A savvy choice for readers of fantasy; individual readers and book clubs will love it and demand to know when the sequel...

THE LAST

From the Endling series , Vol. 1

What do you do when you’re the last of your kind?

Applegate transports her readers to a new land, one inhabited by numerous sentient species, six of which have fought to the top of the food chain: humans, dairnes, felivets, natites, terramants, and raptidons. In this world, readers meet Byx, a dairne—a doglike creature that walks erect, glides like a flying squirrel, and has opposable thumbs—on the day she becomes the last of her species. It’s also a day when Byx meets two other creatures: Tobble, a wobbyk, with large ears and a short round body, and Khara (short for Kharassande), a 14-year-old, brown-skinned human girl who pretends to be a boy so that she is not limited by the gendered rules of human society. Bonded through lifesaving acts, the three embark on a journey to find Ferrucci the Gharri, a scientist and scholar who may be able to protect Byx from a human emperor who is hellbent on killing off her entire species. Applegate skillfully builds a fully realized world of intrigue and wonder without ever letting up on the story’s quick pace. Themes of genocide, conservation, and magic are interwoven, providing thought-provoking questions for astute readers and educators.

A savvy choice for readers of fantasy; individual readers and book clubs will love it and demand to know when the sequel will be available. (Fantasy. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-233552-4

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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THE FIRST CAT IN SPACE ATE PIZZA

Will extragalactic rats eat the moon?

Can a cybernetic toenail clipper find a worthy purpose in the vast universe? Will the first feline astronaut ever get a slice of pizza? Read on. Reworked from the Live Cartoon series of homespun video shorts released on Instagram in 2020 but retaining that “we’re making this up as we go” quality, the episodic tale begins with the electrifying discovery that our moon is being nibbled away. Off blast one strong, silent, furry hero—“Meow”—and a stowaway robot to our nearest celestial neighbor to hook up with the imperious Queen of the Moon and head toward the dark side, past challenges from pirates on the Sea of Tranquility and a sphinx with a riddle (“It weighs a ton, but floats on air. / It’s bald but has a lot of hair.” The answer? “Meow”). They endure multiple close but frustratingly glancing encounters with pizza and finally deliver the malign, multiheaded Rat King and its toothy armies to a suitable fate. Cue the massive pizza party! Aside from one pirate captain and a general back on Earth, the human and humanoid cast in Harris’ loosely drawn cartoon panels, from the appropriately moon-faced queen on, is light skinned. Merch, music, and the original episodes are available on an associated website.

Epic lunacy. (Graphic science fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: May 10, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-308408-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2022

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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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