The story positively vibrates with fun.

A DRAGON'S GUIDE TO MAKING YOUR HUMAN SMARTER

From the Dragon's Guide series , Vol. 2

Following A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans (2015), the saga of Miss Drake, a dragon living in San Francisco, continues as she tries to train her pet human in the ways of magic.

Told from the alternating perspectives of Miss Drake and her little human pet, Winnie, the story derives humor from their juxtaposition. Winnie, of course, sees Miss Drake as her pet, but the two never realize their different viewpoints. Even though she is a “natural” rather than a “magical,” Winnie gets to go to the wonderfully multiethnic, multispecies Spriggs Academy, where she will get an education like no other, with amazing teachers such as the real Sir Isaac Newton. However, as in all schools, Winnie will have to cope with a clique of hostile girls, here led by the niece of a famous sorceress. Lurking in the distant background is a threat from Winnie’s grandfather, a rich and selfish man who wants to take Winnie from her mom. If Winnie does not learn how to defeat him, her memory of Miss Drake will be wiped clean, and Miss Drake herself will have to leave her comfy San Francisco home. Can Winnie get some help from the wonderful, magical nesting Small Doll, who loves chocolate? Yep and Ryder keep the magic coming with their whimsical fantasy, enhanced by Grandpré’s sweet drawings.

The story positively vibrates with fun. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-385-39232-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2015

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A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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A moving tale of baseball, magic, and former rivals who come together to solve a problem.

MUCH ADO ABOUT BASEBALL

A middle schooler struggles to adjust after moving to an idyllic Massachusetts town.

Trish Das is at a crossroads. Not only is the 12-year-old unhappy that her family has moved yet again due to her mother’s cardiology career, she also has to try out for a new baseball team. The fact that one of her new teammates is a former archrival further complicates matters. Math prodigy Ben Messina went head-to-head against fellow math whiz Trish at last spring’s Math Puzzlers Championship. When Trish emerged victorious, Ben was stunned. The two get closer when the team’s mysterious pregame snacks start making everyone play better while also causing magical side effects during games. Equally surprising are the cryptic puzzle booklets Trish and Ben receive in the mail that lead them to even more wins. But as the puzzles get harder to solve, the risk of failing to do so increases. Alternating between Trish’s and Ben’s perspectives, LaRocca’s novel—a companion to 2019’s Midsummer’s Mayhem—is a Much Ado About Nothing homage that explores parental expectations, complicated friendships, and teamwork. The protagonists’ love of problem-solving shines through, and the puzzles themselves are clearly explained. As a third-generation Indian American, Trish also has moving conversations about the circumstances that led her grandparents to emigrate and how those decisions still impact their lives. Ben is implied White. Final illustrations not seen.

A moving tale of baseball, magic, and former rivals who come together to solve a problem. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1101-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Yellow Jacket

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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