Fans of spooky fiction and comics will be in a dark and happy place—especially when they learn there’s a sequel due in 2014

SCARE SCAPE

Wishes can come back to bite you...especially when they’re granted.

Morton Clay, his 13-year-old brother, James, 16-year-old sister, Melissa, and their widowed father, a British astronomer, move to Dimvale to escape light pollution. Dad has bought their new home sight unseen, and it’s pretty dilapidated. Morton, who loves the Scare Scape comics, thinks the house is cool; his quarrelsome older siblings don’t. When the trio finds a buried gargoyle statue promising wishes when its fingers are broken off, all three make wishes in haste. When those wishes come true, the warning on the statue—“Choices made without due care / Will plague forever—friend, beware!”—is quickly borne out. Morton’s monster toys come to horrifying life. Melissa’s closet becomes infinite (and full of monsters). Most terrifyingly, James can’t remember what his wish was. With a couple of new friends in tow, they discover they’ve moved into the house owned by the deceased creator of Scare Scape...and researching him may be their only chance of reversing their frightening wishes. Canadian screenwriting professor Fisher’s debut’s an imaginative, not-too-dark urban fantasy. Characters are refreshingly realistic, though some of the real situations are less so. A 40-page introduction to the beasts of Scare Scape appearing at the front will entice even reluctant readers to try the novel.

Fans of spooky fiction and comics will be in a dark and happy place—especially when they learn there’s a sequel due in 2014 . (Horror. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-52160-4

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE REVOLTING REVENGE OF THE RADIOACTIVE ROBO-BOXERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 10

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. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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