Markedly different than its predecessor but a worthy tale nonetheless.

THE RISE OF AURORA WEST

From the Battling Boy series

Before Battling Boy came to slay the monsters of Arcopolis, Aurora West sought out the monsters that terrorized her city and killed her mother.

Growing up in the shadow of her renowned and heroic father, Haggard West, Aurora is well-aware of the scourge of monsters that have been kidnapping children from Acropolis. Under her father’s tutelage, she has been accompanying him on his nightly patrols. One night, she discovers a mysterious yet oddly familiar symbol. Her investigation leads her back to the one mystery her father could never solve and nearly drove him mad: the murder of her mother. Could Aurora hold the key to unlocking this puzzle? Fans of Pope’s earlier Battling Boy (2013) may be caught a bit off guard with this new offering; the art is done in black and white and drawn by Rubín, not Pope himself. Rubín’s art, however, has enough of Pope’s stylistic feel to give the two books series cohesion. Those looking for answers from this or Battling Boy will have to wait a bit longer; as the story progresses, only more questions are raised. This feels like a very different direction for the characters, and it’s a thrilling one; expect readers to clamor for the next installments of this clever spinoff.

Markedly different than its predecessor but a worthy tale nonetheless. (Graphic adventure. 12 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 30, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-62672-009-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A bone-chilling tale not to be ignored by the universe.

PRISONER B-3087

If Anne Frank had been a boy, this is the story her male counterpart might have told. At least, the very beginning of this historical novel reads as such.

It is 1939, and Yanek Gruener is a 10-year old Jew in Kraków when the Nazis invade Poland. His family is forced to live with multiple other families in a tiny apartment as his beloved neighborhood of Podgórze changes from haven to ghetto in a matter of weeks. Readers will be quickly drawn into this first-person account of dwindling freedoms, daily humiliations and heart-wrenching separations from loved ones. Yet as the story darkens, it begs the age-old question of when and how to introduce children to the extremes of human brutality. Based on the true story of the life of Jack Gruener, who remarkably survived not just one, but 10 different concentration camps, this is an extraordinary, memorable and hopeful saga told in unflinching prose. While Gratz’s words and early images are geared for young people, and are less gory than some accounts, Yanek’s later experiences bear a closer resemblance to Elie Wiesel’s Night than more middle-grade offerings, such as Lois Lowry’s Number the Stars. It may well support classroom work with adult review first.

A bone-chilling tale not to be ignored by the universe. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-45901-3

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 26, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

more