Mystery and history dance a mesmerizing waltz in this poignant, thoroughly entertaining novel that shows how “[t]he past...

THE CHILDREN OF THE KING

No matter how far north of London the Lockwoods travel, they can’t escape the ravages of World War II.

Twelve-year-old Cecily Lockwood isn’t happy to leave her revered father behind in London, but she’s secretly thrilled she and her older brother, Jeremy, are bound for Heron Hall, her uncle Peregrine’s lovely country manor. At the train station, they convince their mother to take in a 10-year-old London evacuee named May Bright, who, to Cecily’s delight, becomes a sort of sister to her, though (less delightful for bossy Cecily) she’s “prone to bouts of independence.” Through her likable, vividly wrought characters, Hartnett respectfully captures the depth and ferocity of childhood. The poetic descriptions of the girls’ rural wanderings are to be savored like the best tea and biscuits, but the masterful lyricism never slows the suspenseful story of Cecily and May’s discovery of two “horrid boys” in velvet jackets, hiding among nearby castle ruins…or the rising tension between Jeremy and his mother as he battles his sense of helplessness as others fight the war. Uncle Peregrine tells a 450-year-old story whose themes are curiously relevant to World War II England…perhaps even to the be-velveted boys-in-hiding.

Mystery and history dance a mesmerizing waltz in this poignant, thoroughly entertaining novel that shows how “[t]he past lives everywhere.” (Historical fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: March 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6735-1

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Jan. 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2014

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A thrilling conclusion to a beautifully crafted, heart-stopping trilogy.

THRIVE

From the Overthrow series , Vol. 3

This is the moment teens Seth, Anaya, and Petra have both been anticipating and dreading ever since aliens called cryptogens began attempting to colonize the Earth: the chance to defend their planet.

In an earlier volume, Seth, Anaya, and Petra began growing physical characteristics that made them realize they were half alien. Seth has wings, Petra has a tail, and Anaya has fur. They also have the power of telepathy, which Anaya uses to converse with Terra, a cryptogen rebel looking for human allies who could help stop the invasion of Earth. Terra plans to use a virus stored in the three teens’ bodies to disarm the flyers, which are the winged aliens that are both masterminding the invasion and enslaving the other species of cryptogens known as swimmers and runners. But Terra and her allies can’t pull any of this off without the help of Anaya, Seth, and Petra. Although the trio is anxious about their abilities, they don’t have much of a choice—the entire human race is depending on them for salvation. Like its predecessors, this trilogy closer is fast-paced and well structured. Despite its post-apocalyptic setting, the story is fundamentally character driven, and it is incredibly satisfying to watch each protagonist overcome their inner battles within the context of the larger human-alien war. Main characters read as White.

A thrilling conclusion to a beautifully crafted, heart-stopping trilogy. (Science fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-984894-80-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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Narrow squeaks aplenty combine with bursts of lyrical prose for a satisfying adventure

THE GOOD THIEVES

A Prohibition-era child enlists a gifted pickpocket and a pair of budding circus performers in a clever ruse to save her ancestral home from being stolen by developers.

Rundell sets her iron-jawed protagonist on a seemingly impossible quest: to break into the ramshackle Hudson River castle from which her grieving grandfather has been abruptly evicted by unscrupulous con man Victor Sorrotore and recover a fabulously valuable hidden emerald. Laying out an elaborate scheme in a notebook that itself turns out to be an integral part of the ensuing caper, Vita, only slowed by a bout with polio years before, enlists a team of helpers. Silk, a light-fingered orphan, aspiring aerialist Samuel Kawadza, and Arkady, a Russian lad with a remarkable affinity for and with animals, all join her in a series of expeditions, mostly nocturnal, through and under Manhattan. The city never comes to life the way the human characters do (Vita, for instance, “had six kinds of smile, and five of them were real”) but often does have a tangible presence, and notwithstanding Vita’s encounter with a (rather anachronistically styled) “Latina” librarian, period attitudes toward race and class are convincingly drawn. Vita, Silk, and Arkady all present white; Samuel, a Shona immigrant from Southern Rhodesia, is the only primary character of color. Santoso’s vignettes of, mostly, animals and small items add occasional visual grace notes.

Narrow squeaks aplenty combine with bursts of lyrical prose for a satisfying adventure . (Historical fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4814-1948-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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