Readers will be charmed by both the characters and scenery in this moral, upbeat YA fantasy.




Crepeau (Turn Back Time, 2014, etc.) offers a YA fantasy in which a teenage orphan inherits property in Ireland and stumbles into a war that threatens the fae kingdom.

Sixteen-year-old Bridget Kerins lives alone in a shabby apartment in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. She works two jobs, both of her parents have passed away, and her neighbor Mrs. Miller vouches for her as an “aunt” to the authorities. Miraculously, Bridget learns from Ana Gurney, an Irish lawyer, that she’s inherited land near the Irish village of Swinford. Using money she’s saved, Bridget crosses the Atlantic in the hope of starting a new life. The situation changes, however, when Ana is mistaken for Bridget on the road to the property; a foul creature named Dagda, who works for the evil sorceress Morrigan, kidnaps the lawyer, believing her to be the one prophesied to save the fae peoples. Bridget safely rents a car at the airport and makes her way toward Swinford. She meets Aunt Polly, a brownie, and is indoctrinated into the fae world—and the notion that she has special powers, due to faerie and leprechaun ancestry. But even with the help of the handsome Lord Howth, who’s disguised as a Brittany spaniel, can Bridget master her abilities in time to save Ana and the fae? Author Crepeau begins a new YA fantasy series featuring a vibrant cast of mythological characters and a deep appreciation for the majesty of Ireland. The lousiness of Bridget’s Red Hook life is hammered home in lines such as, “she washes the stairs with buckets of bleach water, but nothing removes the odor of urine and stale beer.” (High school for this teenager isn’t even mentioned.) Later, in Ireland and eventually Scotland, the “green hilly pastures that go on for miles” enchant her, as do ruins and ancient castles. When Morrigan’s machinations begin, readers meet creatures such as the strange Anthropophagi (“a headless creature appears, his eyes placed on his shoulders, and his mouth is in the center of his chest. He has no nose”) but also heroic fae royalty, including King Padraig and Queen Geraldine and even a few Arthurian legends. Bridget learns much about herself by the end, including that “Sometimes it is believe in things outside ourselves, rather than believe in ourselves.”

Readers will be charmed by both the characters and scenery in this moral, upbeat YA fantasy.

Pub Date: April 23, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5188-9830-3

Page Count: 214

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2016

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Small but mighty necessary reading.


From the Pocket Change Collective series

A miniature manifesto for radical queer acceptance that weaves together the personal and political.

Eli, a cis gay white Jewish man, uses his own identities and experiences to frame and acknowledge his perspective. In the prologue, Eli compares the global Jewish community to the global queer community, noting, “We don’t always get it right, but the importance of showing up for other Jews has been carved into the DNA of what it means to be Jewish. It is my dream that queer people develop the same ideology—what I like to call a Global Queer Conscience.” He details his own isolating experiences as a queer adolescent in an Orthodox Jewish community and reflects on how he and so many others would have benefitted from a robust and supportive queer community. The rest of the book outlines 10 principles based on the belief that an expectation of mutual care and concern across various other dimensions of identity can be integrated into queer community values. Eli’s prose is clear, straightforward, and powerful. While he makes some choices that may be divisive—for example, using the initialism LGBTQIAA+ which includes “ally”—he always makes clear those are his personal choices and that the language is ever evolving.

Small but mighty necessary reading. (resources) (Nonfiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-09368-9

Page Count: 64

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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Like many grammar books, this starts with parts of speech and goes on to sentence structure, punctuation, usage and style....


As she does in previous volumes—Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing (2008) and The Grammar Devotional (2009)—Fogarty affects an earnest and upbeat tone to dissuade those who think a grammar book has to be “annoying, boring, and confusing” and takes on the role of “grammar guide, intent on demystifying grammar.”

Like many grammar books, this starts with parts of speech and goes on to sentence structure, punctuation, usage and style. Fogarty works hard to find amusing, even cheeky examples to illustrate the many faux pas she discusses: "Squiggly presumed that Grammar Girl would flinch when she saw the word misspelled as alot." Young readers may well look beyond the cheery tone and friendly cover, though, and find a 300+-page text that looks suspiciously schoolish and isn't really that different from the grammar texts they have known for years (and from which they have still not learned a lot of grammar). As William Strunk said in his introduction to the first edition of the little The Elements of Style, the most useful grammar guide concentrates attention “on a few essentials, the rules of usage and principles of composition most commonly violated.” After that, “Students profit most by individual instruction based on the problems of their own work.” By being exhaustive, Fogarty may well have created just the kind of volume she hoped to avoid.

Pub Date: July 5, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-8050-8943-1

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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