A (mostly) tasty second helping.

ZOMBIES ARE PEOPLE, TOO

From the Project Z series , Vol. 2

A zombie escapee is recaptured by the top-secret government agency that created him.

The smartest kid in the fifth grade, Arnold Z. Ombee (a zombie, obvi), uses his superintelligence to tutor a struggling classmate. Now Arnold is accepted—maybe even popular. But it’s not just the cool kids who have their eye on him. Arnold catches an oddly familiar man spying on him and his human family, the Kinders. Soon after the encounter, the police inform Arnold’s school that an “undocumented fugitive” is in attendance. The man—a Dr. Grassmere—convinces Arnold’s family to let him take Arnold back to the Territory for a week of testing. But the “tests” serve a more sinister purpose: brainwashing Arnold and his “fellow afterlifes” and turning them into superstrong zombie warriors! Will Arnold snap out of it and remember his human life? Or is it already too late? This sequel one-ups A Zombie Ate My Homework’s (2019) infectiously hilarious tone with more over-the-top sequences, amplified by Bardin’s cartoon spot illustrations. Arnold alternates some first-person narration duties with classmate Evan, which adds an extra dose of character development to corpse-white Arnold’s diverse cast of friends, such as revealing that Evan is a cancer survivor. The messages about acceptance and belonging are timely—although using the term “undocumented” to refer to a zombie does leave a bit of a bad taste.

A (mostly) tasty second helping. (Science fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-30596-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Series fans, at least, will take this outing (and clear evidence of more to come) in stride.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE REVOLTING REVENGE OF THE RADIOACTIVE ROBO-BOXERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 10

Zipping back and forth in time atop outsized robo–bell bottoms, mad inventor Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) legs his way to center stage in this slightly less-labored continuation of episode 9.

The action commences after a rambling recap and a warning not to laugh or smile on pain of being forced to read Sarah Plain and Tall. Pilkey first sends his peevish protagonist back a short while to save the Earth (destroyed in the previous episode), then on to various prehistoric eras in pursuit of George, Harold and the Captain. It’s all pretty much an excuse for many butt jokes, dashes of off-color humor (“Tippy pressed the button on his Freezy-Beam 4000, causing it to rise from the depths of his Robo-Pants”), a lengthy wordless comic and two tussles in “Flip-o-rama.” Still, the chase kicks off an ice age, the extinction of the dinosaurs and the Big Bang (here the Big “Ka-Bloosh!”). It ends with a harrowing glimpse of what George and Harold would become if they decided to go straight. The author also chucks in a poopy-doo-doo song with musical notation (credited to Albert P. Einstein) and plenty of ink-and-wash cartoon illustrations to crank up the ongoing frenzy.

Series fans, at least, will take this outing (and clear evidence of more to come) in stride. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-17536-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

Did you like this book?

A sympathetic, compelling introduction to wolves from the perspective of one wolf and his memorable journey.

A WOLF CALLED WANDER

Separated from his pack, Swift, a young wolf, embarks on a perilous search for a new home.

Swift’s mother impresses on him early that his “pack belongs to the mountains and the mountains belong to the pack.” His father teaches him to hunt elk, avoid skunks and porcupines, revere the life that gives them life, and “carry on” when their pack is devastated in an attack by enemy wolves. Alone and grieving, Swift reluctantly leaves his mountain home. Crossing into unfamiliar territory, he’s injured and nearly dies, but the need to run, hunt, and live drives him on. Following a routine of “walk-trot-eat-rest,” Swift traverses prairies, canyons, and deserts, encountering men with rifles, hunger, thirst, highways, wild horses, a cougar, and a forest fire. Never imagining the “world could be so big or that I could be so alone in it,” Swift renames himself Wander as he reaches new mountains and finds a new home. Rife with details of the myriad scents, sounds, tastes, touches, and sights in Swift/Wander’s primal existence, the immediacy of his intimate, first-person, present-tense narration proves deeply moving, especially his longing for companionship. Realistic black-and-white illustrations trace key events in this unique survival story, and extensive backmatter fills in further factual information about wolves and their habitat.

A sympathetic, compelling introduction to wolves from the perspective of one wolf and his memorable journey. (additional resources, map) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-289593-6

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

more