The Middle-Route Run
illus. by Ben Costa. 208p. (Rickety Stitch and the Gelatinous Goo: Bk. 2). Knopf. Jul. 2018. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9780399556166. POP
Gr 6 Up–Accompanied by his jiggly sidekick Goo, skeleton minstrel Rickety Stitch is still seeking his origins and the kingdom of his dreams: Epoli. To get there, the duo must negotiate the infamous Middle-Route Run, the most dangerous road in Eem, filled with outlaws and monsters. Rickety and Goo join a caravan transporting stolen treasure across the Run, dogged by betrayals and menace. This high-octane entry broadens the world of Eem and creates a host of unforgettable new characters, many of whom turn out to be unexpected heroes. As in the first book, dream sequences are drawn in stark black-and-white lines with somber gray shading while lurid colors depict the rest of the scenes. The plot is a fun blend of derring-do and humor, but not much of Rickety's backstory is revealed. This, together with another cliff-hanger ending, will have readers clamoring for the next installment.
VERDICT A must for fans of the previous entry.

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