Well stocked with inspiration and savvy advice for budding business owners.

PITCH PARTNERS

From the Eat Bugs series , Vol. 2

Growing pains and trust issues afflict two middle school entrepreneurs in this sequel to Project Startup (2021).

Part friendship story, part biofiction, and part marketing tool, this entry is closely modeled on the experiences of the co-authors—who, just like the protagonists Jaye Wu and Hallie Amberose, are growing an actual business selling chips made from crickets (even in the illustrations the sixth graders look remarkably like grown-up versions of D’Asaro and Wang). Hallie worries that her more detail-oriented partner is on the verge of abandoning her and returning to her popular crowd, a conflict that is easily resolved by mutual apologies and Jaye’s insistence that there’s nothing wrong with having more than one circle of friends. This storyline is woven into talking up the benefits of an entotarian diet and practical tips for business planning and promotion—creating an effective pitch to present at competitions, setting up a supply chain, making deals, coping with accidents and reversals, and advertising—all while staying true to the ideal of creating a sustainable, eco-friendly enterprise. The spirit of entrepreneurship gets further boosts from a list of real food companies founded by women and Alexander’s interview with her co-authors at the end. The two protagonists are Chinese American and White.

Well stocked with inspiration and savvy advice for budding business owners. (recipe, photos) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 21, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-09619-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Penguin Workshop

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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Plays to Rowling’s fan base; equally suited for gifting and reading aloud or alone.

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THE CHRISTMAS PIG

A 7-year-old descends into the Land of the Lost in search of his beloved comfort object.

Jack has loved Dur Pig long enough to wear the beanbag toy into tattered shapelessness—which is why, when his angry older stepsister chucks it out the car window on Christmas Eve, he not only throws a titanic tantrum and viciously rejects the titular replacement pig, but resolves to sneak out to find DP. To his amazement, the Christmas Pig offers to guide him to the place where all lost Things go. Whiffs of childhood classics, assembled with admirable professionalism into a jolly adventure story that plays all the right chords, hang about this tale of loss and love. Along with family drama, Rowling stirs in fantasy, allegory, and generous measures of social and political commentary. Pursued by the Land’s cruel and monstrous Loser, Jack and the Christmas Pig pass through territories from the Wastes of the Unlamented, where booger-throwing Bad Habits roam, to the luxurious City of the Missed for encounters with Hope, Happiness, and Power (a choleric king who rejects a vote that doesn’t go his way). A joyful reunion on the Island of the Beloved turns poignant, but Christmas Eve being “a night for miracles and lost causes,” perhaps there’s still a chance (with a little help from Santa) for everything to come right? In both the narrative and Field’s accomplished, soft-focus illustrations, the cast presents White.

Plays to Rowling’s fan base; equally suited for gifting and reading aloud or alone. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 12, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-338-79023-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Oct. 21, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2021

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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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