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CAT NINJA

From the Cat Ninja series , Vol. 1

Powerful pussycat perfection!

Who can save the city and meme his way into the hearts of all? Cat Ninja!

Metro City has no idea that its adorable yet deadly protector Cat Ninja is but a humble house cat by day. Leon’s cat, Claude, appears ordinary enough, but when Master Hamster threatens everyone’s bank accounts from his hamster-ball–headed super robot body, Claude becomes Cat Ninja, using the skills he learned as a kitten watching ninja movies with a kindly old lady—who became a ninja crime fighter when attacked. Yes, there are villains everywhere for Cat Ninja to fight, but Leon is having a rough time too. His parents are just beginning divorce proceedings; he and his sister, Marcie, hate having two houses and the way their parents separately vie for their attention. While the family drama plays out, Cat Ninja is busy keeping the city safe from the Raccoon Bros and Chat Noir, but is our kitty hero up to beating a supervillain menace who’s arming the city’s baddies? Cody’s hyperbolic superhero-movie narration and Mercado’s vibrant, dynamic panels hit the sweet spot, marrying humor and heroics. Leon, Marcie, and their mom all have beige skin; the kids’ dad presents White. A short comic featuring villain Fury Roach penned by Colleen AF Venable and a humorous quiz close what readers will hope is but the first outing for Cat Ninja.

Powerful pussycat perfection! (Graphic fantasy. 7-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5248-6094-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

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THE WILD ROBOT PROTECTS

From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

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BECOMING MUHAMMAD ALI

From the Becoming Ali series , Vol. 1

A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

Two bestselling authors imagine the boyhood of the man who became the legendary boxing icon Muhammad Ali.

Cassius was a spirited child growing up in segregated Louisville, Kentucky. He had a loving home with his parents and younger brother, Rudy. Granddaddy Herman also was an important figure, imparting life lessons. His parents wanted him to succeed in school, but Cassius had difficulty reading and found more pleasure in playing and exploring outdoors. Early on, he and Rudy knew the restrictions of being African American, for example, encountering “Whites Only” signs at parks, but the brothers dreamed of fame like that enjoyed by Black boxer Joe Louis. Popular Cassius was especially close to Lucius “Lucky” Wakely; despite their academic differences, their deep connection remained after Lucky received a scholarship to a Catholic school. When Cassius wandered into the Columbia Boxing Gym, it seemed to be destiny, and he developed into a successful youth boxer. Told in two voices, with prose for the voice of Lucky and free verse for Cassius, the narrative provides readers with a multidimensional view of the early life of and influences on an important figure in sports and social change. Lucky’s observations give context while Cassius’ poetry encapsulates his drive, energy, and gift with words. Combined with dynamic illustrations by Anyabwile, the book captures the historical and social environment that produced Muhammad Ali.

A stellar collaboration that introduces an important and intriguing individual to today’s readers. (bibliography) (Biographical novel. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-316-49816-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown and HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 3, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

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