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BAD MERMAIDS MAKE WAVES

From the Bad Mermaids series , Vol. 1

Fin-tastic fun.

Oh cod! Someone has fishnapped the Mermaid Queen!

All young mermaids are required to spend a summer on land, with temporary legs and feet. Beattie, Mimi, and Zelda are three such mermaids, enjoying hot dogs by the sea, when crabmail arrives from the missing queen herself. The girls must end their summer early and arrive home by midnight—only they can stop the titular bad mermaids threatening the Hidden Lagoon in the queen’s absence. When the girls arrive, they find Periwinkle Palace deserted except for an army of piranhas and a new queen, a mysterious mermaid who calls herself The Swan and who is forcing all mermaids to make shell tops for some unknown reason. The trio steal a clamshell car and set out to find the real Mermaid Queen and stop The Swan from carrying out her nefarious plan to control all mermaids. Beattie, whom the black-and-white illustrations portray as dark-skinned, is the leader. Fraternal twins Zelda and Mimi are shown with pale skin. Each mermaid has unique traits that set her apart from the others, and each uses her personal strengths to solve the mystery and save the day. Creative metafictive elements and tongue-in-cheek jokes about mermaid myths such as perpetual hair combing round out the lightning-fast plot. A cliffhanger finale suggests a sequel.

Fin-tastic fun. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68119-792-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH

From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 1

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun

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It’s been 42 days since the Monster Apocalypse began, and 13-year-old Jack Sullivan, a self-proclaimed “zombie-fighting, monster-slaying tornado of cool” is on a quest to find and rescue his not-so-secret crush, June Del Toro, whether she needs it, wants it, or not.

Jack cobbles together an unlikely but endearing crew, including his scientist best friend, Quint Baker; Dirk Savage, Parker Middle School’s biggest bully; and a pet monster named Rover, to help him save the damsel in distress and complete the “ULTIMATE Feat of Apocalyptic Success.” Middle-grade readers, particularly boys, will find Jack’s pitch-perfect mix of humor, bravado, and self-professed geekiness impossible to resist. His sidekicks are equally entertaining, and it doesn’t hurt that there are also plenty of oozing, drooling, sharp-toothed monsters and zombies and a host of gizmos and gadgets to hook readers and keep them cheering with every turn of the page. Holgate’s illustrations play an integral role in the novel’s success. They not only bring Brallier’s characters to life, but also add depth and detail to the story, making plain just exactly how big Rover is and giving the lie to Jack’s “killer driving.” The marriage of text and illustration serves as a perfect example of what an illustrated novel can and should be.

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun (. (Graphic/horror hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-670-01661-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 21, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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