PITCH PARTNERS

From the Eat Bugs series , Vol. 2

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

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. 15, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

CHARLOTTE'S WEB

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often...

A successful juvenile by the beloved New Yorker writer portrays a farm episode with an imaginative twist that makes a poignant, humorous story of a pig, a spider and a little girl.

Young Fern Arable pleads for the life of runt piglet Wilbur and gets her father to sell him to a neighbor, Mr. Zuckerman. Daily, Fern visits the Zuckermans to sit and muse with Wilbur and with the clever pen spider Charlotte, who befriends him when he is lonely and downcast. At the news of Wilbur's forthcoming slaughter, campaigning Charlotte, to the astonishment of people for miles around, spins words in her web. "Some Pig" comes first. Then "Terrific"—then "Radiant". The last word, when Wilbur is about to win a show prize and Charlotte is about to die from building her egg sac, is "Humble". And as the wonderful Charlotte does die, the sadness is tempered by the promise of more spiders next spring.

The three way chats, in which they are joined by other animals, about web spinning, themselves, other humans—are as often informative as amusing, and the whole tenor of appealing wit and pathos will make fine entertainment for reading aloud, too.

Pub Date: Oct. 15, 1952

ISBN: 978-0-06-026385-0

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Sept. 14, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1952

GHOSTS

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

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 1, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2016

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