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Review: NNewts

Doug TenNapel does it again: With a mix of creepy, bizarre, and endearing, another book series comes to life. Young readers will be transported to a world of amphibians, magic, and adventure.

Nnewts: Book One. Escape From the Lizzarks
By Doug TenNapel
Scholastic, 192 pp.
January 2015. ISBN 978-0-545-67647-2 hc $19.99, 978-0-545-67646-5 pbk $10.99
Recommended grades 4 and up

Herk has to live in the water, because his little legs can’t hold him. Though he desperately tries to gain strength, he is regulated to the family’s pool. But when the Lizzarks invade his town, and his family is murdered, Herk must muster all his strength to escape and hopefully save the rest of his village. Along the way, he meets Anthigar, the first Nnewt; he discovers why his legs are so puny; and he finds another village much like his. If there’s any fault to this book is that so much happens in just the first volume. Though there is a promise for more volumes, many storylines are left dangling—but will readers be able to remember them as they anticipate more volumes?

This is another great addition to the Doug TenNapel library. Readers will recognize TenNapel’s signature style artwork. My review copy was not in full color, but there’s a promise of sinister artwork, and much adventure. The story is a blend of magic and mystical. There are creepy odd creatures and a compelling quest that readers will race through. Readers will root for Herk.

Most likely, after putting this down, readers will ask when volume 2 comes out, as the story ends with a very definite “to be continued”!

This review is based on a complimentary advanced reading copy supplied by the publisher. All images copyright © Scholastic

Esther Keller About Esther Keller

Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. Her collection is also the model for all middle school libraries in NYC. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library, and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 3 and regularly reviews for SLJ, LMC. In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.

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