Fun for a spooky night, anchored by likable characters and a zippy story.

SCARLETT HART

MONSTER HUNTER

Following the path set by her renowned, deceased parents, young Scarlett Hart battles against monsters, ghouls, and all other kinds of dreadful things.

As an underage hunter, Scarlett must keep her activities a secret from the Royal Academy for the Pursuit and Eradication of Zoological Eccentricities; she must also contend with the vile Count Stankovic, a rival hunter who holds a personal vendetta against Hart. Aided by her wry butler, Napoleon, Scarlett hunts spectral hounds and mummies to earn just enough money to keep her little operation running. To keep on hunting means risking it all, especially when her nemesis manages to get Hart in trouble with the Academy. Monster hunt after monster hunt keeps the story whizzing along nicely, with plot developments and revelations sprinkled throughout in a rollicking manner. Rough and scrappy, Taylor’s illustrations convey ghoulish cool with subtle aplomb, even as moments of action get muddled at times from panel to panel. Muted colors and a London backdrop set an appropriate mood, casting the monsters and baddies in a particularly gruesome light. As more monsters pop up in Scarlett’s world, and the Count grows into an even bigger menace, the young hunter uncovers secrets both great and small. Meanwhile, rumors swirl about a book called the Codex Monstrorum and its dangerous properties. This graphic novel features a cast of mostly but not exclusively light-skinned characters, with a plucky, pale-skinned heroine at its center.

Fun for a spooky night, anchored by likable characters and a zippy story. (Graphic horror. 10-14)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-15984-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

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

Did you like this book?

A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

DAUGHTER OF THE DEEP

A teenager faces seemingly insurmountable challenges in this riveting modern-day spinoff of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

For Ana Dakkar and her fellow ninth graders at Harding-Pencroft Academy, there is nothing more momentous than the weekend trials each student must ace at the end of freshman year. Students who fail to showcase their survival skills are asked to leave the academy, a heavily guarded place Ana has thought of as home since the mysterious deaths of her parents. Though Ana’s brother, Dev, is a senior, what happens at trials is such a closely guarded secret that no one in her year knows what to expect. While her group is out on the water for their trials, Harding-Pencroft is demolished in an attack orchestrated by a rival school. As Ana and her classmates discover that the events depicted in Jules Verne’s classic novels were real, Riordan’s lifelong love of the source material is clear—especially when Ana learns information that will help her find a way to protect the group. A foreword by Roshani Chokshi introduces this adventure that is both great entertainment and centers a well-developed protagonist who is thoughtfully shown dealing with loss. Ana is of Bundeli Indian descent, and her group of peers, who are diverse in various ways, experience losses and struggles of their own. (Final illustrations not seen.)

A riveting novel that will have readers rooting for its star. (Harding-Pencroft Academy guide, cast list) (Adventure. 10-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-07792-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more