Bite-sized adventures for readers who want to linger in Magnus Chase’s world.

9 FROM THE NINE WORLDS

From the Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series

Nine different Norse-inspired tales with color illustrations, featuring Magnus Chase’s irrepressible sidekicks.

Thor thunders through the nine worlds, listening to rock music (“Rock, rock. Rock-rock-rock,” he chants) and traumatizing all he passes with his tiny leather jogging shorts. Meanwhile, beloved characters from the Magnus Chase books all get chances to shine, using their skills and personalities to complete a variety of miniature quests. Blitzen the dapper dwarf turns an enemy dwarf into stone. Samirah the Valkyrie heroically takes a picture of an egg. Einherji Mallory teaches the dragon Nidhogg to tell jokes. And as readers have grown to expect from Riordan’s series, the intersecting identities of each character play a variety of roles in their adventures. Samirah uses her magical hijab as a harness. Alex’s gender shifts multiple times in the stories, with his and her friends greeting it with aplomb. One episode that stretches credibility in this regard focuses on the deaf elf Hearthstone, who somehow manages to accurately lip-read lengthy, complex sentences (including the name Siersgrunnr) from a troll who has his face covered by a “tinted plastic shield,” the only significant area where Riordan stumbles in depicting marginalized identities. Otherwise, these stories are funny, exciting side quests centering on Hotel Valhalla, with Magnus graciously sharing the spotlight. Full-page illustrations contributed by James Firnhaber, Jim Madsen, and Yori Elita Narpati sound decorative grace notes.

Bite-sized adventures for readers who want to linger in Magnus Chase’s world. (Fantasy. 8-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-02404-4

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish.

THE MECHANICAL MIND OF JOHN COGGIN

The dreary prospect of spending a lifetime making caskets instead of wonderful inventions prompts a young orphan to snatch up his little sister and flee. Where? To the circus, of course.

Fortunately or otherwise, John and 6-year-old Page join up with Boz—sometime human cannonball for the seedy Wandering Wayfarers and a “vertically challenged” trickster with a fantastic gift for sowing chaos. Alas, the budding engineer barely has time to settle in to begin work on an experimental circus wagon powered by chicken poop and dubbed (with questionable forethought) the Autopsy. The hot pursuit of malign and indomitable Great-Aunt Beauregard, the Coggins’ only living relative, forces all three to leave the troupe for further flights and misadventures. Teele spins her adventure around a sturdy protagonist whose love for his little sister is matched only by his fierce desire for something better in life for them both and tucks in an outstanding supporting cast featuring several notably strong-minded, independent women (Page, whose glare “would kill spiders dead,” not least among them). Better yet, in Boz she has created a scene-stealing force of nature, a free spirit who’s never happier than when he’s stirring up mischief. A climactic clutch culminating in a magnificently destructive display of fireworks leaves the Coggin sibs well-positioned for bright futures. (Illustrations not seen.)

A sly, side-splitting hoot from start to finish. (Adventure. 11-13)

Pub Date: April 12, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-234510-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2016

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A fun, new magical world that promises more adventures to come.

THE LAST FALLEN STAR

When a spell goes wrong, a girl sets out on a quest to save her sister.

Riley Oh and her sister, Hattie, are typical Korean American girls except for one thing: They know magic is real. When she turns 13 in two days, Hattie will finally become a full member of the Gom clan, able to wield magic on her own. But because Riley is adopted and saram, or nonmagical, the other clans will not allow her to have an initiation ceremony when she turns 13 in a month. Struck by this unfairness, Hattie finds a spell that will share her magic with Riley. Unfortunately, their plan goes spectacularly wrong, fracturing Riley’s community and endangering Hattie. Feeling responsible for the calamity, Riley, along with her best friend, Emmett, will do whatever it takes to make things right, whether that means striking deals with fickle magical beings or considering the help of an ostracized magical clan. Exploring familial bonds, belonging, and community, this is a fast-paced urban fantasy drawing on Korean mythology. Riley and her friends navigate Los Angeles’ Koreatown and run-ins with dokkaebi and inmyeonjo with a frantic, upbeat energy. Complications and twists keep the plot engaging and snappy. Emmett is cued as biracial (his mother was a Gom elder who married a saram with a Western surname; his father’s ethnicity is not specified).

A fun, new magical world that promises more adventures to come. (glossary) (Fantasy. 9-13)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-05963-3

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents/Disney

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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