Exciting, but not outstanding.

THE DRAGONET PROPHECY

From the Wings of Fire series , Vol. 1

Five young dragonets find themselves destined to fulfill a prophecy that will end the war between the dragons.

Six years ago, the underground group Talons of Peace, determined to make the end of the war a reality, stole, bought and borrowed five eggs and began raising the young dragons in secret. Gentle-hearted Clay, the MudWing; sassy Tsunami, the SeaWing; bookish Starflight, the NightWing; loyal Sunny, the SandWing; and shy Glory, the RainWing, are the Dragonets of Destiny. After six long years in seclusion with only their history lessons and combat training for occupation and their harried minders for company, the five young dragons yearn to see what life is like beyond the thick stone walls of their cave. Escaping their prison is only a vague fantasy until the original prophet arrives and threatens the life of one of the dragonets. The five flee, only to be captured almost immediately by a ruthless dragon queen. Fast-paced and detailed, this first installment in a new adventure series is entertaining if not terribly original. Adult dragons are all cast as untrustworthy, cruel and selfish; only the young dragonets seem to have any depth and complexity. While expected, violent battle scenes seem at odds with the story of peace and quest for home. Nevertheless, this first outing has all of the key ingredients for a successful formula-fantasy series: hierarchical social structure, destiny, attributive names and a map.

Exciting, but not outstanding. (dragon taxonomy) (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: July 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-34918-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 9, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2012

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A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves.

SCAREDY CAT

Two shelter cats take on a mysterious puss with weird powers who is terrorizing the feline community.

Hardly have timorous (and aptly named) Poop and her sophisticated buddy, Pasha, been brought home by their new “human beans” for a two-week trial than they are accosted by fiery-eyed Scaredy Cat, utterly trashing the kitchen with a click of his claws and, hissing that he’s in charge of the neighborhood, threatening that if they don’t act like proper cats—disdaining ordinary cat food and any summons (they are not dogs, after all), clawing the furniture instead of the scratching post, and showing like “cattitude”—it’ll be back to the shelter for them. Will Poop and Pasha prove to be fraidycats or flee to the cowed clowder of homeless cats hiding from the bully in the nearby woods? Nope, they are made of sterner stuff and resolutely set out to enlist feline allies in a “quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of purrs!” Cast into a gazillion very short chapters related by furry narrators Poop and Pasha, who are helpfully depicted in portrait vignettes by Herzog at each chapter’s head, the ensuing adventures test the defiant kitties’ courage (and, in some cases, attention spans) on the way to a spooky but poignant climax set, appropriately enough as it happens, in a pet graveyard.

A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves. (Adventure. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49443-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the...

TUCK EVERLASTING

At a time when death has become an acceptable, even voguish subject in children's fiction, Natalie Babbitt comes through with a stylistic gem about living forever. 

Protected Winnie, the ten-year-old heroine, is not immortal, but when she comes upon young Jesse Tuck drinking from a secret spring in her parents' woods, she finds herself involved with a family who, having innocently drunk the same water some 87 years earlier, haven't aged a moment since. Though the mood is delicate, there is no lack of action, with the Tucks (previously suspected of witchcraft) now pursued for kidnapping Winnie; Mae Tuck, the middle aged mother, striking and killing a stranger who is onto their secret and would sell the water; and Winnie taking Mae's place in prison so that the Tucks can get away before she is hanged from the neck until....? Though Babbitt makes the family a sad one, most of their reasons for discontent are circumstantial and there isn't a great deal of wisdom to be gleaned from their fate or Winnie's decision not to share it. 

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the first week in August when this takes place to "the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning") help to justify the extravagant early assertion that had the secret about to be revealed been known at the time of the action, the very earth "would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin." (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1975

ISBN: 0312369816

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1975

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