HIGGINS HOLE by Kevin Boreen


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11
Email this review


A middle-grade undersea fantasy angles to be a comical clambake but reels in only a damp debacle.

Higgins Hole is a paradisiacal reef off the Florida Keys, where sharks, shellfish and sealife of every kind live in harmony under the wise leadership of Lutus the lobster—until their peaceful idyll is invaded by the monstrous white shark Tacitus and his gang of thugs. Every denizen of the deep, from the tiniest shrimp to the giant blue whales, will have to summon unprecedented courage to save their home, with just a little unexpected assist from the abyss. The premise is a charming one, but when the prologue drains any potential suspense by announcing a complete, casualty-free victory, the story needs to rely instead upon a likable voice or clever execution. Unfortunately, the first-person narration by the vainglorious grandiloquent seahorse Petronius (and especially his tedious reliance on incessant, groan-worthy puns) quickly becomes annoying, while the broad political and social satire will most likely sail over the heads of younger readers. The cartoony ink illustrations provide a certain goofy brio, and the brief chapters and constant cliffhangers might make for a passable classroom read-aloud. The failure to allow any named female a role beyond passive oracle or silly damselfish-in-distress, however, unnecessarily excludes half the potential audience, while the condescending tone and corny humor will probably alienate the rest.

Steer clear. (Fantasy. 8-11)
Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-57091-641-0
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Charlesbridge
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2012


ChildrenFAKERS by H.P. Wood
by H.P. Wood
ChildrenJUST LIKE US! PLANTS by Bridget Heos
by Bridget Heos
ChildrenJUST LIKE US! BIRDS by Bridget Heos
by Bridget Heos


ChildrenTHREE GOOD DEEDS by Vivian Vande Velde
by Vivian Vande Velde
ChildrenISABEL OF THE WHALES by Hester Velmans
by Hester Velmans
ChildrenBAD UNICORN by Platte F. Clark
by Platte F. Clark