A distinctive unicorn tale for those seeking a funny-bone tickle.

ONCE UPON A UNICORN

In the Glistening Isles can a unicorn and a night mare be friends?

Midnight the young night mare lives in the Whisperwood near the Court of Thistles. She can’t control her magical fire the way other night mares can, but she has a Plan to fix that. Meanwhile, Curious the unicorn has a Scientific Mind (or so he thinks); other unicorns do not. He’s also friends with Wartle, a puckle; other unicorns find puckles annoying. When Curious’ decision to study a wispy wood wink leads him to be trapped by three evil kelpies in the River Restless, it’s Midnight who happens upon him. Hoping to prove that night mares are not the evil creatures unicorns think them to be, Midnight decides to rescue him. Interspecies bickering leads to competition for the wispy wood wink—and suddenly pumpkin-headed Jack O’ the Hunt the wickedest of Wicked Fairies is after the both of them. When the (possibly, or maybe it’s occasionally) good Queen Titania gets involved, it’s any fairy’s guess if Curious and Midnight will even survive. Anders tiptoes into Terry Pratchett country with this funny and fresh fantasy steeped in Celtic myth. The snarkily omniscient narrator and chapter titles such as “Is This the End? But There Are Still So Many Chapters Left” up the giggle quotient.

A distinctive unicorn tale for those seeking a funny-bone tickle. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5247-1944-9

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: April 12, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2020

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NIGHTBIRD

There’s a monster in Sidwell, Massachusetts, that can only be seen at night or, as Twig reveals, if passersby are near her house.

It’s her older brother, James, born with wings just like every male in the Fowler line for the last 200 years. They were cursed by the Witch of Sidwell, left brokenhearted by their forebear Lowell Fowler. Twig and James are tired of the secret and self-imposed isolation. Lonely Twig narrates, bringing the small town and its characters to life, intertwining events present and past, and describing the effects of the spell on her fractured family’s daily life. Longing for some normalcy and companionship, she befriends new-neighbor Julia while James falls in love with Julia’s sister, Agate—only to learn they are descendants of the Witch. James and Agate seem as star-crossed as their ancestors, especially when the townspeople attribute a spate of petty thefts and graffiti protesting the development of the woods to the monster and launch a hunt. The mix of romance and magic is irresistible and the tension, compelling. With the help of friends and through a series of self-realizations and discoveries, Twig grows more self-assured. She is certain she knows how to change the curse. In so doing, Twig not only changes James’ fate, but her own, for the first time feeling the fullness of family, friends and hope for the future.

Enchanting. (Magical realism. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-38958-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

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 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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