Young readers will respond to the voice as well as the predicament, while grown-ups will appreciate the values.

THE DIARY OF B.B. BRIGHT, POSSIBLE PRINCESS

Sweet, sassy and mystical, this novel deftly melds an old-fashioned story of princess preparation with the modern twist of body image and self-esteem.

B.B.’s plight unfolds in a diary format. At 13, she has grown bored with life on a secluded island with her doting, albeit squabbling Godmommies. B.B. is in exile because her royal parents feared for her life. Rather than fearing for her safety, however, B.B. is more concerned with having friends, meeting a boyfriend and wearing stylish clothes. What works best is the classic storytelling voice. Randall (The Wind Done Gone, for adults, 2001) and Randall Williams create characters who feel authentic and familiar even as they inhabit a fantastical, supernatural world. The Godmommies are a hoot, coloring B.B.’s world with their homespun wisdom. B.B.’s constant comparisons between herself and Photoshopped images in the magazines she reads sometimes feel jarring, although they are certainly timely. At its heart, this is a tale of a girl straddling two worlds—the safety and comfort of what she’s been taught with the promise of who she really wants to be.

Young readers will respond to the voice as well as the predicament, while grown-ups will appreciate the values. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-61858-015-3

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Turner

Review Posted Online: Aug. 8, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A LONG WALK TO WATER

BASED ON A TRUE STORY

Salva Dut is 11 years old when war raging in the Sudan separates him from his family. To avoid the conflict, he walks for years with other refugees, seeking sanctuary and scarce food and water. Park simply yet convincingly depicts the chaos of war and an unforgiving landscape as they expose Salva to cruelties both natural and man-made. The lessons Salva remembers from his family keep him from despair during harsh times in refugee camps and enable him, as a young man, to begin a new life in America. As Salva’s story unfolds, readers also learn about another Sudanese youth, Nya, and how these two stories connect contributes to the satisfying conclusion. This story is told as fiction, but it is based on real-life experiences of one of the “Lost Boys” of the Sudan. Salva and Nya’s compelling voices lift their narrative out of the “issue” of the Sudanese War, and only occasionally does the explanation of necessary context intrude in the storytelling. Salva’s heroism and the truth that water is a source of both conflict and reconciliation receive equal, crystal-clear emphasis in this heartfelt account. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-547-25127-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2010

Did you like this book?

GIRL'S BEST FRIEND

From the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries series

In this series debut, Maggie Sinclair tracks down a dognapper and solves a mystery about the noises in the walls of her Brooklyn brownstone apartment building. The 12-year-old heroine, who shares a middle name—Brooklyn—with her twin brother, Finn, is juggling two dogwalking jobs she’s keeping secret from her parents, and somehow she attracts the ire of the dogs’ former walker. Maggie tells her story in the first person—she’s self-possessed and likable, even when her clueless brother invites her ex–best friend, now something of an enemy, to their shared 12th birthday party. Maggie’s attention to details helps her to figure out why dogs seem to be disappearing and why there seem to be mice in the walls of her building, though astute readers will pick up on the solution to at least one mystery before Maggie solves it. There’s a brief nod to Nancy Drew, but the real tensions in this contemporary preteen story are more about friendship and boy crushes than skullduggery. Still, the setting is appealing, and Maggie is a smart and competent heroine whose personal life is just as interesting as—if not more than—her detective work. (Mystery. 10-13)

   

 

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 967-1-59990-525-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

Did you like this book?

more