Longtime fans and new readers alike will devour this.

OGRE ENCHANTED

When 15-year-old healer Evie rejects her best friend’s marriage proposal in front of the fairy Lucinda, she unknowingly sets off a kingdomwide chain of events that will shape the course of Kyrrian history.

To punish Evie for rejecting an “exemplary” suitor, Lucinda transforms her into an ogre and decrees that she must accept a proposal within 62 days or remain an ogre forever. Ogres are hated and feared by Kyrrians: hairy, short-tempered, odoriferous, and magically persuasive, they eat humans and livestock with equal zeal. Hoping to learn persuasion in order to obtain a proposal, Evie joins a band of ogres and promptly falls for their human captive: a silver-tongued merchant named Peter. But will he propose? Though her time with the band is limited, her first-person narrative style meticulously notes her observations (“ogre hands are blink fast,” and “the ogre heart has a triple beat”). A chance encounter soon draws Evie back to human civilization. Even though she ministers to plague-stricken humans honorably, she faces suspicion and hostility, but she also gains loyal friends and learns valuable lessons about love. Levine references the Portuguese fairy tale “The False Prince and the True” and “Beauty and the Beast” to explore social prejudice, although Evie’s experiences as an ogre ultimately seem to reinforce how different she is more than they encourage solidarity. The book assumes a white default.

Longtime fans and new readers alike will devour this. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 16, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-06-256121-3

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2018

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NIGHTBIRD

There’s a monster in Sidwell, Massachusetts, that can only be seen at night or, as Twig reveals, if passersby are near her house.

It’s her older brother, James, born with wings just like every male in the Fowler line for the last 200 years. They were cursed by the Witch of Sidwell, left brokenhearted by their forebear Lowell Fowler. Twig and James are tired of the secret and self-imposed isolation. Lonely Twig narrates, bringing the small town and its characters to life, intertwining events present and past, and describing the effects of the spell on her fractured family’s daily life. Longing for some normalcy and companionship, she befriends new-neighbor Julia while James falls in love with Julia’s sister, Agate—only to learn they are descendants of the Witch. James and Agate seem as star-crossed as their ancestors, especially when the townspeople attribute a spate of petty thefts and graffiti protesting the development of the woods to the monster and launch a hunt. The mix of romance and magic is irresistible and the tension, compelling. With the help of friends and through a series of self-realizations and discoveries, Twig grows more self-assured. She is certain she knows how to change the curse. In so doing, Twig not only changes James’ fate, but her own, for the first time feeling the fullness of family, friends and hope for the future.

Enchanting. (Magical realism. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-38958-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and...

GHOSTS

Catrina narrates the story of her mixed-race (Latino/white) family’s move from Southern California to Bahía de la Luna on the Northern California coast.

Dad has a new job, but it’s little sister Maya’s lungs that motivate the move: she has had cystic fibrosis since birth—a degenerative breathing condition. Despite her health, Maya loves adventure, even if her lungs suffer for it and even when Cat must follow to keep her safe. When Carlos, a tall, brown, and handsome teen Ghost Tour guide introduces the sisters to the Bahía ghosts—most of whom were Spanish-speaking Mexicans when alive—they fascinate Maya and she them, but the terrified Cat wants only to get herself and Maya back to safety. When the ghost adventure leads to Maya’s hospitalization, Cat blames both herself and Carlos, which makes seeing him at school difficult. As Cat awakens to the meaning of Halloween and Day of the Dead in this strange new home, she comes to understand the importance of the ghosts both to herself and to Maya. Telgemeier neatly balances enough issues that a lesser artist would split them into separate stories and delivers as much delight textually as visually. The backmatter includes snippets from Telgemeier’s sketchbook and a photo of her in Día makeup.

Telgemeier’s bold colors, superior visual storytelling, and unusual subject matter will keep readers emotionally engaged and unable to put down this compelling tale. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 13, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-54061-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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