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GENEVIEVE'S WAR

An engrossing story that examines the nature of character and maturity while putting a young girl at the center of action...

An American teenage girl gets to play a role in the Resistance movement after she impulsively stays in Alsace, France, just before World War II begins.

After spending the summer on her grandmother’s farm, 13-year-old white Genevieve can’t bear to go back to New York so soon. Although she considers Mémé disagreeable, she finds French farm life invigorating and loves her new friends, Katrin and Rémy. But when Nazi soldiers reclaim Alsace and one of them insists on living in their very house, life becomes a test of endurance and wits. Genevieve eventually learns to appreciate Mémé, gets to hear stories of her own deceased father, and comes to understand the importance of the long-standing relationships that develop in small European towns. Genevieve transforms from scattered and impetuous “Flyaway Girl,” as her aunt calls her, to confident, determined, and compassionate young woman. Related in the first person by Genevieve, this is a competent, endearing novel about the consequences of choices and how quickly and deeply ordinary life is upended by war. Further, Genevieve’s frequent quandaries about trust and betrayal in a changing landscape are timeless in their relevance.

An engrossing story that examines the nature of character and maturity while putting a young girl at the center of action and suspense. (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-8234-3800-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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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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THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH

From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 1

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun

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It’s been 42 days since the Monster Apocalypse began, and 13-year-old Jack Sullivan, a self-proclaimed “zombie-fighting, monster-slaying tornado of cool” is on a quest to find and rescue his not-so-secret crush, June Del Toro, whether she needs it, wants it, or not.

Jack cobbles together an unlikely but endearing crew, including his scientist best friend, Quint Baker; Dirk Savage, Parker Middle School’s biggest bully; and a pet monster named Rover, to help him save the damsel in distress and complete the “ULTIMATE Feat of Apocalyptic Success.” Middle-grade readers, particularly boys, will find Jack’s pitch-perfect mix of humor, bravado, and self-professed geekiness impossible to resist. His sidekicks are equally entertaining, and it doesn’t hurt that there are also plenty of oozing, drooling, sharp-toothed monsters and zombies and a host of gizmos and gadgets to hook readers and keep them cheering with every turn of the page. Holgate’s illustrations play an integral role in the novel’s success. They not only bring Brallier’s characters to life, but also add depth and detail to the story, making plain just exactly how big Rover is and giving the lie to Jack’s “killer driving.” The marriage of text and illustration serves as a perfect example of what an illustrated novel can and should be.

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun (. (Graphic/horror hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-670-01661-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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