WILDINGS

After the revolution, the hard work begins.

Four years ago Ashara overthrew its genocidal “kasir” (magician) leaders for a United Parliament of both kasiri and the “halan” underclass, but oppression—legal and otherwise—still continues. Rivka Kadmiel, of aristocratic kasir lineage, thinks little about prejudice until her twin brother, Arik, lacking magic, is declared a “wilding” and removed to a halan family. Rivka vows to find him again, but both law and society forbid her even to learn his new name. This follow-up to the well-received Sparkers (2014) examines the difficulty of completely eradicating systemic injustice. Glewwe portrays not only the corrosive (and mutual) enmity between kasiri and halani, but also the complex, layered intersections of class, nationality, ethnicity, and disability (but not, surprisingly, gender). Characters from the first novel reappear, although in irritatingly saintly guise, but the focus is firmly on Rivka. With her unacknowledged privilege, her stubborn, unconscious bigotry, her deliberate alienation from family and friends, and her tendency to evaluate every acquaintance for potential usefulness, Rivka is difficult to like. Still, her fierce determination and ferocious devotion to her twin demand respect, and she gathers friends almost against her will. The final confrontation between the bitter halani in Ashara’s government and the children representing the city’s future is inspiring in its depiction of the power of simple family love.

Bittersweet but hopeful. (Fantasy. 10-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-451-46885-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Aug. 30, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2016

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Likely to sell in spades but a slipshod, slapdash outing from co-authors who usually have higher standards.

BEST NERDS FOREVER

Two young ghosts with unfinished business in this world join forces.

Eighth grade cyclist Finn McAllister decides to undertake a search for the supposedly crazed driver who forced him off the road and over a cliff to his death, but he spends far more of his time attending his own funeral, hovering near his grieving family and his four besties to overhear conversations, and floating through school—skipping the girls’ restroom because he still has some standards—and positively hammering on the realization that wasting any of life’s opportunities can only lead to regret. He discovers that he can still taste ice cream, smell farts, skip stones in the local lake, and use a TV remote. He can also share thoughts with both the living and with Isabella Rojas, the ghost of a classmate who vanished several months previously but is still hanging around, although she is not sure why. Eventually, in a massively contrived climax that leaves both souls ready to move on, Finn comes up with a scheme to produce proof of Isabella’s death to bring closure to her mother and also absolves his hit-and-run driver of fault (for a reason readers will see coming). In this outing, the usually dynamic duo throws together an aimless ramble around a set of flimsy mysteries that fail to coalesce. Finn reads as White; Isabella is cued as Latinx. Final illustrations not seen.

Likely to sell in spades but a slipshod, slapdash outing from co-authors who usually have higher standards. (Paranormal fantasy. 10-13)

Pub Date: May 3, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-50024-1

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/HMH Books

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2021

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Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick.

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    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Newbery Medal Winner

THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON

An elderly witch, a magical girl, a brave carpenter, a wise monster, a tiny dragon, paper birds, and a madwoman converge to thwart a magician who feeds on sorrow.

Every year Elders of the Protectorate leave a baby in the forest, warning everyone an evil Witch demands this sacrifice. In reality, every year, a kind witch named Xan rescues the babies and find families for them. One year Xan saves a baby girl with a crescent birthmark who accidentally feeds on moonlight and becomes “enmagicked.” Magic babies can be tricky, so Xan adopts little Luna herself and lovingly raises her, with help from an ancient swamp monster and a chatty, wee dragon. Luna’s magical powers emerge as her 13th birthday approaches. Meanwhile, Luna’s deranged real mother enters the forest to find her daughter. Simultaneously, a young carpenter from the Protectorate enters the forest to kill the Witch and end the sacrifices. Xan also enters the forest to rescue the next sacrificed child, and Luna, the monster, and the dragon enter the forest to protect Xan. In the dramatic denouement, a volcano erupts, the real villain attempts to destroy all, and love prevails. Replete with traditional motifs, this nontraditional fairy tale boasts sinister and endearing characters, magical elements, strong storytelling, and unleashed forces. Luna has black eyes, curly, black hair, and “amber” skin.

Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61620-567-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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