When Princess Poppy, the daughter of Queen Marigold and King Christian of Zandelphia-Beaurivage, is kidnapped by the kingdom's former torturer-in-chief and poisoner-in-chief, a ragtag group sets out to rescue her.
Elliot and Leslie have heard rumors about a Creature Department hidden inside DENKi-3000. When they finally get a look inside, they see creatures with tangles of tentacles and comically tiny spectacles. There are winged creatures too, flitting back and forth with trays of cogs, gears, and vials. But not everything is as stupendous as it seems. The menacing Chuck Brickweather suddenly arrives with the announcement that he is going to streamline DENKi-3000 and discover its secret.
In 1967 Tanzania, when President Nyerere urges his people to work together as one extended family, the people of Litongo move to a new village which, to some, seems cursed, but where thirteen-year-old Shida, a healer, and her female cousins are allowed to attend school.