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From the 39 Clues—Graphic Novel series , Vol. 1

Wits and history expertise trump money and influence in this entertaining, globe-hopping remake.

The wildly popular 39 Clues series is adapted into graphic-novel format.

Orphans Amy Cahill and her younger brother, Dan, attend their grandmother’s funeral and learn that not only is the Cahill family tree larger than they knew, but that Grandma left each of them a most unusual inheritance. They may opt for $1 million or a clue leading to “the most important treasure in the world.” Some relatives take the money, but the rest choose the clue—including Amy and Dan. Tensions ramp up as family members pursue and threaten one another in the search for leads. Though the siblings aren’t as financially well off as many of their opponents, they have skills that give them an edge—Amy is a bookworm with a love of history, while Dan is a whiz with numbers and puzzles. The story remains faithful to the original 2008 book, with added smartphone appearances and a few scenes tightened up. The artwork captures the danger and excitement of the international quest, including locales such as Philadelphia and Paris. Backmatter includes an invitation to download Scholastic’s Home Base app so readers can be sorted into a branch of the Cahill family and play interactive games. Amy and Dan read White, while their au pair and adult chaperone, Nellie, is cued as Latine; the rest of the Cahill clan is racially diverse.

Wits and history expertise trump money and influence in this entertaining, globe-hopping remake. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 4, 2023

ISBN: 9781338803372

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: March 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2023

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From the Pathfinders Society series , Vol. 1

Like the pathfinders, readers will be crying, “Plus Ultra!” and hoping for the next adventure.

Five intrepid, young pathfinders explore the environmentally volatile Windrose Valley in search of a fabled treasure.

Deep in Windrose Valley awaits an adventurous summer at Camp Pathfinder, founded by a renowned, eccentric pioneer named Henry Merriweather. Merriweather’s fixation on finding the legendary Windrose treasure serves as a grand catalyst for the campers’ quest. The eclectic group of campers—newcomer Kyle, history buff Beth, zany magician-in-training Harry, cheerleader/math queen Vic, and tinkerer Nate—sets off, running all over town to find Merriweather’s baroque tile markers. Eventually, their efforts lead them to the Merriweather Estate, where the campers slowly uncover the mystery behind the Moon Tower catastrophe. Shortly after the bizarre incident, Merriweather disappeared, and the town’s fortunes failed. As the adolescent pathfinders near the trail toward the Moon Tower and inch ever closer to the treasure, they learn more about the mythical Merriweather and his infamous obsession. Sedita, Seraydarian, and Hamaker’s series debut zips along nicely, mixing cryptic teases with affable characters. Though the quieter moments rarely make much of an impact, the authors’ exposition-heavy worldbuilding incites enthusiasm for the campers’ endeavor. The hints of magic in the snappy illustrations add another layer of allure. Featuring flashes of time slips and a racially diverse cast, this graphic novel hits all the right spots for the inevitable sequel.

Like the pathfinders, readers will be crying, “Plus Ultra!” and hoping for the next adventure. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-425-29186-3

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Jan. 20, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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From the One and Onlys series , Vol. 1

Delightful fun for budding mystery fans.

Only children, rejoice! A cozy mystery just for you! (People with siblings will probably enjoy it too.)

Debut novelist Cornett introduces the One and Onlys, a trio of mystery-solving only kids: Gloria Longshanks “Shanks” Hill, Alexander “Peephole” Calloway, and narrator Paul (alas, no nickname) Marconi. The trio has a knack for finding and solving low-level mysteries, but they come up against a true head-scratcher when the yard of a resident of their small town is covered in rubber ducks overnight. Working ahead of Officer Portnoy, who’s a little on the slow side, can Paul, Shanks, and Peephole solve the mystery? Cornett has a lot of fun with this adventure, dropping additional side mysteries, a subplot about small businesses, big corporations, and economics, and a town’s love of bratwurst into the mix. Most importantly, he plays fair with the clues throughout, allowing astute readers to potentially solve the case ahead of the trio. The tone and mystery are perfect for younger readers who want to test their detective skills but are put off by anything scary or gory. The pacing would serve well for chapter-by-chapter read-alouds. If there are any quibbles, it’s the lack of diversity of the cast, as it defaults white. Diversity exists in small towns, and this one is crying out for more. Hopefully a sequel will introduce additional faces.

Delightful fun for budding mystery fans. (Mystery. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 14, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-3003-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Dec. 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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