Intriguing all the way through.

THE CREEPING

Although she remembers little, Stella witnessed her friend Jeanie’s murder when they were 6 years old. Now Stella needs to learn just what kind of monster was responsible.

Was it a supernatural monster? Is it still out there in the woods today, waiting for redheaded little girls to kill? Certainly most residents of Savage, near Minneapolis, believe in the supernatural monster. Shane, the police detective in charge of Jeanie’s case, has no doubt the monster is human. Mrs. Griever, a seemingly crazy old lady living on the outskirts of town, has no doubt the monster is centuries old. When another redheaded little girl turns up dead, Stella believes the two cases must be connected. Warned by Shane that she may be in real danger, Stella nevertheless constantly risks her safety to investigate what she increasingly believes may be a truly paranormal beast of some kind, especially when she and another childhood friend learn that Jeanie was far from the first redheaded little girl to be murdered in Savage. Sirowy’s main focus—the rift between legend and fact—slowly emerges. With Shane as the voice of skeptical reality and Mrs. Griever the purveyor of longstanding local legends, Stella eventually must learn which is correct if she is to survive. Although the story takes rather too long to tell, it delivers with a nicely suspenseful plot that builds to a crisis point.

Intriguing all the way through. (Suspense. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 18, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4814-1886-7

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.

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FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER

Testing the strength of family bonds is never easy—and lies make it even harder.

Daunis is trying to balance her two communities: The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, teen is constantly adapting, whether she is with her Anishinaabe father’s side of the family, the Firekeepers, or the Fontaines, her White mother’s wealthy relatives. She has grand plans for her future, as she wants to become a doctor, but has decided to defer her plans to go away for college because her maternal grandmother is recovering from a stroke. Daunis spends her free time playing hockey with her Firekeeper half brother, Levi, but tragedy strikes, and she discovers someone is selling a dangerous new form of meth—and the bodies are piling up. While trying to figure out who is behind this, Daunis pulls away from her family, covering up where she has been and what she has been doing. While dealing with tough topics like rape, drugs, racism, and death, this book balances the darkness with Ojibwe cultural texture and well-crafted characters. Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what’s going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief.

A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76656-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge.

THE LAKE

Two teens with a dark secret return to their old summer camp.

Childhood friends Esme and Kayla can’t wait to return to Camp Pine Lake as counselors-in-training, ready to try everything they couldn’t do when they were younger: find cute boys, stay up late, and sneak out after hours. Even Andy, their straight-laced supervisor, can’t dampen their excitement, especially after they meet the crushworthy Olly and Jake. An intuitive 17-year-old, Esme is ready to jump in and teach her cute little campers. But when a threatening message appears, Esme and Kayla realize the secret they’ve kept hidden for nearly a decade is no longer safe. Paranoia and fear soon cause Esme and Kayla to revisit their ominous secret and realize that nobody in the camp can be trusted. The slow buildup of suspense and the use of classic horror elements contrast with lighthearted camp activities, bonding with new friends, and budding romance. Similarly, Esme’s first-person point of view allows for increased tension and action as well as offering insight into her emotional and mental well-being. Discussions of adulthood, trauma, and recovery are subtle and realistic, but acts of sexism and machismo aren’t fully analyzed. While the strong buildup of action comes late, it leads to a shockingly satisfying finale. Major characters are White.

An eerie thriller reminiscent of summer horror movies that will keep readers on edge. (Thriller. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 2, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-12497-0

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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