Hits the gross-out sweet spot.

READ REVIEW

TOILET PAPER MUMMY

From the Icky Ricky series , Vol. 1

Readers with a soft spot for gross-out humor will find plenty to keep them gagging in Rex’s latest novel (Fangbone! Third-Grade Barbarian, 2012) for the early-middle-grade set.

Told through a combination of vignettes about Ricky’s icky escapades and such “Time-Saving Tips” as how to turn toothpaste into a tasty sandwich spread, this novel is a fast-paced, enjoyable read—but not for the faint of heart. From earwax to booger bubbles to mango, french-fry and fish-stick soup, the ick-factor bar is set high. It is raised even higher by illustrations that capture Ricky in all his gross glory. And with the exception of one chapter in which Ricky stands up to the town bully, gross is what this book is all about. While there is nothing particularly new or clever about this series opener, Rex fans eager for another dose of his trademark brand of humor will walk away satisfied. Certainly there are young girls who might get a kick out of the image of Ricky turning in homework on a piece of cheese or crafting a bicycle helmet out of a watermelon, but the antics of the predominantly male cast of characters will most likely appeal to young boys. The format of the novel, with its numerous illustrations and short chapters, also makes it a good bet for reluctant readers.

Hits the gross-out sweet spot. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 28, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-307-93167-2

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2013

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Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and...

GHOSTS

Catrina narrates the story of her mixed-race (Latino/white) family’s move from Southern California to Bahía de la Luna on the Northern California coast.

Dad has a new job, but it’s little sister Maya’s lungs that motivate the move: she has had cystic fibrosis since birth—a degenerative breathing condition. Despite her health, Maya loves adventure, even if her lungs suffer for it and even when Cat must follow to keep her safe. When Carlos, a tall, brown, and handsome teen Ghost Tour guide introduces the sisters to the Bahía ghosts—most of whom were Spanish-speaking Mexicans when alive—they fascinate Maya and she them, but the terrified Cat wants only to get herself and Maya back to safety. When the ghost adventure leads to Maya’s hospitalization, Cat blames both herself and Carlos, which makes seeing him at school difficult. As Cat awakens to the meaning of Halloween and Day of the Dead in this strange new home, she comes to understand the importance of the ghosts both to herself and to Maya. Telgemeier neatly balances enough issues that a lesser artist would split them into separate stories and delivers as much delight textually as visually. The backmatter includes snippets from Telgemeier’s sketchbook and a photo of her in Día makeup.

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and unable to put down this compelling tale. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54061-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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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

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