Avatar the Last Airbender: Book 2 Earth, Volume 3 covers chapters 11 through 15 in the ongoing saga of Aang, the 12-year-old reincarnation of an avatar destined to reunite the warring nations of fire, earth, water, and air. Still traveling with his friends Katara, Sokka, and newcomer Toph, Aang gets into some of the strangest and most compelling situations yet seen on his journey to master control over all four elements. The first story, "The Desert," finds Aang so upset over the abduction and criminal sale of his flying bison, Appa, that the powerful boy shows a streak of rage, demonstrating to himself that he could easily use his emerging skills to harm enemies if he wished. Still, Appa remains missing through this volume, leading the gang on a mission to survive a desert sojourn and survive during a perilous flight (with a young family in tow) over a pass through mountains and ocean in "The Serpent’s Pass." They also get involved in a bizarre fight (in "The Drill") against the Fire Nation army and its gigantic drill, which is aimed at the outer wall of Ba Sing Se, a city occupied by earth people. Once inside Ba Sing Se, however, things get really weird: smiling officials (in "City of Walls and Secrets") outlaw any discussion of the war outside in order to keep the population placid and the economy rolling. Finally, "Tales of Ba Sing Se" is an original piece made up of individual vignettes focusing on each of the major characters. If there is anything surprising about Book 2 Earth, Volume 3, it’s the amount of romance (kissing, even!) in the air. These Avatar boys and girls are growing up.