Next book


Measured, mesmerizing, masterful.

A teen boy tries to balance caring for his family, making a life for himself, and saving the world in Moskowitz’s (Gena/Finn, 2016, etc.) thoughtful seafaring adventure.

Indi knows his family is odd. Four white siblings living alone on a rickety boat after their parents’ disappearances would be strange enough, but they are also “sicarios”—monster hunters like their parents before them. The quartet sails the Mediterranean, speaking an amalgam of Romance languages mixed with Greek and Arabic, risking their lives to kill nightmarish creatures that live in the water and prey on humans, and surviving as best they can. As his eldest sister leads them on an impossible revenge mission to find the legendary monster they believe killed their parents, Indi longs for a life of less danger for his siblings and more normalcy for himself. But after forming an unexpected connection with a vulpine Tunisian female pirate, Indi begins to question in earnest if he actually belongs in this world. Existential pensiveness and heart-stopping action (on monster-infested high seas no less) are a rare, successfully developed duo. Indi’s life is dangerous sea creatures one moment, anxious contemplation the next, and the constancy of his siblings through it all. Moskowitz immerses readers in Indi’s perspective, where electrocuting monsters is second nature and stepping onto dry land seems alien, exploring the complicated spaces between family, self, and duty.

Measured, mesmerizing, masterful. (Magical realism. 14-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4521-3151-1

Page Count: 280

Publisher: Chronicle Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2018

Next book


From the Aurelian Cycle series , Vol. 1

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes.

What happens to the world after the dust from a revolution has settled?

Friends Annie and Lee were children from very different circles when Atreus killed Lee’s father, dragonlord Leon Stormscourge, ending the uprising on the bloodiest day in Callipolis’ history. For too long the dragonriders held all the power while their people starved and lived in fear. Nine years later, a new generation of dragonriders is emerging, children selected and trained on merit, not bloodlines. Their dragons are finally mature enough for them to compete for Firstrider, a position of power that can give Lee back a small part of what his family lost. However, not only is Lee competing against Annie, but rumors are circulating that some of the royal family have survived and have dragons of their own. Everyone will have to make a choice: Restore the old regime, support the First Protector and the new caste system he created, or look for a new way, no matter what the cost. From the beginning, this book pulls readers in with political intrigue and action. What keeps them invested, however, are the complex relationships between many cast members. Choices are complex, and the consequences for all could be deadly. The world is well fleshed out and believable. Annie and Lee are light skinned; secondary characters are diverse, and race is a nonissue in this world.

Full of drama, emotional turmoil, and high stakes. (author’s note) (Fantasy.14-17)

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-51821-1

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: July 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2019

Next book


Several yards short of a touchdown.

A transgender boy starting over at a new school falls hard for a popular cheerleader with a reputation to protect in this debut.

On the first day of senior year, transgender boy Pony locks eyes with cisgender cheerleader Georgia. They both have pasts they want to leave behind. No one at Hillcrest High knows that Pony is transgender, and he intends to keep it that way. Georgia’s last boyfriend shook her trust in boys, and now she’s determined to forget him. As mutual attraction draws them together, Pony and Georgia must decide what they are willing to risk for a relationship. Pony’s best friend, Max, who is also transgender, disapproves of Pony’s choice to live stealth; this disagreement leads to serious conflict in their relationship. Meanwhile, Georgia and Pony behave as if Pony’s trans identity was a secret he was lying to her about rather than private information for him to share of his own volition. The characters only arrive at a hopeful resolution after Pony pays high physical and emotional prices. McSmith places repeated emphasis on the born-in-the-wrong-body narrative when the characters discuss trans identities. Whiteness is situated as the norm, and all main characters are white.

Several yards short of a touchdown. (Fiction. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 26, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-294317-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: HarperTeen

Review Posted Online: Feb. 8, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

Close Quickview