Disturbingly delightful.



Zombies and vampires and Grimm, oh my!

Nothing is quite what it seems in these morbidly fractured fairy tales. In the prologue, readers meet a prince with no eyebrows and a Rapunzel with a mohawk. But wait—what about her fair hair? A simple but dangerous mistake, it seems, as the narrator explains: “I thought she was saying hair, as in the thing that grows out of your head and on your arms and sometimes on your face….But really she was saying herr, which is the German word for ‘lord’!” As it turns out, Rapunzel’s fair Herr is a very large, very angry snake, Cinderella is a pyromaniac, and Red Riding Hood has had a bit too much of that vile pease porridge. White offers nine short tales, each prefaced by creepy inversions of classic children’s rhymes (“What are little girls made of? / Brains and wails and people entrails, / That’s what little girls are made of!”), all woven together by a wickedly irreverent narrator (“FEE FIE FOE FUM, JACK, THAT PLAN WAS REALLY DUMB…”). Some may find the stories and accompanying illustrations a bit too scary, but White’s abundantly evident glee keeps things from getting too dark. In keeping with the stories’ European origins, nearly all characters are white—except for a few who have turned an undead-shade of gray….

Disturbingly delightful. (Fractured fairy tales. 8-12)

Pub Date: July 25, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-94060-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun


From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 1

It’s been 42 days since the Monster Apocalypse began, and 13-year-old Jack Sullivan, a self-proclaimed “zombie-fighting, monster-slaying tornado of cool” is on a quest to find and rescue his not-so-secret crush, June Del Toro, whether she needs it, wants it, or not.

Jack cobbles together an unlikely but endearing crew, including his scientist best friend, Quint Baker; Dirk Savage, Parker Middle School’s biggest bully; and a pet monster named Rover, to help him save the damsel in distress and complete the “ULTIMATE Feat of Apocalyptic Success.” Middle-grade readers, particularly boys, will find Jack’s pitch-perfect mix of humor, bravado, and self-professed geekiness impossible to resist. His sidekicks are equally entertaining, and it doesn’t hurt that there are also plenty of oozing, drooling, sharp-toothed monsters and zombies and a host of gizmos and gadgets to hook readers and keep them cheering with every turn of the page. Holgate’s illustrations play an integral role in the novel’s success. They not only bring Brallier’s characters to life, but also add depth and detail to the story, making plain just exactly how big Rover is and giving the lie to Jack’s “killer driving.” The marriage of text and illustration serves as a perfect example of what an illustrated novel can and should be.

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun (. (Graphic/horror hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-670-01661-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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An apocalyptic adventure with a whole lot of heart.


From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 2

Thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan and his crew of monster-fighting besties are fresh off their victorious battle against the evil Blarg, but there’s no rest for the weary in the middle of a Monster Apocalypse.

First, Joe’s Pizza has become the local monster hangout. And second, the zombies seem to be disappearing. Thankfully, the white boy, his not-so-secret Latina love, June Del Toro, his African-American, science-nerd best friend, Quint, and pre-apocalypse bully–turned-ally Dirk, a large white boy who loves to garden, befriend a man-monster who might have the answers to everything. Equal parts humor, adventure, and warmth, the book offers fans of the series and new readers alike an entirely agreeable outing. Jack’s witty narration and Holgate’s pitch-perfect illustrations make for a terrific read that’s particularly well suited for middle-grade boys who might otherwise be reluctant to pick up a book. There are plenty of foul-smelling, brain-sucking monsters and gizmos and gadgets to delight, but at its core, this is a story about friendship. Orphaned at birth and raised by a foster family he describes as jerks, Jack has always longed for a family of his own. Now that he has one, the only thing scarier than the monsters is the thought of losing them.

An apocalyptic adventure with a whole lot of heart. (Horror. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-670-01662-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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