Grab your partners and do-si-do—this one is simply delightful.

LUPE WONG WON'T DANCE

Lupe Wong, bona fide jock, is horrified that square dancing is the next unit in her seventh grade phys ed class.

Dead set on meeting her sports idol, Fu Li Hernandez, the first Asian/Latino pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, Lupe needs to get straight A’s to cash in on Uncle Hector’s promise. Fu Li is Chinacan—just like Lupe, whose mom is Mexican and late dad was Chinese. Determined to put a halt to square dancing, Lupe brings everyone into her cause: her authentically diverse group of friends, her interracial family, her wise principal, and even her endearing PE teacher. As Lupe doggedly challenges school tradition, readers will connect to her strong internal voice, empathize with her setbacks, and celebrate her victories. Higuera creates a very real multicultural middle school community complete with wisecracking humor, mean girls, and a realistic friendship fallout. Lupe has a wonderfully diverse group of friends with a wide range of interests, from Star Trek to soccer, deftly avoiding “diversity quota” pitfalls. Lupe’s own mixed-heritage family is refreshingly representative of families today. Principal Singh is Indian; Lupe’s best friend, Andy, is Guinean; and all other primary characters are presumed white.

Grab your partners and do-si-do—this one is simply delightful. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 8, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-64614-003-9

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Levine Querido

Review Posted Online: June 16, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • New York Times Bestseller

WISHTREE

Generations of human and animal families grow and change, seen from the point of view of the red oak Wishing Tree that shelters them all.

Most trees are introverts at heart. So says Red, who is over 200 years old and should know. Not to mention that they have complicated relationships with humans. But this tree also has perspective on its animal friends and people who live within its purview—not just witnessing, but ultimately telling the tales of young people coming to this country alone or with family. An Irish woman named Maeve is the first, and a young 10-year-old Muslim girl named Samar is the most recent. Red becomes the repository for generations of wishes; this includes both observing Samar’s longing wish and sporting the hurtful word that another young person carves into their bark as a protest to Samar’s family’s presence. (Red is monoecious, they explain, with both male and female flowers.) Newbery medalist Applegate succeeds at interweaving an immigrant story with an animated natural world and having it all make sense. As Red observes, animals compete for resources just as humans do, and nature is not always pretty or fair or kind. This swiftly moving yet contemplative read is great for early middle grade, reluctant or tentative readers, or precocious younger students.

A deceptively simple, tender tale in which respect, resilience, and hope triumph. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-250-04322-1

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

Did you like this book?

more