Another spine-tinglingly satisfying trek into the world of the dead.


From the City of Ghosts series , Vol. 2

The sequel to City of Ghosts (2018) takes Cassidy Blake to Paris.

Cass and her parents travel from Edinburgh, a city of shadows, to the City of Light for the next episode of the paranormal TV show The Inspecters. First stop: Paris’ catacombs, where, five stories underground, the remains of more than 6 million people lie beneath the feet of the city’s 2 million living inhabitants. Here, in this tunnel of bones, the golden, glittering light of the metropolis above yields to an eerie dimness. Both Cass, who is a beacon for the dead, and her spectral best friend, Jacob, who continues acting as the voice of caution, immediately feel its psychic negativity. When Cass mistakenly frees a poltergeist from the catacombs, she and Jacob must race against the clock to stop it before it wreaks irrevocable havoc on all of Paris. From the the Tuileries to the Père Lachaise cemetery to the Paris Opera House, sense of place is tangible. Vivid descriptions of the catacombs highlight the morbidly fascinating nature of one of the world’s creepiest locations. Knowledge of the previous book isn’t strictly necessary, but readers will want to delve into Cass’ first adventure before embarking on this one. The open ending will leave readers wondering where Cassidy’s paranormal adventures will take her next. Assume whiteness except for Cassidy’s Scottish Indian friend, Lara Chowdhury, who offers guidance via text and video.

Another spine-tinglingly satisfying trek into the world of the dead. (Paranormal adventure. 8-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 3, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-11104-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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Dizzyingly silly.


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 11

The famous superhero returns to fight another villain with all the trademark wit and humor the series is known for.

Despite the title, Captain Underpants is bizarrely absent from most of this adventure. His school-age companions, George and Harold, maintain most of the spotlight. The creative chums fool around with time travel and several wacky inventions before coming upon the evil Turbo Toilet 2000, making its return for vengeance after sitting out a few of the previous books. When the good Captain shows up to save the day, he brings with him dynamic action and wordplay that meet the series’ standards. The Captain Underpants saga maintains its charm even into this, the 11th volume. The epic is filled to the brim with sight gags, toilet humor, flip-o-ramas and anarchic glee. Holding all this nonsense together is the author’s good-natured sense of harmless fun. The humor is never gross or over-the-top, just loud and innocuous. Adults may roll their eyes here and there, but youngsters will eat this up just as quickly as they devoured every other Underpants episode.

Dizzyingly silly. (Humor. 8-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-50490-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun


From the Last Kids on Earth series , Vol. 1

It’s been 42 days since the Monster Apocalypse began, and 13-year-old Jack Sullivan, a self-proclaimed “zombie-fighting, monster-slaying tornado of cool” is on a quest to find and rescue his not-so-secret crush, June Del Toro, whether she needs it, wants it, or not.

Jack cobbles together an unlikely but endearing crew, including his scientist best friend, Quint Baker; Dirk Savage, Parker Middle School’s biggest bully; and a pet monster named Rover, to help him save the damsel in distress and complete the “ULTIMATE Feat of Apocalyptic Success.” Middle-grade readers, particularly boys, will find Jack’s pitch-perfect mix of humor, bravado, and self-professed geekiness impossible to resist. His sidekicks are equally entertaining, and it doesn’t hurt that there are also plenty of oozing, drooling, sharp-toothed monsters and zombies and a host of gizmos and gadgets to hook readers and keep them cheering with every turn of the page. Holgate’s illustrations play an integral role in the novel’s success. They not only bring Brallier’s characters to life, but also add depth and detail to the story, making plain just exactly how big Rover is and giving the lie to Jack’s “killer driving.” The marriage of text and illustration serves as a perfect example of what an illustrated novel can and should be.

Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun (. (Graphic/horror hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 13, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-670-01661-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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