A popular, award-winning author takes a new tack with a comical western adventure la Sid Fleischman. Artemis, 15, leaves his mother and native New York at the request of an aunt in Arizona, who hopes Artemis can find the treasure his uncle concealed before he was shot by the evil Catfish Grimes and also avenge Uncle Ugly's death. There's a treasure map, and both Catfish and Aunt Mary have copies; but since no one knows which of the places that Uncle Ugly frequented includes the site, Artemis (with Frolic, a sidekick who claims to be part Cherokee) and Catfish (with the deceptively attractive Lucy Featherdip) try one after another—in Mexico, California, Seattle, and Alaska—with fairly violent slapstick encounters in each, though neither ever quite follows through on chances to do the other in. Back in Tombstone, Artemis agrees to a shoot-out and apparently kills Catfish (he mils it "self-defense"); still, Catfish's (and Myers's) last trick leaves room for a sequel. Artemis narrates the picaresque shenanigans in a pious, well-schooled voice, a parody of 19th-century formality that's amusingly at odds with his freewheeling behavior. The lighthearted tale is also enriched by the growth of the boys' at first casual friendship ("We had become a team and True Friends to boot") and by offhand comments about being black in the mostly white world of the early We, at. An entertaining yarn that could well introduce new readers to historical fiction. (Fiction. 10- 14)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 1992

ISBN: 0-06-020844-9

Page Count: 144

Publisher: HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1992

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The inevitable go-to for Percy’s legions of fans who want the stories behind his stories.


Percy Jackson takes a break from adventuring to serve up the Greek gods like flapjacks at a church breakfast.

Percy is on form as he debriefs readers concerning Chaos, Gaea, Ouranos and Pontus, Dionysus, Ariadne and Persephone, all in his dude’s patter: “He’d forgotten how beautiful Gaea could be when she wasn’t all yelling up in his face.” Here they are, all 12 Olympians, plus many various offspring and associates: the gold standard of dysfunctional families, whom Percy plays like a lute, sometimes lyrically, sometimes with a more sardonic air. Percy’s gift, which is no great secret, is to breathe new life into the gods. Closest attention is paid to the Olympians, but Riordan has a sure touch when it comes to fitting much into a small space—as does Rocco’s artwork, which smokes and writhes on the page as if hit by lightning—so readers will also meet Makaria, “goddess of blessed peaceful deaths,” and the Theban Teiresias, who accidentally sees Athena bathing. She blinds him but also gives him the ability to understand the language of birds. The atmosphere crackles and then dissolves, again and again: “He could even send the Furies after living people if they committed a truly horrific crime—like killing a family member, desecrating a temple, or singing Journey songs on karaoke night.”

The inevitable go-to for Percy’s legions of fans who want the stories behind his stories. (Mythology. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 19, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4231-8364-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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From the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries series

In this series debut, Maggie Sinclair tracks down a dognapper and solves a mystery about the noises in the walls of her Brooklyn brownstone apartment building. The 12-year-old heroine, who shares a middle name—Brooklyn—with her twin brother, Finn, is juggling two dogwalking jobs she’s keeping secret from her parents, and somehow she attracts the ire of the dogs’ former walker. Maggie tells her story in the first person—she’s self-possessed and likable, even when her clueless brother invites her ex–best friend, now something of an enemy, to their shared 12th birthday party. Maggie’s attention to details helps her to figure out why dogs seem to be disappearing and why there seem to be mice in the walls of her building, though astute readers will pick up on the solution to at least one mystery before Maggie solves it. There’s a brief nod to Nancy Drew, but the real tensions in this contemporary preteen story are more about friendship and boy crushes than skullduggery. Still, the setting is appealing, and Maggie is a smart and competent heroine whose personal life is just as interesting as—if not more than—her detective work. (Mystery. 10-13)



Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 967-1-59990-525-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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