A fantastical, frost-filled, coming-of-age debut.

THE LOST FROST GIRL

A contemporary girl finds her life magically transformed after learning her father’s identity.

Like her namesake, 12-year-old Owl McBride has feathery, “white-blond hair,” “almost yellow” eyes, and a nose on the “beaky side,” but she lives a nearly normal life with her single-parent mother. Raised on her mother’s stories about meeting Owl’s father in “magical wintry lands,” Owl’s otherwise clueless about his identity. As winter approaches, Owl’s skin starts prickling, turns blue white, and sparkles with frost, triggering an “almost overwhelming” need to know about her father. When her mother reveals that Jack Frost, the legendary frost spirit, is Owl’s father, she’s stunned. During their first frosty encounter, Owl finds Jack a wild, elemental creature lacking humanity, while he eschews his paternity and views her as a challenge. Seeking Jack’s guidance to control her emerging powers, Owl journeys to his winter kingdom and eventually confronts his elemental rivals, hoping to earn her rightful place as his daughter. Despite her new powers, Owl remains a vulnerable, credible girl, grounded by her best friend as she learns what it means to be Jack Frost’s kid. Her lively, suspenseful, first-person narration alternates with dreamlike sequences featuring such earth spirits as the North Wind, the Queen of May, and the Green Man.

A fantastical, frost-filled, coming-of-age debut. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 7, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-267148-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Aug. 23, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2017

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Charming, poignant, and thoughtfully woven.

CLUES TO THE UNIVERSE

An aspiring scientist and a budding artist become friends and help each other with dream projects.

Unfolding in mid-1980s Sacramento, California, this story stars 12-year-olds Rosalind and Benjamin as first-person narrators in alternating chapters. Ro’s father, a fellow space buff, was killed by a drunk driver; the rocket they were working on together lies unfinished in her closet. As for Benji, not only has his best friend, Amir, moved away, but the comic book holding the clue for locating his dad is also missing. Along with their profound personal losses, the protagonists share a fixation with the universe’s intriguing potential: Ro decides to complete the rocket and hopes to launch mementos of her father into outer space while Benji’s conviction that aliens and UFOs are real compels his imagination and creativity as an artist. An accident in science class triggers a chain of events forcing Benji and Ro, who is new to the school, to interact and unintentionally learn each other’s secrets. They resolve to find Benji’s dad—a famous comic-book artist—and partner to finish Ro’s rocket for the science fair. Together, they overcome technical, scheduling, and geographical challenges. Readers will be drawn in by amusing and fantastical elements in the comic book theme, high emotional stakes that arouse sympathy, and well-drawn character development as the protagonists navigate life lessons around grief, patience, self-advocacy, and standing up for others. Ro is biracial (Chinese/White); Benji is White.

Charming, poignant, and thoughtfully woven. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-300888-5

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

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A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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