A solid choice for readers who like history with their mystery.


Time-traveling archenemies must work together to save their school.

In a world where some people are born with a gene that allows them to slide in and out of time—to Glitch—children with that DNA are educated at a special school run by the government. Interfering with the past is against the law, and anyone who travels back in time to manipulate history is labeled a Butterfly and arrested. Glitchers are trained to stop Butterflies, and Regan Fitz, whose mom is commander in chief of the U.S. branch of Glitch Academy, has great intuition when it comes to spotting people intent on altering the timeline. She is, however, at the bottom of her class because school is a struggle. Her nemesis is Elliot Mason, who is at the top of the class, but he lacks the gut instincts needed to be an excellent Glitcher. Character development takes a back seat to premise and plot here. Regan and Elliot fight constantly and are in the middle of an epic blowup when a Cocoon—an object planted by a Butterfly to effect a change—in Regan’s handwriting appears. The pair must work together to figure out its clues and succeed in their mission, all while avoiding detection and being arrested as Butterflies. The final time-travel sequences are many and dizzying, but the excellent pacing of the race to save the day overshadows this mechanics issue. Elliot appears black and Regan is white.

A solid choice for readers who like history with their mystery. (Science fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 9, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-289435-9

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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Dizzyingly silly.


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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