AMELIA ERROWAY

CASTAWAY COMMANDER

A rambunctious young girl does exactly what you’d expect with her father’s airship.

Twelve-year-old Amelia Erroway is not allowed out of her room while her father’s ornithopter is in flight—but try telling her that. She might look the proper Victorian(ish) lady in her sashed dress, but she daringly climbs on the outside of the airship while it’s aloft. Wide views of the craft provide a treat for any steampunk enthusiast; while the Intrepyd Ray is not at all convincingly airworthy, it cuts an elegant, avian figure in the classical fantasy landscape. Of course Amelia rushes to take it off by herself the moment she gets a chance in a bid to prove to her father that she is too ready to become a commander like him. It’s no surprise that she crashes spectacularly, and in the Juniper, a dangerous rainforest, to boot. Luckily, she meets Rastor and Fynley, a pair of cute and equally rambunctious brothers with a kindly mom, who are only too happy to help her rebuild her ship and call her commander. With a science-minded trio to cheer for and several labeled diagrams to delight the meticulous, the story telegraphs its young nerds’ success, though Amelia’s final choice still comes as a surprise. The watercolor-style illustrations in intense jewel tones convey a sense of wonder. Amelia and her father are White; the brothers and their mom have brown skin and dark hair.

Adventures galore. (author's note) (Graphic fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-18612-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 1, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2021

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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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Series fans, at least, will take this outing (and clear evidence of more to come) in stride.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS AND THE REVOLTING REVENGE OF THE RADIOACTIVE ROBO-BOXERS

From the Captain Underpants series , Vol. 10

Zipping back and forth in time atop outsized robo–bell bottoms, mad inventor Tippy Tinkletrousers (aka Professor Poopypants) legs his way to center stage in this slightly less-labored continuation of episode 9.

The action commences after a rambling recap and a warning not to laugh or smile on pain of being forced to read Sarah Plain and Tall. Pilkey first sends his peevish protagonist back a short while to save the Earth (destroyed in the previous episode), then on to various prehistoric eras in pursuit of George, Harold and the Captain. It’s all pretty much an excuse for many butt jokes, dashes of off-color humor (“Tippy pressed the button on his Freezy-Beam 4000, causing it to rise from the depths of his Robo-Pants”), a lengthy wordless comic and two tussles in “Flip-o-rama.” Still, the chase kicks off an ice age, the extinction of the dinosaurs and the Big Bang (here the Big “Ka-Bloosh!”). It ends with a harrowing glimpse of what George and Harold would become if they decided to go straight. The author also chucks in a poopy-doo-doo song with musical notation (credited to Albert P. Einstein) and plenty of ink-and-wash cartoon illustrations to crank up the ongoing frenzy.

Series fans, at least, will take this outing (and clear evidence of more to come) in stride. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-545-17536-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2013

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