THE MOON IS UP

From the Lumberjanes Novels series , Vol. 2

The scouts of Roanoke cabin return for new sleep-away-camp shenanigans.

At Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s camp for Hardcore Lady-Types, girls are preparing for campwide Galaxy Wars, a space-themed competition. The inhabitants of Roanoke cabin—Mal, Molly, April, Jo, and Ripley—feel the pressure to be victorious, and not just in the contest. Science-loving Jo has received an offer from a prestigious astronomy program that would mean she would have to leave her friends and all the fun behind; musical Mal is having trouble passing the multi-instrument test to earn a Tha’s Accordion to You badge and begins to question her tuneful talents. Meanwhile, scrappy Ripley befriends a cheese-obsessed, talking mouse with a secret. As their own anxieties mount and the pressure to win Galaxy Wars intensifies, will the girls be able to handle it all? This second volume in the middle-grade series maintains all of the best elements of both its prose predecessor and its comics roots, from its zippy signature argot (bons mots such as “Where the Roxane Gay are you going?”) to a diverse cast of characters. Out of the five main protagonists, three are girls of color (although not explicitly stated in this volume), and two of them—Mal and Molly—are a harmonious and supportive couple; a secondary character at the camp is nonbinary. In today’s highly competitive world, the insistence that having fun trumps winning is a delightful departure.

More feisty feminist fun. (Fantasy. 7-14)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4197-2868-6

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: March 18, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2018

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

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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An apocalyptic adventure with a whole lot of heart.

THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH AND THE ZOMBIE PARADE

From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 2

Thirteen-year-old Jack Sullivan and his crew of monster-fighting besties are fresh off their victorious battle against the evil Blarg, but there’s no rest for the weary in the middle of a Monster Apocalypse.

First, Joe’s Pizza has become the local monster hangout. And second, the zombies seem to be disappearing. Thankfully, the white boy, his not-so-secret Latina love, June Del Toro, his African-American, science-nerd best friend, Quint, and pre-apocalypse bully–turned-ally Dirk, a large white boy who loves to garden, befriend a man-monster who might have the answers to everything. Equal parts humor, adventure, and warmth, the book offers fans of the series and new readers alike an entirely agreeable outing. Jack’s witty narration and Holgate’s pitch-perfect illustrations make for a terrific read that’s particularly well suited for middle-grade boys who might otherwise be reluctant to pick up a book. There are plenty of foul-smelling, brain-sucking monsters and gizmos and gadgets to delight, but at its core, this is a story about friendship. Orphaned at birth and raised by a foster family he describes as jerks, Jack has always longed for a family of his own. Now that he has one, the only thing scarier than the monsters is the thought of losing them.

An apocalyptic adventure with a whole lot of heart. (Horror. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-670-01662-4

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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