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FOUR EIDS AND A FUNERAL

A love story that successfully blends the lighthearted with the serious to demonstrate the power of community.

Tragedy reunites estranged childhood friends.

When Ms. Barnes, his beloved hometown librarian, dies, Said Hossain’s older sister, Safiyah, picks him up from boarding school a week before summer vacation so he can return home to Vermont for the funeral. The somber occasion puts Said back in contact with childhood friend Tiwa Olatunji, who hasn’t forgiven him for leaving her and their community behind. Thrust back together, Said and Tiwa must reconcile their past while dealing with current challenges, which include saving the local Islamic center (after being damaged by a fire on the day of Ms. Barnes’ funeral, it’s now slated to be torn down and replaced with apartments), ensuring that the upcoming community Eid celebration can go off without a hitch, and figuring out how to heal their friendship and move forward as romantic feelings grow between them. Told from Said’s and Tiwa’s alternating first-person perspectives, the narrative successfully transitions between the co-authors’ equally strongly executed chapters. The engaging writing tackles grief, anti-Black racism within the Muslim community, and the teens’ navigating and reconciling parental expectations with personal dreams. The characters reflect the lived diversity of the American Muslim community: Said is Bangladeshi American, while Tiwa, who’s Black, is Nigerian American; lesbian Safiyah embarks on a sweet relationship with another girl from the Islamic center.

A love story that successfully blends the lighthearted with the serious to demonstrate the power of community. (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 4, 2024

ISBN: 9781250890139

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2024

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IF HE HAD BEEN WITH ME

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.

The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 12, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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A GOOD GIRL'S GUIDE TO MURDER

From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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