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An intergalactic joyride.

A giant robot army in space? What could go wrong?

Billie Blaster is a genius. She has all the things a genius needs: genius parents, home laboratories (including a secret one, of course), a team of superintelligent animal engineers, a sassy goat sidekick, and, most importantly, a nemesis. Tiny Hector Glum, who is 4 1/2 inches tall (thanks to his Irreversible Shrinking Ray) and who’s been Billie’s rival ever since he came in second to her at the Kindergarten Science Fair, has set his sights on world domination and taking Billie down. Meanwhile, a robot alien arrives bearing a message of “grave galactic importance”: Evil aliens from the planet Bonk are planning to take over Earth, and it’s (kind of) Billie’s fault! Can Billie and her ragtag band of robotic and furry friends stop the invasion? Will Tiny Hector Glum finally succeed in taking over Earth? Energetic and upbeat, this graphic novel refuses to take itself too seriously even when it touches on topics such as access and opportunity in STEM. The story, though not particularly original, is laugh-out-loud funny in places and heartwarming in others; it keeps a consistent momentum throughout. Its partially unresolved resolution gives it an episodic feeling, as though another installment is just around the corner. Bright, vibrant art adeptly underscores the movement of the narrative and brings new heights (and sewer depths) of humor to the quirky cast and world. Human characters present White.

An intergalactic joyride. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2023

ISBN: 9781419753848

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 24, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2023

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From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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An enthralling fantasy debut exploring exploitation by those in power.

Will 12-year-old Nura be able to outsmart the trickster jinn and save herself and her friends?

Nura lives in the fictional Pakistani town of Meerabagh, where she has worked mining mica to help support her family of five—her mother, herself, and her three younger siblings—since her father’s death. In the mines she has the company of her best friend, Faisal, who is teased by other kids for his stutter, and she enjoys small pleasures like splurging on gulab jamun. Although Maa wants Nura to stop working and attend school, she has no interest in classroom learning and hopes to save up to send her younger siblings to school instead so they can break the family’s cycle of poverty. Following a mining accident in which Faisal and others are lost in the rubble, Nura goes to the rescue. In her quest, she is plunged into the magical, glittering jinn realm, where nothing is as it seems. The author seamlessly weaves into the worldbuilding of the story commentary on real-life problems such as the ravages of child labor and systems that perpetuate inequities. An informative author’s note further explores present-day global cycles of oppression as well as the life-changing power of education. This action-packed story set in a Muslim community moves at a fast pace, with evocative writing that brings the fantasy world to life and lyrical imagery to describe emotions.

An enthralling fantasy debut exploring exploitation by those in power. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: July 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5795-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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