A fun and funny follow-up that celebrates the magic of family and community.

THE UNBELIEVABLE OLIVER AND THE SAWED-IN-HALF DADS

From the Unbelievable Oliver series , Vol. 2

Budding magician Oliver and his twin pals Teenie and Bea are back, three months after their inaugural adventures in The Unbelievable Oliver and the Four Jokers (2019).

Readers meet them at a cake testing. The twins’ dads, Yale Drama School graduate and writer Simon and photographer/florist Miguel, are getting married. In the age of out and married politicians running for the presidency, the nuptials are treated matter-of-factly as a milieu for this lighthearted sequel even as the news shocks Oliver because he assumed the dads were already hitched. The ever supportive dads, at their daughters’ insistence, ask Oliver both to be a ring bearer and to entertain the guests at the rehearsal brunch. Of course, Oliver, prodded by the girls and with the help of his talking bunny, Benny, and his cousin Spencer, must elevate his repertoire, so he decides on the titular illusion. The boy magician pulls off the sleight of hand, to his, the twins’, and the guests’ delight...until one of the dads goes missing. With tongue stuffed in his cheek, Bosch builds the silliness with total seriousness, and forces of nature Bea and Teenie make delightful foils for the earnest, slightly anxious Oliver. Pangburn’s cartoons help the text along, depicting all three kids with darker-than-white skin (Oliver is Jewish and the twins, Mexican American) and adding generous dollops of additional humor. Trick instructions are appended.

A fun and funny follow-up that celebrates the magic of family and community. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 12, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-525-55235-2

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the...

TUCK EVERLASTING

At a time when death has become an acceptable, even voguish subject in children's fiction, Natalie Babbitt comes through with a stylistic gem about living forever. 

Protected Winnie, the ten-year-old heroine, is not immortal, but when she comes upon young Jesse Tuck drinking from a secret spring in her parents' woods, she finds herself involved with a family who, having innocently drunk the same water some 87 years earlier, haven't aged a moment since. Though the mood is delicate, there is no lack of action, with the Tucks (previously suspected of witchcraft) now pursued for kidnapping Winnie; Mae Tuck, the middle aged mother, striking and killing a stranger who is onto their secret and would sell the water; and Winnie taking Mae's place in prison so that the Tucks can get away before she is hanged from the neck until....? Though Babbitt makes the family a sad one, most of their reasons for discontent are circumstantial and there isn't a great deal of wisdom to be gleaned from their fate or Winnie's decision not to share it. 

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the first week in August when this takes place to "the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning") help to justify the extravagant early assertion that had the secret about to be revealed been known at the time of the action, the very earth "would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin." (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1975

ISBN: 0312369816

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1975

Did you like this book?

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

Did you like this book?

more