A fantastic second addition to an already-acclaimed series.

THE LAST MIRROR ON THE LEFT

From the Legendary Alston Boys series , Vol. 2

The Legendary Alston Boys of Logan County are back in a new multiverse adventure.

In the series opener, readers were introduced to the detective team of cousins Sheed and Otto Alston when they went toe-to-toe with the time-stopping Mr. Flux. A mirror “borrowed” from the Rorrim Mirror Emporium in downtown Fry to resolve that showdown sets off the journey of this sequel, as the boys are magically reminded by Missus Nedraw that the Emporium is no ordinary house of mirrors. Yes, behind the mirrors lie whole new worlds where Missus Nedraw and the menacing-looking Judge reign over the Multiverse Justice System. The word is that they need Otto and Sheed to recapture an extraordinarily dangerous criminal who has escaped, but something seems not quite right about this setup—something more insidious than the reality-bending rules of this dimension they’ve entered, including a gang of spiders who call themselves the ArachnoBRObia. Even more complicated, Otto worries that Sheed is in need of a checkup but knows he will refuse to self-advocate for a doctor’s visit. Otto can’t just let his detective partner lapse into what might be an even more serious health condition. This heartwarming adventure centers on the caring relationship between two Black boys while driving home a lesson about what justice might truly be.

A fantastic second addition to an already-acclaimed series. (Science fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-358-12941-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Versify/HMH

Review Posted Online: Aug. 18, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2020

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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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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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