From the Witches of Brooklyn series , Vol. 3

Comfortingly familiar and as thirst-quenching as an icy-cold lemonade on a hot summer’s day.

A fantastical, friendship-centered romp that leans into all the good feels about summer sleep-away camp.

Witch-in-training Effie Huchbolt-Walloo’s third adventure takes her away from the city to the lush natural landscape of Camp Raccoon, a place for young witches to bond with nature. She’s supposed to go solo, but at the last minute she’s joined by Henry, Aunt Carlota’s nephew, who’s transformed into a panda. Effie’s initial reluctance quickly dissipates as she makes new friends and begins exploring her unusually strong connection to the natural world. Through it all, the lake and forbidden island at its center loom over Effie. Can her newfound powers save Camp Raccoon when a dare has unintended consequences? Equally enjoyable as a stand-alone read or for returning fans, this entry balances fun new characters with the comfort of time spent with reliable standbys. Filled with classic summer-camp fare—friends and bullies, friendly competition and campfire camaraderie—the campers’ magical abilities add to the quirky humor and worldbuilding. Readers may especially enjoy daydreaming about Checkers High, a magical game that combines checkers and parkour. As is true of the series as a whole, characters present with a diversity of skin tones, body types, and hair colors and textures, however specific cultural and racial identities remain unspecified; in Witches of Brooklyn (2020), Effie’s Asian and White heritage is hinted at.

Comfortingly familiar and as thirst-quenching as an icy-cold lemonade on a hot summer’s day. (drawing tutorial, additional scenes) (Graphic fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-12552-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Random House Graphic

Review Posted Online: June 21, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022


From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2019


Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and...

Catrina narrates the story of her mixed-race (Latino/white) family’s move from Southern California to Bahía de la Luna on the Northern California coast.

Dad has a new job, but it’s little sister Maya’s lungs that motivate the move: she has had cystic fibrosis since birth—a degenerative breathing condition. Despite her health, Maya loves adventure, even if her lungs suffer for it and even when Cat must follow to keep her safe. When Carlos, a tall, brown, and handsome teen Ghost Tour guide introduces the sisters to the Bahía ghosts—most of whom were Spanish-speaking Mexicans when alive—they fascinate Maya and she them, but the terrified Cat wants only to get herself and Maya back to safety. When the ghost adventure leads to Maya’s hospitalization, Cat blames both herself and Carlos, which makes seeing him at school difficult. As Cat awakens to the meaning of Halloween and Day of the Dead in this strange new home, she comes to understand the importance of the ghosts both to herself and to Maya. Telgemeier neatly balances enough issues that a lesser artist would split them into separate stories and delivers as much delight textually as visually. The backmatter includes snippets from Telgemeier’s sketchbook and a photo of her in Día makeup.

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and unable to put down this compelling tale. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54061-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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