More of a Good Thing

Popular series unfold in further installments. Robert Lipsyte's many fans will be eager for Warrior Angel, a taut sports adventure in the series begun with The Contender. In this outing, Sonny Bear defends the heavyweight boxing championship he won in The Chief. As usual with Lipsyte, the protagonist struggles at least as much with his psyche as he does in the ring; now his inner conflicts are complicated by his encounters with a mentally ill youth who claims to be on a mission from the creator—to save Sonny. The earlier paperbacks in the series are being repackaged simultaneously with high-gloss photographic covers, to tie in with the look of this new hardcover. (HarperCollins, $15.99 192p ages 12-up ISBN 0-06-000496-7; Mar.)

Tamora Pierce closes her The Circle Opens quartet of fantasy novels with Shatterglass. Tris, the weather mage introduced in the previous series, Circle of Magic, now travels to Tharios, where a glassmaker's magic may help him identify a serial killer—if Tris can teach him how to use his power. (Scholastic, $16.95 370p ages 10-up ISBN 0-590-39683-8; Apr.)

The Fire-us Trilogy, a post-apocalyptic action-adventure about a group of children who survive a virus that kills off most of the world's adults, reaches its conclusion in The Kiln by Jennifer Armstrong and Nancy Butcher. Dark secrets come to light, exposing villains and revealing true heroes. (HarperCollins, $15.99 208p ages 12-up ISBN 0-06-008050-7; Apr.)

Mysteries of a lighter nature are illuminated in Bruce Hale's The Malted Falcon, the 10th entry from the Tattered Casebook of Chet Gecko, Private Eye. This time the gecko gumshoe and his mockingbird partner, Natalie Attired, track down a winning ticket for a chocolate dessert. With Hale it's the setting, not the solution, that's elementary (as in elementary school), and anything hardboiled is likely to be edible as well. (Harcourt, $14 128p ages 8-12 ISBN 0-15-216706-4; Apr.)

Historically minded readers have plenty of choices, too. Working in the same vein as in her We Goddesses: Athena, Aphrodite, Hera, Doris Orgel brings an imaginative, feminist slant to Greek mythology in My Mother's Daughter: Four Greek Goddesses Speak, illus. by Peter Malone. Here she finds an approach virtually guaranteed to interest girls—she gives voice to mother-daughter pairs, Leto and Artemis, Demeter and Persephone, allowing each speaker to offer her own perspective on shared experiences. (Roaring Brook/Porter, $17.95 128p ages 8-up ISBN 0-7613-1693-0; Apr.)

A minor knight from Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte d'Arthur takes center stage in The Ballad of Sir Dinadan, the latest in Gerald Morris's reworking of the Arthurian cycle begun with The Squire's Tale. But the subjects of Dinadan's "ballad" are far from obscure: they are Tristan and Isolde. (Houghton, $15 256p ages 10-14 ISBN 0-618-19099-6; Mar.)

Also embroidering on Arthuriana, Elizabeth Wein's A Coalition of Lions (sequel to The Winter Prince) follows the daughter of the slain High King Artos and Ginevra to Aksum (Ethiopia), where she is to meet Constantine, her father's heir and the British ambassador. Steeped in historical and literary details and informed by detailed endnotes, the novel lays down a challenge to motivated readers. (Viking, $16.99 256p ages 12-up ISBN 0-670-031618-8; Apr.)

New Trails for American Girls

Fans of the 1930s character can enjoy Kit's Railway Adventure by Harriet Brown, illus. by Walter Rane. This interactive book, styled like a journal, follows the heroine and her Aunt Millie when Kit wins an essay contest: her prize, to travel west to Montana's Glacier National Park. Period photographs, a pull-out train whistle and a Japanese paper lantern keepsake from the Glaciers Hotel allow readers to experience the 1934 World's Fair in Chicago, witness an overnight at a cattle ranch and join Kit's meeting with the President and First Lady, Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt. (Pleasant, $15.95 32p ages 7-up ISBN 1-58485-575-4; Mar.)

The American Girls Art Studio launches this month with four sets starring Kaya, Kit, Samantha and Molly. Each package contains a drawing tablet featuring 24 line drawings from the specific characters' books plus a set of sharpened watercolor pencils, a special blending tool, basic instructions for artistic techniques and extra pages with decorative borders for framing finished illustrations. (Pleasant, $14.95 each 64p ages 7-12 Kaya ISBN 1-58485-724-2; Kit -725-0; Samantha -726-9; Molly -727-7; Mar.)