"Cinderella" meets Mean Girls while at Hogwarts.

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UNDERCOVER PRINCESS

From the Rosewood Chronicles series

Being a princess is all that Lottie imagined, except that someone is out to get her.

Lottie, 13, has always found solace in the classic fairy tales, and her most cherished possession is her dead mother’s tiara (a “pristine object of magnificence, so incongruous in her humble home…that appeared to glow with a glittering grandeur”). Accepted into the opulent and prestigious boarding school Rosewood Hall, Lottie is determined to succeed. She is stunned to learn that her roommate, Ellie, is an actual princess who abhors the role, and her residence at the school is supposed to be top secret. Lottie eventually takes on the part of Portman, one hired to act in place of a member of royalty to protect their true identity. It’s a dream come true, with fancy dresses, royal balls, and a handsome prince—but it’s also fraught with danger. A toxic sigil is hidden under her bed, and threatening notes begin appearing in places like cupcake frosting. Lottie might be lost as events proceed into very treacherous territory but for her wits, a little help from the mysterious bodyguard Jamie (a “dark” and “wild” multiracial boy whose Pakistani mother died in childbirth, making him one of the few characters of color), and her deep friendship with Ellie. Lottie and Ellie are both white. YouTube personality Glynn takes this wish-fulfillment premise and spins it with all the subtlety of cotton candy—lit’rature this is not.

"Cinderella" meets Mean Girls while at Hogwarts. (Fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 4, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-284780-5

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 11, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in...

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NEW KID

From the New Kid series , Vol. 1

Jordan Banks takes readers down the rabbit hole and into his mostly white prep school in this heartbreakingly accurate middle-grade tale of race, class, microaggressions, and the quest for self-identity.

He may be the new kid, but as an African-American boy from Washington Heights, that stigma entails so much more than getting lost on the way to homeroom. Riverdale Academy Day School, located at the opposite end of Manhattan, is a world away, and Jordan finds himself a stranger in a foreign land, where pink clothing is called salmon, white administrators mistake a veteran African-American teacher for the football coach, and white classmates ape African-American Vernacular English to make themselves sound cool. Jordan’s a gifted artist, and his drawings blend with the narrative to give readers a full sense of his two worlds and his methods of coping with existing in between. Craft skillfully employs the graphic-novel format to its full advantage, giving his readers a delightful and authentic cast of characters who, along with New York itself, pop off the page with vibrancy and nuance. Shrinking Jordan to ant-sized proportions upon his entering the school cafeteria, for instance, transforms the lunchroom into a grotesque Wonderland in which his lack of social standing becomes visually arresting and viscerally uncomfortable.

An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-269120-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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Moving and poetic.

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PAX

A motherless boy is forced to abandon his domesticated fox when his father decides to join soldiers in an approaching war.

Twelve-year-old Peter found his loyal companion, Pax, as an orphaned kit while still grieving his own mother’s death. Peter’s difficult and often harsh father said he could keep the fox “for now” but five years later insists the boy leave Pax by the road when he takes Peter to his grandfather’s house, hundreds of miles away. Peter’s journey back to Pax and Pax’s steadfastness in waiting for Peter’s return result in a tale of survival, intrinsic connection, and redemption. The battles between warring humans in the unnamed conflict remain remote, but the oncoming wave of deaths is seen through Pax’s eyes as woodland creatures are blown up by mines. While Pax learns to negotiate the complications of surviving in the wild and relating to other foxes, Peter breaks his foot and must learn to trust a seemingly eccentric woman named Vola who battles her own ghosts of war. Alternating chapters from the perspectives of boy and fox are perfectly paced and complementary. Only Peter, Pax, Vola, and three of Pax’s fox companions are named, conferring a spare, fablelike quality. Every moment in the graceful, fluid narrative is believable. Klassen’s cover art has a sense of contained, powerful stillness. (Interior illustrations not seen.)

Moving and poetic. (Animal fantasy. 9-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-237701-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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