A dazzling adventure sure to become a classic, if not a movie.

THE ADVENTURERS GUILD

From the Adventurers Guild series , Vol. 1

Zed, a half-human, half-elven boy with brown skin, and white, human Brock are best friends eager for Guildculling.

Zed, the son of a single-parent human mother, has always wanted to join the Mages Guild. Brock’s choice of the Merchants Guild is rooted in family tradition. Covert, orchestrated circumstances lead the boys into the lowly Adventurer’s Guild, however, which only the guildless or unwanted enter. Zed and Brock soon learn that the Adventurer’s Guild is a rowdy mix of humans, elves, dwarves—and an archivist who can cast a mean spell or two when he has to—run by a ragged old woman by the name of Alabasel Frond. On their very first day, they and the other new apprentices are challenged to survive their first night beyond Freestone’s wall. A surprise attack by the Dangers that lurk without almost leads to the loss of life—and to a royal command that Frond eliminate the threat of the Dangers. On the mission to find the crystal that would protect the city, Zed and Brock’s friendship becomes closer than ever even as their kinship within the Adventurer’s Guild is deepened. Told in alternating chapters from the third-person perspectives of the two main characters, this tale is a page-turner that has the perfect mix of suspense, Princess Bride humor, and engaging characters, one that’s definitely earned the sequel to come.

A dazzling adventure sure to become a classic, if not a movie. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4847-8801-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: July 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2017

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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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Dizzyingly silly.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE TYRANNICAL RETALIATION OF THE TURBO TOILET 2000

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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