A gold-plated chain puller for readers in alimentary grades.

In a tale aswirl with potty humor, a young hero plunges into danger to save his town and the world from an evil sewer—er, supervillain.

In days of yore Nitro City was protected from clogs and their nefarious perpetrators by the likes of Drainiac Magee and other costumed members of the Plumbers’ League of UnNaturally Gifted Exceptionals—all of whom were declared outlaws when the Ironwater company took over the job of sewer management. But now a rising tide of mysterious leaks, overflows, and mutant subterranean monsters promises to turn the town’s massively popular annual Burrito Festival into Plumbageddon. Enter 13-year-old Sully Stringfellow, a natural genius with pipes and valves since birth. He’s more or less unfazed by encounters with pop-up washer weasels and a tentacled croctopus, and he’s john-on-the-spot (so to speak) when the time comes to trigger a former supervillain’s gigantic porcelain Death Flush. The ensuing “cyclo-toiletronic swirl” rockets Sully into Nitro City’s Underworld to expose Ironwater’s CEO as archvillain Human Waste. Dazzled to discover that the old “sewer soldiers” of P.L.U.N.G.E. are still around (his own grandpa turns out to be the legendary Midnight Flush), Sully gladly accepts an invitation into the fold as a new apprentice. Sully is depicted on the cover as white, and the rest of the cast appears to be white by default.

A gold-plated chain puller for readers in alimentary grades. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-51000-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Jan. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 19, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 10

Series fans, at least, will take this outing (and clear evidence of more to come) in stride.

Zipping back and forth in time atop outsized robo–bell bottoms, mad inventor Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) legs his way to center stage in this slightly less-labored continuation of episode 9.

The action commences after a rambling recap and a warning not to laugh or smile on pain of being forced to read Sarah Plain and Tall. Pilkey first sends his peevish protagonist back a short while to save the Earth (destroyed in the previous episode), then on to various prehistoric eras in pursuit of George, Harold and the Captain. It’s all pretty much an excuse for many butt jokes, dashes of off-color humor (“Tippy pressed the button on his Freezy-Beam 4000, causing it to rise from the depths of his Robo-Pants”), a lengthy wordless comic and two tussles in “Flip-o-rama.” Still, the chase kicks off an ice age, the extinction of the dinosaurs and the Big Bang (here the Big “Ka-Bloosh!”). It ends with a harrowing glimpse of what George and Harold would become if they decided to go straight. The author also chucks in a poopy-doo-doo song with musical notation (credited to Albert P. Einstein) and plenty of ink-and-wash cartoon illustrations to crank up the ongoing frenzy.

Series fans, at least, will take this outing (and clear evidence of more to come) in stride. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-17536-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 12, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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