THE BROKEN MIRROR

From the Chronicles of Never After series , Vol. 3

Another absorbing fairy-tale adventure.

Filomena and her friends’ latest quest gets derailed by Robin Hood and his thievery.

Filomena Jefferson-Cho and her three best friends, Jack the Giant Stalker, Alistair, and Gretel, are on their way to Snow Country to offer their aid in finding a lost fairy. Their quest gets derailed when Robin Hood steals their belongings. Princess Jeanne of Northphalia enlists their help in retrieving the crown he stole from her as well. After rescuing Lord Sharif of Nottingham from Robin Hood, they discover that King Richard the Lionhearted is trying to steal the throne from the princess—and he needs the crown to make it official. Things get worse: In Eastphalia, Prince Charlie has turned into a frog, and even true love’s kiss won’t undo the curse. Meanwhile, back in the mortal world, Filomena’s adoptive mother has come down with a mysterious illness, and Filomena must return to her. Along the way, new friends join the quartet, and together they attempt to find the League of Seven who can save them all. This third series installment offers more action-filled heroic quests centering realistically drawn tween characters. Alongside the magical fun there is emotional depth as Filomena and Jack struggle with acting courageously and also allowing themselves to share their true feelings of fear, loneliness, and helplessness. The world of Never After is full of ethnically and racially diverse characters.

Another absorbing fairy-tale adventure. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Dec. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-82725-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: Oct. 10, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2022

THE SCHOOL FOR GOOD AND EVIL

From the School for Good and Evil series , Vol. 1

Rich and strange (and kitted out with an eye-catching cover), but stronger in the set pieces than the internal logic.

Chainani works an elaborate sea change akin to Gregory Maguire’s Wicked (1995), though he leaves the waters muddied.

Every four years, two children, one regarded as particularly nice and the other particularly nasty, are snatched from the village of Gavaldon by the shadowy School Master to attend the divided titular school. Those who survive to graduate become major or minor characters in fairy tales. When it happens to sweet, Disney princess–like Sophie and  her friend Agatha, plain of features, sour of disposition and low of self-esteem, they are both horrified to discover that they’ve been dropped not where they expect but at Evil and at Good respectively. Gradually—too gradually, as the author strings out hundreds of pages of Hogwarts-style pranks, classroom mishaps and competitions both academic and romantic—it becomes clear that the placement wasn’t a mistake at all. Growing into their true natures amid revelations and marked physical changes, the two spark escalating rivalry between the wings of the school. This leads up to a vicious climactic fight that sees Good and Evil repeatedly switching sides. At this point, readers are likely to feel suddenly left behind, as, thanks to summary deus ex machina resolutions, everything turns out swell(ish).

Rich and strange (and kitted out with an eye-catching cover), but stronger in the set pieces than the internal logic. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 14, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-210489-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2013

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THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON

Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick.

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    Best Books Of 2016


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An elderly witch, a magical girl, a brave carpenter, a wise monster, a tiny dragon, paper birds, and a madwoman converge to thwart a magician who feeds on sorrow.

Every year Elders of the Protectorate leave a baby in the forest, warning everyone an evil Witch demands this sacrifice. In reality, every year, a kind witch named Xan rescues the babies and find families for them. One year Xan saves a baby girl with a crescent birthmark who accidentally feeds on moonlight and becomes “enmagicked.” Magic babies can be tricky, so Xan adopts little Luna herself and lovingly raises her, with help from an ancient swamp monster and a chatty, wee dragon. Luna’s magical powers emerge as her 13th birthday approaches. Meanwhile, Luna’s deranged real mother enters the forest to find her daughter. Simultaneously, a young carpenter from the Protectorate enters the forest to kill the Witch and end the sacrifices. Xan also enters the forest to rescue the next sacrificed child, and Luna, the monster, and the dragon enter the forest to protect Xan. In the dramatic denouement, a volcano erupts, the real villain attempts to destroy all, and love prevails. Replete with traditional motifs, this nontraditional fairy tale boasts sinister and endearing characters, magical elements, strong storytelling, and unleashed forces. Luna has black eyes, curly, black hair, and “amber” skin.

Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61620-567-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: May 13, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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