A riveting tale of family ties, friendship and community loyalty.

READ REVIEW

UNTRACEABLE

THE NATURE OF GRACE—BOOK 1

Gutsy teen Grace, who is much more at home fly fishing, hiking and tracking bears through the woods than hanging out at the mall or chasing boys, has a mission—to prove that her father is still alive.

Grace’s father—forest ranger and wilderness survival expert—has taught his daughter everything she needs to know to trek through the Smoky Mountains, searching for clues to his sudden disappearance. After the police find his torn, blood-stained shirt in a local river, they, along with Grace’s mother, assume he has been killed in a tragic accident. Despite being snubbed by the local police chief, running up against the wrath of the chief of the town’s Native American reservation and alienating herself from her distraught mother, Grace is determined to prove them all wrong. The spunky sleuth goes all out to find her dad, determined not to be put off by her longtime friend and admirer Wyn or distracted by the amorous attentions of the intriguing British stranger Mo. When she inadvertently stumbles upon a dark, dangerous secret, it challenges everything Grace thought she knew about her sleepy hometown and its inhabitants. This thrilling story is a dramatic entanglement of mystery, deception and teen romance. The author has achieved a stunning, high-tension tale that takes the reader on a journey over rough terrain as it follows a young girl’s quest to find the truth and protect the sanctity of a national park and the animals that owe their survival to it. These unique, lively characters will rouse a gamut of emotions in young adult readers. The action flows like a brisk mountain stream interspersed with rapids, holding suspense to last page and then leaving an intriguing teaser in anticipation of the sequel.

A riveting tale of family ties, friendship and community loyalty.

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: 314

Publisher: Coleman & Stott

Review Posted Online: Nov. 18, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2011

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Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes.

LITTLE BLUE TRUCK'S HALLOWEEN

A lift-the-flap book gives the littlest trick-or-treaters some practice identifying partygoers under their costumes.

Little Blue Truck and his buddy Toad are off to a party, and they invite readers (and a black cat) along for the ride: “ ‘Beep! Beep! Beep!’ / says Little Blue. / ‘It’s Halloween!’ / You come, too.” As they drive, they are surprised (and joined) by many of their friends in costume. “Who’s that in a tutu / striking a pose / up on the tiniest / tips of her toes? / Under the mask / who do you see?” Lifting the flap unmasks a friend: “ ‘Quack!’ says the duck. / ‘It’s me! It’s me!’ ” The sheep is disguised as a clown, the cow’s a queen, the pig’s a witch, the hen and her chick are pirates, and the horse is a dragon. Not to be left out, Little Blue has a costume, too. The flaps are large and sturdy, and enough of the animals’ characteristic features are visible under and around the costumes that little ones will be able to make successful guesses even on the first reading. Lovely curvy shapes and autumn colors fade to dusky blues as night falls, and children are sure to notice the traditional elements of a Halloween party: apple bobbing, lit jack-o’-lanterns, and punch and treats.

Beloved Little Blue takes a bit of the mystery—and fear—out of Halloween costumes. (Board book. 2-4)

Pub Date: July 5, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-544-77253-3

Page Count: 16

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

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Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

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

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. 19, 2019

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