A realistic, poignant exploration of loss, friendship, and self-discovery with appeal to budding artists.

MANY POINTS OF ME

After her father’s death, an 11-year-old girl struggles to find her true self.

Georgia, the daughter of a famous artist, and her lifelong best friend, Theo, live in the same Upper West Side apartment building. Georgia and Theo used to draw with her father after school, but now Georgia’s unable to draw the way she wants. Increasingly resentful of the close relationship Theo had with her father, Georgia pulls away from their predictable friendship and becomes friends with a new girl at school. Expected to enter a citywide student art contest, she eschews tackling the required self-portrait. Discovering a drawing her father made of her before his death with markings suggesting he intended it to become part of an important series, Georgia keeps it secret. But when Theo finds the drawing and misguidedly submits it to the contest for her, Georgia must find a way to recover it, preserve her father’s legacy, and prove she’s more than just her dead father’s daughter. Georgia’s genuine, first-person narration exposes her loss, jealousy, guilt, and gradual realization that “all the different parts of me have been put back together in a new way.” Repeated use of the self-portrait device reinforces the self-awareness theme while relevant material on art and artists adds background depth. Main characters default to White; there is ethnic diversity in the supporting cast.

A realistic, poignant exploration of loss, friendship, and self-discovery with appeal to budding artists. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-302700-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Greenwillow Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Remarkable.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2020

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book

PRAIRIE LOTUS

A “half-Chinese and half-white” girl finds her place in a Little House–inspired fictional settler town.

After the death of her Chinese mother, Hanna, an aspiring dressmaker, and her White father seek a fresh start in Dakota Territory. It’s 1880, and they endure challenges similar to those faced by the Ingallses and so many others: dreary travel through unfamiliar lands, the struggle to protect food stores from nature, and the risky uncertainty of establishing a livelihood in a new place. Fans of the Little House books will find many of the small satisfactions of Laura’s stories—the mouthwatering descriptions of victuals, the attention to smart building construction, the glorious details of pleats and poplins—here in abundance. Park brings new depth to these well-trodden tales, though, as she renders visible both the xenophobia of the town’s White residents, which ranges in expression from microaggressions to full-out assault, and Hanna’s fight to overcome it with empathy and dignity. Hanna’s encounters with women of the nearby Ihanktonwan community are a treat; they hint at the whole world beyond a White settler perspective, a world all children deserve to learn about. A deeply personal author’s note about the story’s inspiration may leave readers wishing for additional resources for further study and more clarity about her use of Lakota/Dakota. While the cover art unfortunately evokes none of the richness of the text and instead insinuates insidious stereotypes, readers who sink into the pages behind it will be rewarded.

Remarkable. (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-328-78150-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Japanese-American Aki and her family operate an asparagus farm in Westminster, Calif., until they are summarily uprooted and...

SYLVIA & AKI

Two third-grade girls in California suffer the dehumanizing effects of racial segregation after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1942 in this moving story based on true events in the lives of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu.

Japanese-American Aki and her family operate an asparagus farm in Westminster, Calif., until they are summarily uprooted and dispatched to an internment camp in Poston, Ariz., for the duration of World War II. As Aki endures the humiliation and deprivation of the hot, cramped barracks, she wonders if there’s “something wrong with being Japanese.” Sylvia’s Mexican-American family leases the Munemitsu farm. She expects to attend the local school but faces disappointment when authorities assign her to a separate, second-rate school for Mexican kids. In response, Sylvia’s father brings a legal action against the school district arguing against segregation in what eventually becomes a successful landmark case. Their lives intersect after Sylvia finds Aki’s doll, meets her in Poston and sends her letters. Working with material from interviews, Conkling alternates between Aki and Sylvia’s stories, telling them in the third person from the war’s start in 1942 through its end in 1945, with an epilogue updating Sylvia’s story to 1955.

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-337-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more