A worrywart goblin must face her fears to save not just her sister, but the whole of Teacup Island.

Bix’s headstrong little sister, Pella, is one of her main sources of worry. Ever since they lost their parents, Bix has been responsible for Pella—but Pella is not easily controlled. Mere days before the Midsummer Festival, the goblins’ underground city is struck by yet another earthquake, leading the elders to decide they all must leave. It is said that the Earth Queen who lives in the Enchanted Forest is responsible for the earthquakes, so Pella decides to go confront her. When Bix discovers Pella has left, she rushes off to rescue her despite all her fears of the Enchanted Forest that swallows up anyone who dares to enter. With the help of Cici, an enthusiastic tree troll, Bix navigates dangers and discovers the hero within herself. Gorgeous black-lined, pastel-colored art brings to life this charming adventure story of sisterhood and friendship. Bix, Pella, and Cici, who live in a fantasy land that is filled with magic and devoid of humans, are lovable for their distinct personalities and big hearts. The colorful inhabitants of Teacup Island are all pretty cute—even the ones that veer toward creepy. With danger always lurking and illustrations that are full of movement, it’s easy to get quickly swept up into this tale and not want to leave.

Enchanting indeed. (map, character guide) (Graphic fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-21153-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one.


Roz, a robot who learned to adapt to life among wild creatures in her first outing, seeks to return to the island she calls home.

Brown’s sequel to The Wild Robot (2016) continues an intriguing premise: What would happen to a robot after challenges in an unexpected environment cause it to evolve in unusual ways? As this book opens, Roz is delivered to a farm where she helps a widower with two young children run a dairy operation that has been in his family for generations. Roz reveals her backstory to the cows, who are supportive of the robot’s determination to return to the island and to her adopted son, the goose Brightbill. The cows, the children, and finally Brightbill himself come to Roz’s aid. The focus on Roz’s escape from human control results in a somewhat solemn and episodic narrative, with an extended journey and chase after Roz leaves the farm. Dr. Molovo, a literal deus ex machina, appears near the end of the story to provide a means of rescue. She is Roz’s designer/creator, and, intrigued by the robot’s adaptation and evolution but cognizant of the threat that those achievements might represent to humans, she assists Roz and Brightbill in their quest. The satisfactory (if inevitable-feeling) conclusion may prompt discussion about individual agency and determination, whether for robots or people.

If not as effervescent as Roz’s first outing, it is still a provocatively contemplative one. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-38204-5

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2018

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


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 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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