Will find a ready readership among fans.


From the Five Nights at Freddy's series , Vol. 1

Old friends find that nostalgia isn’t the only thing lurking in their childhood stomping ground.

Charlie and her friends gather in their small hometown of Hurricane to honor their deceased friend, Michael, in this graphic-novel adaption of the 2016 novel by the same name inspired by the video game franchise. Previously owned and operated by Charlie’s father, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza has been subsumed by the construction of a mall. It was a primary source of entertainment for her and her friends—as well as the site of Michael’s mysterious disappearance. Yet when the friends break into the pizza parlor to reminisce and explore, they find that in addition to abandoned animatronic characters, arcade games, and rides, their childhood playground holds dark forces looking for prey—and disturbing memories from the past begin to intrude. The full-color art is simple, with ample white space, and the illustrations are effectively creepy, with variations in the layout of the panels. However, readers may have trouble tracking the large cast of characters and their relationships, especially with several flashbacks that reveal past traumas. The action-packed and occasionally gory plot will engage, but abrupt transitions and a too-quick resolution take readers out of the world of the story. All main characters are white, with the exception of one who is black.

Will find a ready readership among fans. (Graphic horror. 12-16)

Pub Date: Dec. 26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-29848-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Sept. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2019

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A timely and well-paced story of personal discovery.


Time travel brings a girl closer to someone she’s never known.

Sixteen-year-old Kiku, who is Japanese and white, only knows bits and pieces of her family history. While on a trip with her mother to San Francisco from their Seattle home, they search for her grandmother’s childhood home. While waiting for her mother, who goes inside to explore the mall now standing there, a mysterious fog envelops Kiku and displaces her to a theater in the past where a girl is playing the violin. The gifted musician is Ernestina Teranishi, who Kiku later confirms is her late grandmother. To Kiku’s dismay, the fog continues to transport her, eventually dropping her down next door to Ernestina’s family in a World War II Japanese American internment camp. The clean illustrations in soothing browns and blues convey the characters’ intense emotions. Hughes takes inspiration from her own family’s story, deftly balancing complicated national history with explorations of cultural dislocation and biracial identity. As Kiku processes her experiences, Hughes draws parallels to President Donald Trump’s Muslim ban and the incarceration of migrant children. The emotional connection between Kiku and her grandmother is underdeveloped; despite their being neighbors, Ernestina appears briefly and feels elusive to both Kiku and readers up to the very end. Despite some loose ends, readers will gain insights to the Japanese American incarceration and feel called to activism.

A timely and well-paced story of personal discovery. (photographs, author’s note, glossary, further reading) (Graphic historical fantasy. 12-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-250-19353-7

Page Count: 288

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: May 17, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2020

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Pairing art from an earlier, self-published edition to a newly adapted text, Hinds retells the old tale as a series of dark, bloody, chaotic clashes. Here Grendel is a glaring, black monster with huge teeth, corded muscles and a tendency to smash or bite off adversaries’ heads; the dragon is all sinuous viciousness; and Beowulf, mighty of thew, towers over his fellow Geats. The narrative, boxed off from the illustrations rather than incorporated into them, runs to lines like, “Bid my brave warriors O Wiglaf, to build a lofty cairn for me upon the sea-cliffs . . . ” and tends to disappear when the fighting starts. Because the panels are jumbled together on the page, the action is sometimes hard to follow, but this makes a strongly atmospheric alternative to the semi-abstract Beowulf, the Legend, by Stephen L. Antczak and James C. Bassett, illus by Andy Lee (2006), or the more conventionally formatted version of Michael Morpurgo, with pictures by Michael Foreman (2006). (Graphic fiction. 12-15)

Pub Date: April 1, 2007

ISBN: 978-0-7636-3022-5

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2007

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