An antic-filled romp through the trials and tribulations of a young inventor's exciting life.

READ REVIEW

THE MCVENTURES OF ME, MORGAN MCFACTOID

HAIR TODAY, GONE TOMORROW

Morgan McCracken combats bullying by using his head instead of his fists. When this fails him, he runs.

Why is he getting bullied? Partly because he's a redhead. Also, he's one of those 13-year-olds who has already developed facial hair. And he prefers hanging out in his garage attic, his McFactory, where he does his thinking, dreaming, and inventing, rather than hanging out with other people. Except, maybe, the girl across the street, Robin Reynolds. When his bully problem pales in comparison to his family's money problems, Morgan tries to think of an invention that could solve all his problems. An anti–hair-growth formula seems like it might do the trick. He'd no longer get teased for having a five o’clock shadow, and he'd make enough money to keep his family from losing their house. But none of his chemical solutions do anything except give him rashes. And then something happens that makes Morgan's anti–hair-growth solution work...only not the way he planned. Television writer and producer Waxman offers a mix of pitch-perfect dialogue and wild scenarios. The chase scenes, romance, and corporate finagling seem a tad too unrealistic, even in a book dependent on unlikely events, while Morgan is an odd combination of naiveté and worldliness. Despite these drawbacks, kids will find the book entertaining.

An antic-filled romp through the trials and tribulations of a young inventor's exciting life. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Jan. 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-1634501484

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Sky Pony Press

Review Posted Online: Nov. 3, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Moving and poetic.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

PAX

A motherless boy is forced to abandon his domesticated fox when his father decides to join soldiers in an approaching war.

Twelve-year-old Peter found his loyal companion, Pax, as an orphaned kit while still grieving his own mother’s death. Peter’s difficult and often harsh father said he could keep the fox “for now” but five years later insists the boy leave Pax by the road when he takes Peter to his grandfather’s house, hundreds of miles away. Peter’s journey back to Pax and Pax’s steadfastness in waiting for Peter’s return result in a tale of survival, intrinsic connection, and redemption. The battles between warring humans in the unnamed conflict remain remote, but the oncoming wave of deaths is seen through Pax’s eyes as woodland creatures are blown up by mines. While Pax learns to negotiate the complications of surviving in the wild and relating to other foxes, Peter breaks his foot and must learn to trust a seemingly eccentric woman named Vola who battles her own ghosts of war. Alternating chapters from the perspectives of boy and fox are perfectly paced and complementary. Only Peter, Pax, Vola, and three of Pax’s fox companions are named, conferring a spare, fablelike quality. Every moment in the graceful, fluid narrative is believable. Klassen’s cover art has a sense of contained, powerful stillness. (Interior illustrations not seen.)

Moving and poetic. (Animal fantasy. 9-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-237701-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

Did you like this book?

more