A mixed bag of silliness and magic that will appeal to those who are hooked by the title—and fall short for readers who roll...

LOOGIE THE BOOGER GENIE

PRINCE OF PRANK

A modern prankster meets his match when a medieval prankster-turned-genie is lodged in his nose in this humor-of-the-gross series starter.

Prince Loogar considers himself the prince of pranks. He’s also the son of the king of Garoth, an invented kingdom in a medieval England where ogres run rampant and wizards can turn enemies into genies. After hoaxing the castle wizard, Loogar is captured in a tiny bead, discovered around 800 years later by Charlie, who collects it for a craft project. Charlie is a good-natured mischief-maker whose father enjoys trading jokes with him—but when one of Charlie’s teachers decides to quit, Charlie and his friends worry their hijinks could have been the cause. After getting Prince Loogar lodged in his nose, Charlie has a malevolent genie complicating his tricks—until Loogar learns that only good deeds will free him from his curse and possibly return him to his own time. The silly conceits of Prince Loogar’s castle leave no doubt that there’s scant resemblance between his England and the historical one, but Charlie feels like an authentic grade schooler. The booger jokes, the silly shenanigans and the sorry state of Loogar living in Charlie’s nose are sure to win over the Captain Underpants crowd. The illustrations by Herholz and Castle are reminiscent of Quentin Blake’s illustrations for Roald Dahl’s classic novels. The plot is slight, and the abrupt ending—in which Loogar learns he must do more than one good deed to be free of his curse—feels like a stopping point rather than a conclusion, even of a first installation. What remains is a lightweight tale of slapstick comedy with slight characters and an obvious lesson about being considerate of other people. With its accessible vocabulary and gross-out humor, the slim volume has the potential to be a hit with reluctant readers, especially boys.

A mixed bag of silliness and magic that will appeal to those who are hooked by the title—and fall short for readers who roll their eyes at booger jokes.

Pub Date: Nov. 16, 2012

ISBN: 978-1479272013

Page Count: 100

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Dec. 28, 2012

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It’s slanted toward action-oriented readers, who will find that Briticisms meld with all the other wonders of magic school.

HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE

From the Harry Potter series , Vol. 1

In a rousing first novel, already an award-winner in England, Harry is just a baby when his magical parents are done in by Voldemort, a wizard so dastardly other wizards are scared to mention his name.

So Harry is brought up by his mean Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia Dursley, and picked on by his horrid cousin Dudley. He knows nothing about his magical birthright until ten years later, when he learns he’s to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Hogwarts is a lot like English boarding school, except that instead of classes in math and grammar, the curriculum features courses in Transfiguration, Herbology, and Defense Against the Dark Arts. Harry becomes the star player of Quidditch, a sort of mid-air ball game. With the help of his new friends Ron and Hermione, Harry solves a mystery involving a sorcerer’s stone that ultimately takes him to the evil Voldemort. This hugely enjoyable fantasy is filled with imaginative details, from oddly flavored jelly beans to dragons’ eggs hatched on the hearth.

It’s slanted toward action-oriented readers, who will find that Briticisms meld with all the other wonders of magic school. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 978-0-590-35340-3

Page Count: 309

Publisher: Levine/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1998

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THE LIGHTNING THIEF

From the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series , Vol. 1

Edgar Award–winning Riordan leaves the adult world of mystery to begin a fantasy series for younger readers. Twelve-year-old Percy (full name, Perseus) Jackson has attended six schools in six years. Officially diagnosed with ADHD, his lack of self-control gets him in trouble again and again. What if it isn’t his fault? What if all the outrageous incidents that get him kicked out of school are the result of his being a “half-blood,” the product of a relationship between a human and a Greek god? Could it be true that his math teacher Mrs. Dodds transformed into a shriveled hag with bat wings, a Fury, and was trying to kill him? Did he really vanquish her with a pen that turned into a sword? One need not be an expert in Greek mythology to enjoy Percy’s journey to retrieve Zeus’s master bolt from the Underworld, but those who are familiar with the deities and demi-gods will have many an ah-ha moment. Along the way, Percy and his cohort run into Medusa, Cerberus and Pan, among others. The sardonic tone of the narrator’s voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism that questions the realities of our world, family, friendship and loyalty. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7868-5629-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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