Ridiculously irresistible, this will leave readers eager for the next escapade.


A pillow fort softens the growing pains between besties Maggie and Abby.

Maggie builds a fort while waiting for her “co-secret agent” to return from Camp Cantaloupe, eager to engage in epic imaginary adventures. Once home, Abby builds a matching fort, but she’s ready for real-world games with a wider circle of friends. They seem to be at an impasse until they have a breakthrough—literally, from one fort to the other via a fantastical pillow-fort link. More thrilling, they discover they can travel further afield, such as to Maggie’s uncle Joe in a remote Alaska cabin. It turns out they’re breaking all kinds of rules as per the executive council of the secretive North American Founding and Allied Forts Alliance. The friends each get what they want and then some: NAFAFA intrigue, a worldwide network of magical pillow forts, a centuries-old mystery, and a dose of life-and-death drama. Physical and cultural descriptions of the varied cast are brief, but personalities are vivid and colorful; narrator Maggie appears to be white, while Abby is Latina. Deeper themes of friendship, illness, bravery, and faith are introduced, but debut author Taylor maintains a light touch. Maggie never holds back, giving full vent to her gloriously intrusive imagination, self-doubts, sensitivities, and growing self-awareness. Some of the details are murky, but in a cliffhanger ending, the linchpin to the network seems to be Camp Cantaloupe, and Maggie and Abby hold the key….

Ridiculously irresistible, this will leave readers eager for the next escapade. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: April 3, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-264431-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2018

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Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel.


From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 9

Sure signs that the creative wells are running dry at last, the Captain’s ninth, overstuffed outing both recycles a villain (see Book 4) and offers trendy anti-bullying wish fulfillment.

Not that there aren’t pranks and envelope-pushing quips aplenty. To start, in an alternate ending to the previous episode, Principal Krupp ends up in prison (“…a lot like being a student at Jerome Horwitz Elementary School, except that the prison had better funding”). There, he witnesses fellow inmate Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) escape in a giant Robo-Suit (later reduced to time-traveling trousers). The villain sets off after George and Harold, who are in juvie (“not much different from our old school…except that they have library books here.”). Cut to five years previous, in a prequel to the whole series. George and Harold link up in kindergarten to reduce a quartet of vicious bullies to giggling insanity with a relentless series of pranks involving shaving cream, spiders, effeminate spoof text messages and friendship bracelets. Pilkey tucks both topical jokes and bathroom humor into the cartoon art, and ups the narrative’s lexical ante with terms like “pharmaceuticals” and “theatrical flair.” Unfortunately, the bullies’ sad fates force Krupp to resign, so he’s not around to save the Earth from being destroyed later on by Talking Toilets and other invaders…

Is this the end? Well, no…the series will stagger on through at least one more scheduled sequel. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-17534-0

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 20, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2012

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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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