Readers who have followed the series will have a leg up, but other book lovers and fantasists will find some kindred souls...

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ABBY IN WONDERLAND

From the Whatever After series

When Frankie falls down a rabbit hole, Abby; her nemesis, Penny; and her good friend Robin all follow.

Although they don’t find Frankie immediately, they soon recognize their surroundings. There’s something familiar about them: “The hole we fell down. The hallway with locked doors. The garden outside. The potion that says DRINK ME.” Usually in the Whatever After series, Abby enters the familiar world of fairy tales with her little brother, Jonah. She knows what should happen even though the two always change the courses of the stories. Now she finds herself in a book world, and she doesn’t want to admit to the other girls, especially Penny, that she has never read it. To make matters worse, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of the few books Penny says she’s read. Soon the girls discover that she never read the whole book, and she balks at every opportunity to participate in the fun. Frankie is pictured as a person of color on the back of the book and described as having dark skin. The others girls are white, with different hair colors (and personalities) to distinguish them. When they catch up with Frankie at the tea party, she is totally into the adventure. She is the real bookworm of the group, and she’s read Alice and its sequel many times.

Readers who have followed the series will have a leg up, but other book lovers and fantasists will find some kindred souls here. (follow-up games and activities) (Fantasy. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-545-74664-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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Another epic outing in a graphic hybrid series that continues not just to push the envelope, but tear it to shreds.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE SENSATIONAL SAGA OF SIR STINKS-A-LOT

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 12

Pranksters George and Harold face the deadliest challenge of their checkered careers: a supersmart, superstrong gym teacher.

With the avowed aim of enticing an audience of “grouchy old people” to the Waistband Warrior’s latest exploit, Pilkey promises “references to health care, gardening, Bob Evans restaurants, hard candies, FOX News, and gentle-yet-effective laxatives.” He delivers, too. But lest fans of the Hanes-clad hero fret, he also stirs in plenty of fart jokes, brain-melting puns, and Flip-O-Rama throwdowns. After a meteorite transforms Mr. Meaner into a mad genius (evil, of course, because “as everyone knows, most gym teachers are inherently evil”) and he concocts a brown gas that turns children into blindly obedient homework machines, George and Harold travel into the future to enlist aid from their presumably immune adult selves. Temporarily leaving mates and children (of diverse sexes, both) behind, Old George and Old Harold come to the rescue. But Meaner has a robot suit (of course he has a robot suit), and he not only beats down the oldsters, but is only fazed for a moment when Capt. Underpants himself comes to deliver a kick to the crotch. Fortunately, gym teachers, “like toddlers,” will put anything in their mouths—so an ingestion of soda pop and Mentos at last spells doom, or more accurately: “CHeffGoal-D’BLOOOM!”

Another epic outing in a graphic hybrid series that continues not just to push the envelope, but tear it to shreds. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 25, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-545-50492-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale.

A WHALE OF THE WILD

After a tsunami devastates their habitat in the Salish Sea, a young orca and her brother embark on a remarkable adventure.

Vega’s matriarchal family expects her to become a hunter and wayfinder, with her younger brother, Deneb, protecting and supporting her. Invited to guide her family to their Gathering Place to hunt salmon, Vega’s underwater miscalculations endanger them all, and an embarrassed Vega questions whether she should be a wayfinder. When the baby sister she hoped would become her life companion is stillborn, a distraught Vega carries the baby away to a special resting place, shocking her grieving family. Dispatched to find his missing sister, Deneb locates Vega in the midst of a terrible tsunami. To escape the waters polluted by shattered boats, Vega leads Deneb into unfamiliar open sea. Alone and hungry, the young siblings encounter a spectacular giant whale and travel briefly with shark-hunting orcas. Trusting her instincts and gaining emotional strength from contemplating the vastness of the sky, Vega knows she must lead her brother home and help save her surviving family. In alternating first-person voices, Vega and Deneb tell their harrowing story, engaging young readers while educating them about the marine ecosystem. Realistic black-and-white illustrations enhance the maritime setting.

A dramatic, educational, authentic whale of a tale. (maps, wildlife facts, tribes of the Salish Sea watershed, environmental and geographical information, how to help orcas, author’s note, artist’s note, resources) (Animal fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299592-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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