A clash of mythic intrigues and centuries of pop culture to thrill die-hard and new fans alike.


From the Trials of Apollo series , Vol. 1

With more Mel Brooks–ian flare than a fourth wall could hope to contain, Riordan presents another expansion to his modern pantheon.

Punished by his father, Zeus, sun god Apollo falls from grace—literally—first landing painfully in a dumpster and then, humiliatingly, into the service of a streetwise, 12-year-old, presumably white demigod named Meg McCaffrey. The now-mortal Apollo seeks help from Camp Half-Blood and its resident heroes only to find that there’s been a plague of disappearances among the demigods, the camp has been cut off from the Oracle of Delphi and its quest-granting prophecies, and a sinister conspiracy is working tirelessly to destroy everything the former sun god holds dear. In his narration, Apollo alternately waxes poetic about his godly virtues (including his open bisexuality) and gripes about his current awkwardness and servitude to the enigmatic Meg. Egocentric to the point of rollicking self-deprecation as he tries to reconcile millennia of personal history as an immortal with his sudden fragile finitude, his voice overpowers any sense of his new 16-year-old white, acned form, and he continuously disrupts the narrative to remind readers of his dissatisfying appearance. Nonetheless, the wearying negotiation of inner and outer self will ring true for (im)mortals of any age as Apollo desperately works to save himself and everyone else.

A clash of mythic intrigues and centuries of pop culture to thrill die-hard and new fans alike. (glossary) (Fantasy. 12-17)

Pub Date: May 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4847-3274-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 10, 2016

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Sensitive subject matter that could have benefited from a subtler, more sober touch.


A Jewish girl joins up with Polish resistance groups to fight for her people against the evils of the Holocaust.

Chaya Lindner is forcibly separated from her family when they are consigned to the Jewish ghetto in Krakow. The 16-year-old is taken in by the leaders of Akiva, a fledgling Jewish resistance group that offers her the opportunity to become a courier, using her fair coloring to pass for Polish and sneak into ghettos to smuggle in supplies and information. Chaya’s missions quickly become more dangerous, taking her on a perilous journey from a disastrous mission in Krakow to the ghastly ghetto of Lodz and eventually to Warsaw to aid the Jews there in their gathering uprising inside the walls of the ghetto. Through it all, she is partnered with a secretive young girl whom she is reluctant to trust. The trajectory of the narrative skews toward the sensational, highlighting moments of resistance via cinematic action sequences but not pausing to linger on the emotional toll of the Holocaust’s atrocities. Younger readers without sufficient historical knowledge may not appreciate the gravity of the events depicted. The principal characters lack depth, and their actions and the situations they find themselves in often require too much suspension of disbelief to pass for realism.

Sensitive subject matter that could have benefited from a subtler, more sober touch. (afterword) (Historical fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-14847-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 28, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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From the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series , Vol. 1

Edgar Award–winning Riordan leaves the adult world of mystery to begin a fantasy series for younger readers. Twelve-year-old Percy (full name, Perseus) Jackson has attended six schools in six years. Officially diagnosed with ADHD, his lack of self-control gets him in trouble again and again. What if it isn’t his fault? What if all the outrageous incidents that get him kicked out of school are the result of his being a “half-blood,” the product of a relationship between a human and a Greek god? Could it be true that his math teacher Mrs. Dodds transformed into a shriveled hag with bat wings, a Fury, and was trying to kill him? Did he really vanquish her with a pen that turned into a sword? One need not be an expert in Greek mythology to enjoy Percy’s journey to retrieve Zeus’s master bolt from the Underworld, but those who are familiar with the deities and demi-gods will have many an ah-ha moment. Along the way, Percy and his cohort run into Medusa, Cerberus and Pan, among others. The sardonic tone of the narrator’s voice lends a refreshing air of realism to this riotously paced quest tale of heroism that questions the realities of our world, family, friendship and loyalty. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: July 1, 2005

ISBN: 0-7868-5629-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2005

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