Compulsive reading all the way to the end.

ABOVE

In this follow-up companion to Beneath (2015), three white teens who have escaped a cult that lives underground (literally) try to elude recapture and learn what the cult’s brilliant and tyrannical leader might be planning.

Born into the People of the Deep, Kate lived a privileged life until she defied Larry, the cult leader, and escaped in New York City. Trained to be a skilled Shadow, an expert at observation and trailing, Kate spots tails in Oregon. She splits up from Pat and his brother, Coop, and allows herself to be captured in order to spy on the group. Indeed, the cult members are aboveground and on the move, heading south in motor homes. Pat and Coop do their best to follow, teaming up with Alex, the Pod’s former Librarian, now traitor to the cult. For much of the book, the trio works to keep Kate and her captors in sight as they also try to evade the notice of the savvy cult members. Pat tries to keep the FBI informed, but Larry has plans that may defy all the might of the world. His scheme, when revealed, looks unstoppable and will devastate the modern world. Smith keeps suspense thumping and pages turning as he concocts his chase tale, slowly revealing the extent of Larry’s power, intellect, and evil intent. He writes alternating chapters from the points of view of Kate and Pat, dovetailing the story details nicely. Though the publisher recommends a middle-grade audience, this seems better suited for young teens.

Compulsive reading all the way to the end. (Adventure. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-56489-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 28, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A wartime drama with enough depth and psychological complexity to satisfy budding bookworms.

A PLACE TO HANG THE MOON

Three plucky orphan siblings are in search of a mother in wartime England.

When their grandmother dies, 12-year-old William, 11-year-old Edmund, and 9-year-old Anna are left in London in the care of an elderly housekeeper. As part of the World War II evacuation of children to safety, they are relocated to the countryside, something the family solicitor hopes may lead to finding adoptive parents. However, they are billeted with the Forresters, an unpleasant family reminiscent of the Dursleys. Bullying by their hosts’ two sons, who despise them; the ever present fear of German attack; and the dread of homelessness test their mettle to the limit. The orphans long to find a home of their own, and good boy William is stressed by his responsibility as head of the small family. Edmund’s desire for revenge against the Forresters and a prank involving a snake get them evicted from their billet, and they end up in a much worse situation. They find sanctuary in the village library and a savior in the librarian, who is married to a German and therefore ostracized by the locals. Mrs. Müller provides them with moral support, a listening ear, and true appreciation and love. The classic books she chooses for them—The Wind in the Willows and Anne of Green Gables, among others—may generate ideas for further reading. All characters are White.

A wartime drama with enough depth and psychological complexity to satisfy budding bookworms. (reading list) (Historical fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4705-3

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Margaret Ferguson/Holiday House

Review Posted Online: Nov. 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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