THE SORCERESS

THE SECRETS OF THE IMMORTAL NICHOLAS FLAMEL, BOOK 3

Weaving yet more figures from history and myth into the third of his six-volume fantasy, Scott whisks teenage twins Sophie and Josh to London, the stronghold of archnemesis John Dee, for an encounter with Gilgamesh—a half-senile street bum in this era but a master of Water Magic and the oldest human immortal of them all. The twins feel their ways into new powers in the course of a running battle toward (where else?) Stonehenge with the Horned God, the Wild Hunt and other foes. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, their guardian Flamel’s gifted wife Pernelle survives clouds of poisonous insects and attacks from the octopus-legged Old Man of the Sea to escape from Alcatraz Island. Master yarnspinner that he is, Scott expertly cranks up the suspense while keeping his now-large cast in quick motion. He also continues to blur the line between the two sides, injecting notes of ambiguity that will leave readers wondering. Ending in a welter of revelations, reunions and unresolved plotlines, this page-turner promises plenty of action to come. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: May 26, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-385-73529-2

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2009

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Miah’s melodramatic death overshadows a tale as rich in social and personal insight as any of Woodson’s previous books.

IF YOU COME SOFTLY

In a meditative interracial love story with a wrenching climactic twist, Woodson (The House You Pass on the Way, 1997, etc.) offers an appealing pair of teenagers and plenty of intellectual grist, before ending her story with a senseless act of violence.

Jeremiah and Elisha bond from the moment they collide in the hall of their Manhattan prep school: He’s the only child of celebrity parents; she’s the youngest by ten years in a large family. Not only sharply sensitive to the reactions of those around them, Ellie and Miah also discover depths and complexities in their own intense feelings that connect clearly to their experiences, their social environment, and their own characters. In quiet conversations and encounters, Woodson perceptively explores varieties of love, trust, and friendship, as she develops well-articulated histories for both families. Suddenly Miah, forgetting his father’s warning never to be seen running in a white neighborhood, exuberantly dashes into a park and is shot down by police. The parting thought that, willy-nilly, time moves on will be a colder comfort for stunned readers than it evidently is for Ellie.

Miah’s melodramatic death overshadows a tale as rich in social and personal insight as any of Woodson’s previous books. (Fiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-399-23112-9

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1998

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GUTS

THE TRUE STORIES BEHIND HATCHET AND THE BRIAN BOOKS

Paulsen recalls personal experiences that he incorporated into Hatchet (1987) and its three sequels, from savage attacks by moose and mosquitoes to watching helplessly as a heart-attack victim dies. As usual, his real adventures are every bit as vivid and hair-raising as those in his fiction, and he relates them with relish—discoursing on “The Fine Art of Wilderness Nutrition,” for instance: “Something that you would never consider eating, something completely repulsive and ugly and disgusting, something so gross it would make you vomit just looking at it, becomes absolutely delicious if you’re starving.” Specific examples follow, to prove that he knows whereof he writes. The author adds incidents from his Iditarod races, describes how he made, then learned to hunt with, bow and arrow, then closes with methods of cooking outdoors sans pots or pans. It’s a patchwork, but an entertaining one, and as likely to win him new fans as to answer questions from his old ones. (Autobiography. 10-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2001

ISBN: 0-385-32650-5

Page Count: 150

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2000

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