Next book

JUNEBERRY BLUE

Kids save the day in this story filled with mystery, magic, and small-town mythos.

A sentient plant, hereditary magic, and a dilapidated town in the Blue Ridge Mountains set the stage for this folksy story steeped in fairy tales and local history and snaked through with tendrils of magic.

It’s the summer of Andie’s 11th year, which means it’s time for her to face her Test Day, when she’ll demonstrate her family’s gift, one that’s passed down generationally to the eldest girl. Using key ingredients—notably “juneberries picked from the seven old original trees by the spring at true dawn”—she should be able to create a magical, life-changing recipe. For Andie, that means bringing her truck driver father home for good. But fate has other plans for her. Rather than inheriting this culinary gift, Andie finds that instead she can see and hear spirits. These ghosts have deep connections to the once-thriving factory town that’s covered in morning glories and the special soda, Juneberry Blue, that was produced there. When a property developer with dubious intentions makes an appearance, it’s up to Andie (and some otherworldly helpers) to save the town. Though the story has some loose threads and convoluted plot points, it’s charming and moves quickly. Fairy-tale aficionados will delight in the parallels and references to well-known stories peppered throughout. The intermingling of magic with everyday life adds interest, although this element, too, raises some unanswered questions. Most characters are coded white.

Kids save the day in this story filled with mystery, magic, and small-town mythos. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 18, 2024

ISBN: 9781682636695

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Peachtree

Review Posted Online: March 23, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2024

Next book

THE WILD ROBOT PROTECTS

From the Wild Robot series , Vol. 3

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant.

Robot Roz undertakes an unusual ocean journey to save her adopted island home in this third series entry.

When a poison tide flowing across the ocean threatens their island, Roz works with the resident creatures to ensure that they will have clean water, but the destruction of vegetation and crowding of habitats jeopardize everyone’s survival. Brown’s tale of environmental depredation and turmoil is by turns poignant, graceful, endearing, and inspiring, with his (mostly) gentle robot protagonist at its heart. Though Roz is different from the creatures she lives with or encounters—including her son, Brightbill the goose, and his new mate, Glimmerwing—she makes connections through her versatile communication abilities and her desire to understand and help others. When Roz accidentally discovers that the replacement body given to her by Dr. Molovo is waterproof, she sets out to seek help and discovers the human-engineered source of the toxic tide. Brown’s rich descriptions of undersea landscapes, entertaining conversations between Roz and wild creatures, and concise yet powerful explanations of the effect of the poison tide on the ecology of the island are superb. Simple, spare illustrations offer just enough glimpses of Roz and her surroundings to spark the imagination. The climactic confrontation pits oceangoing mammals, seabirds, fish, and even zooplankton against hardware and technology in a nicely choreographed battle. But it is Roz’s heroism and peacemaking that save the day.

Hugely entertaining, timely, and triumphant. (author’s note) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2023

ISBN: 9780316669412

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Aug. 26, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2023

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
Next book

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 10


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

Close Quickview