A savvy choice for readers of fantasy; individual readers and book clubs will love it and demand to know when the sequel...

THE LAST

From the Endling series , Vol. 1

What do you do when you’re the last of your kind?

Applegate transports her readers to a new land, one inhabited by numerous sentient species, six of which have fought to the top of the food chain: humans, dairnes, felivets, natites, terramants, and raptidons. In this world, readers meet Byx, a dairne—a doglike creature that walks erect, glides like a flying squirrel, and has opposable thumbs—on the day she becomes the last of her species. It’s also a day when Byx meets two other creatures: Tobble, a wobbyk, with large ears and a short round body, and Khara (short for Kharassande), a 14-year-old, brown-skinned human girl who pretends to be a boy so that she is not limited by the gendered rules of human society. Bonded through lifesaving acts, the three embark on a journey to find Ferrucci the Gharri, a scientist and scholar who may be able to protect Byx from a human emperor who is hellbent on killing off her entire species. Applegate skillfully builds a fully realized world of intrigue and wonder without ever letting up on the story’s quick pace. Themes of genocide, conservation, and magic are interwoven, providing thought-provoking questions for astute readers and educators.

A savvy choice for readers of fantasy; individual readers and book clubs will love it and demand to know when the sequel will be available. (Fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-233552-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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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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A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves.

SCAREDY CAT

Two shelter cats take on a mysterious puss with weird powers who is terrorizing the feline community.

Hardly have timorous (and aptly named) Poop and her sophisticated buddy, Pasha, been brought home by their new “human beans” for a two-week trial than they are accosted by fiery-eyed Scaredy Cat, utterly trashing the kitchen with a click of his claws and, hissing that he’s in charge of the neighborhood, threatening that if they don’t act like proper cats—disdaining ordinary cat food and any summons (they are not dogs, after all), clawing the furniture instead of the scratching post, and showing like “cattitude”—it’ll be back to the shelter for them. Will Poop and Pasha prove to be fraidycats or flee to the cowed clowder of homeless cats hiding from the bully in the nearby woods? Nope, they are made of sterner stuff and resolutely set out to enlist feline allies in a “quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of purrs!” Cast into a gazillion very short chapters related by furry narrators Poop and Pasha, who are helpfully depicted in portrait vignettes by Herzog at each chapter’s head, the ensuing adventures test the defiant kitties’ courage (and, in some cases, attention spans) on the way to a spooky but poignant climax set, appropriately enough as it happens, in a pet graveyard.

A-mew-sing fare for readers who sometimes feel like fraidycats themselves. (Adventure. 9-11)

Pub Date: March 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49443-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: March 3, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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