MAXIMILIAN AND THE LUCHA LIBRE CLUB

A BILINGUAL LUCHA LIBRE THRILLER

From the Max's Lucha Libre Adventures series , Vol. 3

In the third book of Max’s Lucha Libre Adventures, the titular hero struggles through the complexities of young love as he prepares to fulfill his luchador destiny.

“Who knew the life of a twelve-year-old could be this darn complicated?” Uh-oh. Things are heating up between Max and Paloma. Though she’s moving to another city, Max can’t help but wonder if his newfound friend—who also shares a familial link to the lucha libre world—is more than just a friend. Max’s long-distance relationship with the girl of his dreams, Cecilia Cantu, also ends on a less-than-ideal note, muddling matters even more. Meanwhile, Max flies to Los Angeles to watch his tío Rodolfo, the legendary Guardian Angel, compete against some of the fiercest luchadores in the world. As he trains to follow in his renowned uncle’s footsteps, Max must face off against a rival of his own. Can Max triumph in both love and lucha libre? Book 3 of Max’s journey keeps to the same structure as its predecessors, with short, breezy chapters and a bilingual format (English text on the left, Crosthwaite’s Spanish translation on the right). The highlights here are the lucha libre matches. Garza excels at writing scenes full of awesome luchador action and high-octane antics. Though the romance plot at times feels overcooked, it fits within the high-stakes melodrama of the story.

Pretty darn good fun. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-941026-40-3

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Cinco Puntos Press

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

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A solid debut: fluent, funny and eminently sequel-worthy.

ALMOST SUPER

Inventively tweaking a popular premise, Jensen pits two Incredibles-style families with superpowers against each other—until a new challenge rises to unite them.

The Johnsons invariably spit at the mere mention of their hated rivals, the Baileys. Likewise, all Baileys habitually shake their fists when referring to the Johnsons. Having long looked forward to getting a superpower so that he too can battle his clan’s nemeses, Rafter Bailey is devastated when, instead of being able to fly or something else cool, he acquires the “power” to strike a match on soft polyester. But when hated classmate Juanita Johnson turns up newly endowed with a similarly bogus power and, against all family tradition, they compare notes, it becomes clear that something fishy is going on. Both families regard themselves as the heroes and their rivals as the villains. Someone has been inciting them to fight each other. Worse yet, that someone has apparently developed a device that turns real superpowers into silly ones. Teaching themselves on the fly how to get past their prejudice and work together, Rafter, his little brother, Benny, and Juanita follow a well-laid-out chain of clues and deductions to the climactic discovery of a third, genuinely nefarious family, the Joneses, and a fiendishly clever scheme to dispose of all the Baileys and Johnsons at once. Can they carry the day?

A solid debut: fluent, funny and eminently sequel-worthy. (Adventure. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-220961-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2013

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

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TERRIFYING RETURN OF TIPPY TINKLETROUSERS

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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