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A deeply imaginative journey that puts the “cat” in cathartic.

A loyal black kitten’s boy is under supernatural attack.

Eleven-month-old Nimbus loves Fletcher, the boy who nursed her back to health following life-threatening injuries. When Fletcher becomes curious about a strange jar and opens it, releasing a terrible goblin, loyal Nim protects Fletcher, taking heavy damage in the process. But Fletcher’s aunt, who’s caring for him over spring break, believes Nim attacked Fletcher and dumps her far from home. Rhett, a stylish rat with star quality, befriends injured Nim and leads her to a witch’s house. While the witch cares for Nim, the witch’s cats (maternal Fern, bookish Rochester, standoffish Bianca, and openly hostile Abraxas) teach Nim important cat skills. She also discovers she has a supernatural ability: In destroying one eye of the nightmare demon in the fight to protect Fletcher, Nim gained its “dream sight.” But she also learns it might come back for Fletcher, who no longer has Nim to protect him, posing a time-sensitive, high-stakes threat. Even though the witch’s home is nice and magic itself seems to be telling her to stay put, Nim wants to find a way back to Fletcher. As a hero, Nimbus is as gritty and determined as she is adorable. Tear-jerker moments explore pet abandonment—readers may want their own pets on hand to hug—all the way through the magical, action-packed finale. Fletcher and the witch read white.

A deeply imaginative journey that puts the “cat” in cathartic. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 5, 2023

ISBN: 9780062680372

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 13, 2023

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2023

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From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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An enthralling fantasy debut exploring exploitation by those in power.

Will 12-year-old Nura be able to outsmart the trickster jinn and save herself and her friends?

Nura lives in the fictional Pakistani town of Meerabagh, where she has worked mining mica to help support her family of five—her mother, herself, and her three younger siblings—since her father’s death. In the mines she has the company of her best friend, Faisal, who is teased by other kids for his stutter, and she enjoys small pleasures like splurging on gulab jamun. Although Maa wants Nura to stop working and attend school, she has no interest in classroom learning and hopes to save up to send her younger siblings to school instead so they can break the family’s cycle of poverty. Following a mining accident in which Faisal and others are lost in the rubble, Nura goes to the rescue. In her quest, she is plunged into the magical, glittering jinn realm, where nothing is as it seems. The author seamlessly weaves into the worldbuilding of the story commentary on real-life problems such as the ravages of child labor and systems that perpetuate inequities. An informative author’s note further explores present-day global cycles of oppression as well as the life-changing power of education. This action-packed story set in a Muslim community moves at a fast pace, with evocative writing that brings the fantasy world to life and lyrical imagery to describe emotions.

An enthralling fantasy debut exploring exploitation by those in power. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: July 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5795-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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