byx, a dairne—a doglike creature that walks erect, glides like a flying squirrel, and has opposable thumbs—on the day she becomes the last of her species. It’s also a day when Byx meets two other creatures: Tobble, a wobbyk, with large ears and a short round body, and Khara (short for Kharassande), a 14-year-old, brown-skinned human girl who pretends to be a boy so that she is not limited by the gendered rules of human society. Bonded through lifesaving acts, the three embark on a journey to find Ferrucci the Gharri, a scientist and scholar who may be able to protect Byx from a human emperor who is hellbent on killing off her entire species. Applegate skillfully builds a fully realized world of intrigue and wonder without ever letting up on the story’s quick pace. Themes of genocide, conservation, and magic are interwoven, providing thought-provoking questions for astute readers and educators.

A savvy choice for readers of fantasy; individual readers and book clubs will love it and demand to know when the sequel will be available. (Fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-233552-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Another epic outing in a graphic hybrid series that continues not just to push the envelope, but tear it to shreds.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE SENSATIONAL SAGA OF SIR STINKS-A-LOT

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 12

Pranksters George and Harold face the deadliest challenge of their checkered careers: a supersmart, superstrong gym teacher.

With the avowed aim of enticing an audience of “grouchy old people” to the Waistband Warrior’s latest exploit, Pilkey promises “references to health care, gardening, Bob Evans restaurants, hard candies, FOX News, and gentle-yet-effective laxatives.” He delivers, too. But lest fans of the Hanes-clad hero fret, he also stirs in plenty of fart jokes, brain-melting puns, and Flip-O-Rama throwdowns. After a meteorite transforms Mr. Meaner into a mad genius (evil, of course, because “as everyone knows, most gym teachers are inherently evil”) and he concocts a brown gas that turns children into blindly obedient homework machines, George and Harold travel into the future to enlist aid from their presumably immune adult selves. Temporarily leaving mates and children (of diverse sexes, both) behind, Old George and Old Harold come to the rescue. But Meaner has a robot suit (of course he has a robot suit), and he not only beats down the oldsters, but is only fazed for a moment when Capt. Underpants himself comes to deliver a kick to the crotch. Fortunately, gym teachers, “like toddlers,” will put anything in their mouths—so an ingestion of soda pop and Mentos at last spells doom, or more accurately: “CHeffGoal-D’BLOOOM!”

Another epic outing in a graphic hybrid series that continues not just to push the envelope, but tear it to shreds. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-50492-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one.

THE WILD ROBOT ESCAPES

Roz, a robot who learned to adapt to life among wild creatures in her first outing, seeks to return to the island she calls home.

Brown’s sequel to The Wild Robot (2016) continues an intriguing premise: What would happen to a robot after challenges in an unexpected environment cause it to evolve in unusual ways? As this book opens, Roz is delivered to a farm where she helps a widower with two young children run a dairy operation that has been in his family for generations. Roz reveals her backstory to the cows, who are supportive of the robot’s determination to return to the island and to her adopted son, the goose Brightbill. The cows, the children, and finally Brightbill himself come to Roz’s aid. The focus on Roz’s escape from human control results in a somewhat solemn and episodic narrative, with an extended journey and chase after Roz leaves the farm. Dr. Molovo, a literal deus ex machina, appears near the end of the story to provide a means of rescue. She is Roz’s designer/creator, and, intrigued by the robot’s adaptation and evolution but cognizant of the threat that those achievements might represent to humans, she assists Roz and Brightbill in their quest. The satisfactory (if inevitable-feeling) conclusion may prompt discussion about individual agency and determination, whether for robots or people.

If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-38204-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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