Max’s finest adventure thus far.

MAXIMILIAN AND THE CURSE OF THE FALLEN ANGEL

From the Max's Lucha Libre Adventures series , Vol. 4

The legendary Guardian Angel battles a nefarious new foe in Garza’s solid fourth entry in the Max’s Lucha Libre Adventures saga.

Wedding bells loom when Tio Rodolfo declares that he’s marrying a former flame and fellow luchadora named Maya, aka the Silver Star. His tio’s announcement worries Max. Will the Guardian Angel continue to wrestle? When Max’s fears prove true and Tio Rodolfo reveals that he’s ready to abandon the luchador lifestyle, a new problem arises. Who will be the new Guardian Angel? Barely about to enter high school and still in training, Max knows he’s not quite there yet, but an unexpected challenger to the throne—his little brother, Robertito—startles the budding luchador. As the Guardian Angel prepares for his final match against the Fallen Angel of Catemaco, an up-and-coming lucha libre fiend, Max wrestles with his hero’s legacy as well as his own destiny. Though the format for this tale remains the same as in earlier series outings (English text on the left page, Crosthwaite’s Spanish translation on the right page, with illustrations sprinkled in), Garza shows a new mastery of his characters—all Mexican—and fictional world in this latest installment. Apart from Max’s continued growth, each character shines, no matter how small an appearance they may make. In the end, what readers get is an assured, joyous story full of lucha libre antics and poignant familial bonding.

Max’s finest adventure thus far. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-947627-31-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

Review Posted Online: Sept. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2019

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Classic action-packed, monster-fighting fun

THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH

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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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

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