A superbly provocative topic drained of all its color.

ALIEN INVESTIGATION

SEARCHING FOR THE TRUTH ABOUT UFOS AND ALIENS

Halls’ alien investigation is about as exciting as your neighbor’s vacation slides for the third time.

Unidentified flying objects… really, what more do you need to send a thrill up your spine? A mysterious aircraft, colorful lights pulsing like mad, piloted by who knows what and on a mission to, at the very least, shock the pants off any witness here on Earth, why not be agog and aghast? Plus, there are lots of stories out there, lots of photographs, too, to keep even most skeptics scratching their heads. So why, then, does Halls fail to serve forth the goods? It’s another mystery, if not as compelling as Roswell or the Rendlesham Forest. Considering the slippery nature of the subject, it is critical that the meatiest evidence be presented, and Halls' use of archival photographs is particularly uninspiring. The accompanying text is likewise deflating. Typical of her enthusiasm is this close encounter with alien lights: “A squadron of F-94 fighters was scrambled (quickly sent up) to pursue them but was unsuccessful. ‘They’ve surrounded my plane,’ one pilot reported. ‘What should I do?’ ” This is considered unsuccessful? And what, pray, did the pilot do?

A superbly provocative topic drained of all its color. (Nonfiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-7613-6204-3

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Millbrook/Lerner

Review Posted Online: Jan. 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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An impressive sequel.

PAX, JOURNEY HOME

Boy and fox follow separate paths in postwar rebuilding.

A year after Peter finds refuge with former soldier Vola, he prepares to leave to return to his childhood home. He plans to join the Junior Water Warriors, young people repurposing the machines and structures of war to reclaim reservoirs and rivers poisoned in the conflict, and then to set out on his own to live apart from others. At 13, Peter is competent and self-contained. Vola marvels at the construction of the floor of the cabin he’s built on her land, but the losses he’s sustained have left a mark. He imposes a penance on himself, reimagining the story of rescuing the orphaned kit Pax as one in which he follows his father’s counsel to kill the animal before he could form a connection. He thinks of his heart as having a stone inside it. Pax, meanwhile, has fathered three kits who claim his attention and devotion. Alternating chapters from the fox’s point of view demonstrate Pax’s care for his family—his mate, Bristle; her brother; and the three kits. Pax becomes especially attached to his daughter, who accompanies him on a journey that intersects with Peter’s and allows Peter to not only redeem his past, but imagine a future. This is a deftly nuanced look at the fragility and strength of the human heart. All the human characters read as White. Illustrations not seen.

An impressive sequel. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-293034-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2021

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

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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

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