From the Gumazing Gum Girl! series , Vol. 2

Gum Girl is back in this second adventure.

Since her last adventures, Gum Girl (aka Gabby Gomez) has been celebrated as a hero by everyone. Everyone, that is, except the people who matter most: the members of her own loving, Latino family, who don’t know she’s Gum Girl! As Gabby get ready to reveal her secret identity, her dentist dad despairs about the tooth problems that Gum Girl’s poor example will inspire. Poor Gabby’s troubles worsen—she may have a cavity from all that gum! But even that’s not the end of Gabby’s problems: a gum-hating “mysterious masked man” is plotting to bring Gum Girl down. Meanwhile, when Gum Girl isn’t busy saving the day, Gabby is busy running from white bully Natalie, whose depiction as a large girl disappoints. Many school-, cavity-, and gum-related adventures later, Gum Girl faces off with the “mysterious masked man” and his giant robot, which she, unsurprisingly, vanquishes. Most illustrations are black and white, with energetic, bubble-gum-pink accents. The plot is fairly shallow and sometimes ridiculous, but it is aware of at least some of that silliness, which perhaps redeems it a bit of the lack of depth. Short chapters and frequent, graphic novel–esque illustrations make this a shoo-in for reluctant readers, and the text is punctuated by the occasional italicized word in Spanish.

Good, sticky fun. (Fantasy. 6-10)

Pub Date: June 13, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4231-6117-2

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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Dizzyingly silly.


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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With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after.


From the Dragon Masters series , Vol. 1

Drake has been selected by the king to serve as a Dragon Master, quite a change for an 8-year-old farmer boy.

The dragons are a secret, and the reason King Roland has them is a mystery, but what is clear is that the Dragon Stone has identified Drake as one of the rare few children who have a special connection with dragons and the ability to serve as a trainer. Drake’s dragon is a long brown creature with, at first, no particular talents that Drake can identify. He calls the dragon Worm. It isn’t long before Drake begins to realize he has a very strong connection with Worm and can share what seem to be his dragon’s thoughts. After one of the other Dragon Masters decides to illicitly take the dragons outside, disaster strikes. The cave they are passing through collapses, blocking the passageway, and then Worm’s special talent becomes evident. The first of a new series of early chapter books, this entry is sure to attract fans. Brief chapters, large print, lots of action, attractive illustrations in every spread, including a maplike panorama, an enviable protagonist—who wouldn’t want to be a Dragon Master?—all combine to make an entertaining read.

With plenty left to be resolved, the next entry will be eagerly sought after. (Fantasy. 7-10)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-545-64624-6

Page Count: 96

Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: June 4, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2014

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