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MAGNOLIA WU UNFOLDS IT ALL

Wildly funny, charming, and deeply heartfelt.

Miller, author of the award-winning memoir Know My Name (2019), makes her middle-grade debut with the story of a Chinese American girl working to reunite the lost socks of New York City with their owners.

Inventive but lonely Magnolia Wu, 10, is resigned to a summer stuck at her parents’ laundromat, but her fortunes change when she meets Iris Lam, a Vietnamese American girl who’s just moved to New York. In Iris, Magnolia finds a kindred spirit who’s game to share lychee Popsicles, play at making cocoons out of sheets, and give cockroaches silly names to make them less scary. It’s Iris who notices the collection of partnerless socks in the laundromat and decides that the two of them should track down their rightful owners. Each sock mystery takes them somewhere new as they meet the queen of crossword puzzles, a girl who stars in ice cream commercials, and a pancake chef with a passion for knitting. Thoughtful, creative, and compassionate, Magnolia and Iris are an enchanting pair. Miller’s pitch-perfect narrative voice balances humor and whimsy with harsher realities. While both girls struggle when they and their immigrant parents encounter racism, they’re buoyed by a cast of kind supporting characters as they process their emotions. Magnolia isn’t insulated from negative feelings; rather, her world is one where strength can be quiet, empathy can be learned, and community is critical. Final art not seen.

Wildly funny, charming, and deeply heartfelt. (author’s note) (Fiction. 7-11)

Pub Date: tomorrow

ISBN: 9780593624524

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Philomel

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2024

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LITTLE DAYMOND LEARNS TO EARN

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists.

How to raise money for a coveted poster: put your friends to work!

John, founder of the FUBU fashion line and a Shark Tank venture capitalist, offers a self-referential blueprint for financial success. Having only half of the $10 he needs for a Minka J poster, Daymond forks over $1 to buy a plain T-shirt, paints a picture of the pop star on it, sells it for $5, and uses all of his cash to buy nine more shirts. Then he recruits three friends to decorate them with his design and help sell them for an unspecified amount (from a conveniently free and empty street-fair booth) until they’re gone. The enterprising entrepreneur reimburses himself for the shirts and splits the remaining proceeds, which leaves him with enough for that poster as well as a “brand-new business book,” while his friends express other fiscal strategies: saving their share, spending it all on new art supplies, or donating part and buying a (math) book with the rest. (In a closing summation, the author also suggests investing in stocks, bonds, or cryptocurrency.) Though Miles cranks up the visual energy in her sparsely detailed illustrations by incorporating bright colors and lots of greenbacks, the actual advice feels a bit vague. Daymond is Black; most of the cast are people of color. (This book was reviewed digitally.)

It’s hard to argue with success, but guides that actually do the math will be more useful to budding capitalists. (Picture book. 7-9)

Pub Date: March 21, 2023

ISBN: 978-0-593-56727-2

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Dec. 13, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2023

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HORRIBLE HARRY SAYS GOODBYE

From the Horrible Harry series , Vol. 37

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode.

A long-running series reaches its closing chapters.

Having, as Kline notes in her warm valedictory acknowledgements, taken 30 years to get through second and third grade, Harry Spooger is overdue to move on—but not just into fourth grade, it turns out, as his family is moving to another town as soon as the school year ends. The news leaves his best friend, narrator “Dougo,” devastated…particularly as Harry doesn’t seem all that fussed about it. With series fans in mind, the author takes Harry through a sort of last-day-of-school farewell tour. From his desk he pulls a burned hot dog and other items that featured in past episodes, says goodbye to Song Lee and other classmates, and even (for the first time ever) leads Doug and readers into his house and memento-strewn room for further reminiscing. Of course, Harry isn’t as blasé about the move as he pretends, and eyes aren’t exactly dry when he departs. But hardly is he out of sight before Doug is meeting Mohammad, a new neighbor from Syria who (along with further diversifying a cast that began as mostly white but has become increasingly multiethnic over the years) will also be starting fourth grade at summer’s end, and planning a written account of his “horrible” buddy’s exploits. Finished illustrations not seen.

A fitting farewell, still funny, acute, and positive in its view of human nature even in its 37th episode. (Fiction. 7-9)

Pub Date: Nov. 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-451-47963-1

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Sept. 16, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

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