A 13-year-old girl learns she’s an all-powerful magician and faces trials as she seeks her missing brother.
Amari Peters is tired—tired of being belittled and dismissed at her rich private school, where she is bullied for being poor and Black. On the last day of school—fueled by emotions connected to her brother Quinton’s disappearance—Amari loses her cool, costing her the scholarship she needs. Next, a mysterious man shows up with news that Quinton has sent her a Broaden Your Horizons kit. Inside she finds items that open her eyes to a secret supernatural world, one that must remain hidden because people’s fear of things they don’t understand too often turns into hatred. Amari is invited to a magical training camp hosted by the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, which her mom believes is the same leadership program Quinton attended that helped him gain full-ride scholarships to Ivy League colleges. There, she discovers that she’s a magician, with powers that are illegal. Amari’s single-minded intent on finding Quinton leads her on the path to becoming a Junior Agent. With the help of those she meets along the way, Amari makes shocking discoveries and finds the power to overcome. The author weaves magical whimsy with honest, realistically portrayed circumstances, allowing Amari’s literal #BlackGirlMagic to shine even when she doesn’t believe in herself. This timely, energetic, first-person narrative moves quickly with clear descriptions, a thrilling buildup, and strong messages about profiling.
An impressive debut series opener.(Fantasy. 9-12)