The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities

The Cursed Carnival and Other Calamities
Age Range
Release Date
September 28, 2021
Buy This Book
A cave monster . . . an abandoned demon . . . a ghost who wants to erase history . . . a killer commandant . . . These are just some of the challenges confronting the young heroes in this highly entertaining anthology.

All but one of the heroes previously starred in a popular book from Rick Riordan Presents. You'll be reunited with Aru Shah, Zane Obispo, Min the fox spirit, Sal and Gabi, Gum Baby, Nizhoni Begay, Paola Santiago, Sikander Aziz, and Riley Oh. Who is the new hero? Read Rick Riordan's short story to find out!

Ten bestselling and award-winning middle grade authors contributed to this collection: Roshani Chokshi, J.C. Cervantes, Yoon Ha Lee, Carlos Hernandez, Kwame Mbalia, Rebecca Roanhorse, Tehlor Kay Mejia, Sarwat Chadda, Graci Kim, and Rick Riordan, who also served as the editor.

Editor review

1 review
Action and adventure for all.
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
This book is a collection of short stories by authors who’ve been featured in Rick Riordan Presents. A smorgasbord of supernatural tales is presented from a wide range of cultures. Readers will be introduced to the exciting, popular characters or they’ll be reacquainted with old friends from previously read novels. I already had past, pleasurable encounters with Min in “Dragon Pearl”, Sikander Aziz from “City of the Plague God”, and Zane and Brooks from the “Storm Runners” series, so it was fun to see the newest chapters in their stories. Pao from “Paulo Santiago and the River of Tears” and Aru Shah from “Aru Shah and the End of Time” are new characters for me, but their exciting tales make me want to explore their adventures further.
Each author presents a variety of cultures and conflicts so readers should be able to find several stories that speak to them. The cultures range from Korean to Mexican to African to Celtic. You’ll find stories about witches, demigods, multiverses, monster slayers, and an academy located on a space station. Abducted kids will be saved from eternity as slaves, powerful creatures will escape from inescapable prisons, and impossible folklore will come to life. Riordan’s contribution to end the book will surprise many readers expecting to see his typical light-hearted, mythical story about a young hero. It’s a violent tale of a young prince who learns to defend himself against a clan that’s sworn to assassinate him. It’s eye-popping!
The collection of short stories is perfect for young readers, especially those who don’t read on a consistent basis. Each adventure can be read and finished without needing to worry about what happened earlier. It won’t matter if you skip several days since you’ll be starting a brand-new story from a talented author. The main characters display many admirable traits including bravery, honesty, and empathy and most of them are accompanied by loyal friends with unique personalities. You’ll find a demon determined to kill the main character transform into an unexpected ally. Another character faces terrible dangers along with her best friend in order to save the life of a Chupacabra.
What didn’t work as well:
Due to the brevity of the chapters, some characters remain unfamiliar due to a lack of details. A couple of stories aren’t fully resolved and leave scenarios waiting to be completed later. My assumption is the authors will finish these tales in upcoming novels, so this book provides appetizers of what’s to come.
The Final Verdict:
Action and adventure for all. The book offers a wide range of young heroes and cultures that will appeal to a wide range of readers. It’s most appropriate for tweens, especially because of Riordan's violent tale. Overall, I recommend young readers give this book a shot.
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