Next book

UNICORN ISLAND

An accessible and fast-paced magical adventure.

Help is needed, but is it safe to reveal the secrets of Unicorn Island?

Twelve-year-old Samantha Wells is excited for a regular life after being settled in New York City for a year. But when her mom takes a two-month job as a flautist in Europe and sends Sam off to live with her Uncle Mitch, whom she hasn’t seen in a decade, she shatters Sam’s dreams of stability. Sam travels to South Carolina only to be met by a surprised Uncle Mitch who was not expecting her. Foggy Harbor is a seaside town marked by a nightly mist so heavy it seems magical, and its main street charm includes Dr. Thompson’s veterinary office. The vet’s son, Tuck, becomes fast friends with Sam, and together they discover a secret island hidden in the ocean fog populated by unicorns and a frost-breathing wyvern. When one of the unicorns falls ill, Sam and Tuck know Dr. Thompson can help—but telling her would mean breaching the secret of the unicorns. Sam feels genuine as she deals with the emotional trauma of her mom’s departure and her uncle’s initially cool reception with maturity, and readers will connect with Sam and Tuck’s desire to solve this supernatural mystery. Color illustrations add a dreamy, fairy-tale–like quality while aftermatter expands on different elements of the text. Sam and her family are White; Tuck and his mother are Black.

An accessible and fast-paced magical adventure. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5248-6470-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

Next book

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Next book

MUCH ADO ABOUT BASEBALL

A moving tale of baseball, magic, and former rivals who come together to solve a problem.

A middle schooler struggles to adjust after moving to an idyllic Massachusetts town.

Trish Das is at a crossroads. Not only is the 12-year-old unhappy that her family has moved yet again due to her mother’s cardiology career, she also has to try out for a new baseball team. The fact that one of her new teammates is a former archrival further complicates matters. Math prodigy Ben Messina went head-to-head against fellow math whiz Trish at last spring’s Math Puzzlers Championship. When Trish emerged victorious, Ben was stunned. The two get closer when the team’s mysterious pregame snacks start making everyone play better while also causing magical side effects during games. Equally surprising are the cryptic puzzle booklets Trish and Ben receive in the mail that lead them to even more wins. But as the puzzles get harder to solve, the risk of failing to do so increases. Alternating between Trish’s and Ben’s perspectives, LaRocca’s novel—a companion to 2019’s Midsummer’s Mayhem—is a Much Ado About Nothing homage that explores parental expectations, complicated friendships, and teamwork. The protagonists’ love of problem-solving shines through, and the puzzles themselves are clearly explained. As a third-generation Indian American, Trish also has moving conversations about the circumstances that led her grandparents to emigrate and how those decisions still impact their lives. Ben is implied White. Final illustrations not seen.

A moving tale of baseball, magic, and former rivals who come together to solve a problem. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1101-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Yellow Jacket

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

Close Quickview