A wildly imaginative, richly textured, and complex fantasy.

THE FEARLESS TRAVELERS' GUIDE TO WICKED PLACES

An insecure young girl’s quest for her missing mother leads her to Dreamlands, a parallel world of incredible dreams, dark nightmares, and dangerous deceptions.

An “uncommon-looking twelve-year-old girl” with silver-blonde hair and amber eyes, Nell Perkins is able to see truths others ignore. After three local women mysteriously disappear, Nell insists they’ve been stolen by an ominous purple cloud. Then she witnesses the cloud sweeping her mother, Rose, away, leaving behind a small golden bird that Nell realizes is really Rose transformed. Determined to save Rose, Nell encounters Duke Badger, a Fearless Traveler, sworn to help those journeying to Dreamlands. Badger explains that Rose and the other missing women have been changed into birds by the Dark Daughters, “an ancient tribe of Nightmares.” Only Ravenhead, an endangered Dreamer, can change Rose back to human form. With Badger as her remarkable guide, Nell embarks on a perilous quest to the Wicked Places, traversing surreal landscapes and confronting bizarre creatures, hoping against the odds to outmaneuver the Dark Daughters and save her mother. Throughout the relentlessly paced, endlessly twisting plot, remarkable Nell emerges a “fearless traveler” in her own right. Though race is referred to, the book’s default is white.

A wildly imaginative, richly textured, and complex fantasy. (map) (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62370-799-6

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: Dec. 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2017

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A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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This can’t be the last we ever hear of the Legendary Alston Boys of the purely surreal Logan County—imaginative,...

THE LAST LAST-DAY-OF-SUMMER

From the Legendary Alston Boys series , Vol. 1

Can this really be the first time readers meet the Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County? Cousins and veteran sleuths Otto and Sheed Alston show us that we are the ones who are late to their greatness.

These two black boys are coming to terms with the end of their brave, heroic summer at Grandma’s, with a return to school just right around the corner. They’ve already got two keys to the city, but the rival Epic Ellisons—twin sisters Wiki and Leen—are steadily gaining celebrity across Logan County, Virginia, and have in hand their third key to the city. No way summer can end like this! These young people are powerful, courageous, experienced adventurers molded through their heroic commitment to discipline and deduction. They’ve got their shared, lifesaving maneuvers committed to memory (printed in a helpful appendix) and ready to save any day. Save the day they must, as a mysterious, bendy gentleman and an oversized, clingy platypus have been unleashed on the city of Fry, and all the residents and their belongings seem to be frozen in time and place. Will they be able to solve this one? With total mastery, Giles creates in Logan County an exuberant vortex of weirdness, where the commonplace sits cheek by jowl with the utterly fantastic, and populates it with memorable characters who more than live up to their setting.

This can’t be the last we ever hear of the Legendary Alston Boys of the purely surreal Logan County—imaginative, thrill-seeking readers, this is a series to look out for. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-46083-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

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