A promising start for a new series.


From the Zoone series , Vol. 1

This portal fantasy begins with a door to nowhere.

One uneventful day, a pipe bursts in Apartment 2B, where Oswald “Ozzie” Sparks lives with practical, orderly Aunt Temperance while his high-powered parents travel the world. Imaginative, lonely Ozzie sets off in search of creepy Mr. Crudge, the building’s caretaker, and stumbles upon a mysterious door. This door has “an energy about it,” and for some reason Aunt Temperance seems to have a key to it. A few days later, Ozzie arrives home to find a blue, curly-eared, winged, tigerlike creature called a skyger waiting for him. Telling Ozzie his name is Tug, he invites the boy to Zoone, the heart of the multiverse, where the Convention of Wizardry is about to commence and the secret of this world between worlds awaits. Using Aunt Temperance’s key, Ozzie enters, but the door explodes, leaving Ozzie with no way home. Though he’ll have guidance from Lady Zoone, the steward, Ozzie will need to discover the secret on his own. He’ll also find out he’s much braver than he thinks over the course of this rather contemplative adventure. Like many a magical world before it, Zoone is full of colorful characters. Even Aunt Temperance wasn’t always so “mundane,” as Ozzie learns. She appears to suffer from depression, which Ozzie understands as sickness. Tug has a disability among those of his kind: His wings don’t work. Capt. Cho, head of Zoone security, has brown skin; assume whiteness for other humans.

A promising start for a new series. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-284526-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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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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A sympathetic, compelling introduction to wolves from the perspective of one wolf and his memorable journey.


Separated from his pack, Swift, a young wolf, embarks on a perilous search for a new home.

Swift’s mother impresses on him early that his “pack belongs to the mountains and the mountains belong to the pack.” His father teaches him to hunt elk, avoid skunks and porcupines, revere the life that gives them life, and “carry on” when their pack is devastated in an attack by enemy wolves. Alone and grieving, Swift reluctantly leaves his mountain home. Crossing into unfamiliar territory, he’s injured and nearly dies, but the need to run, hunt, and live drives him on. Following a routine of “walk-trot-eat-rest,” Swift traverses prairies, canyons, and deserts, encountering men with rifles, hunger, thirst, highways, wild horses, a cougar, and a forest fire. Never imagining the “world could be so big or that I could be so alone in it,” Swift renames himself Wander as he reaches new mountains and finds a new home. Rife with details of the myriad scents, sounds, tastes, touches, and sights in Swift/Wander’s primal existence, the immediacy of his intimate, first-person, present-tense narration proves deeply moving, especially his longing for companionship. Realistic black-and-white illustrations trace key events in this unique survival story, and extensive backmatter fills in further factual information about wolves and their habitat.

A sympathetic, compelling introduction to wolves from the perspective of one wolf and his memorable journey. (additional resources, map) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-289593-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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