Fans of the series will enjoy this latest entry.

THE DRAGON'S DOOKIE

From the Fart Quest series , Vol. 3

A trio of heroes prove themselves yet again.

After a month of recharging in the village of Conklin, Fart, Moxie, and Pan are ready to get back to work, and they are soon contacted by the Great and Powerful Kevin for yet another ridiculous quest. This time, however, Pan is apprehensive of Kevin’s purpose for these magical artifacts and wants no part in his schemes—and her friends back her up. Until Kevin offers Pan something she cannot decline: a chance to see her deceased mother one more time. The brave trio—and TickTock, their phibling friend—venture to the highest peak of the Frostflung mountains to find the dragon Glacierbane and search his poop for a supercharged magical item. Along the way they meet pink-haired noble knight Seraphim and Sparkles, her talking spoonicorn (not to be mistaken for a unicorn). Fart doesn’t know if he’s jealous or if his instincts are correct, but something feels not quite right about them. Either way, hazardous happenings await as they battle shroomies, bots, and more, all the while learning to be better friends and making new ones. Fart’s whimsical, first-person perspective thrusts readers into the fantastical Fourteen Realms as they follow his growth as a mage and friend. Although somewhat formulaic, the story is still an enjoyably amusing read that will keep readers immersed in its brisk pace. Final illustrations not seen.

Fans of the series will enjoy this latest entry. (map) (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-20644-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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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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Wholesome shading to bland, but well-stocked with exotic creatures and locales, plus an agreeable cast headed by a child...

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES

A San Diego preteen learns that she’s an elf, with a place in magic school if she moves to the elves’ hidden realm.

Having felt like an outsider since a knock on the head at age 5 left her able to read minds, Sophie is thrilled when hunky teen stranger Fitz convinces her that she’s not human at all and transports her to the land of Lumenaria, where the ageless elves live. Taken in by a loving couple who run a sanctuary for extinct and mythical animals, Sophie quickly gathers friends and rivals at Foxfire, a distinctly Hogwarts-style school. She also uncovers both clues to her mysterious origins and hints that a rash of strangely hard-to-quench wildfires back on Earth are signs of some dark scheme at work. Though Messenger introduces several characters with inner conflicts and ambiguous agendas, Sophie herself is more simply drawn as a smart, radiant newcomer who unwillingly becomes the center of attention while developing what turn out to be uncommonly powerful magical abilities—reminiscent of the younger Harry Potter, though lacking that streak of mischievousness that rescues Harry from seeming a little too perfect. The author puts her through a kidnapping and several close brushes with death before leaving her poised, amid hints of a higher destiny and still-anonymous enemies, for sequels.

Wholesome shading to bland, but well-stocked with exotic creatures and locales, plus an agreeable cast headed by a child who, while overly fond of screaming, rises to every challenge. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4593-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

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