A fun, fresh take on a classic theme.

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BEST. NIGHT. EVER.

A STORY TOLD FROM SEVEN POINTS OF VIEW

For one night Lynnfield Middle School hosts the biggest event in town, the seventh-grade dance.

The gym transforms into a thrilling stage for the members of all-girl band Heart Grenade. After winning the mall’s Battle of the Bands, Heart Grenade will be rocking live at the dance and on local TV. However, Latina lead singer Carmen’s cousin’s wedding is the same night. African-American backup singer Genevieve will take Carmen’s place, but she’s got butterflies building in her stomach. White drummer Tess is confident her night on stage will be perfect until drama erupts between her and her rival, Mariah, another white girl and would-be drummer. Mariah’s best friend, Ryan, had hoped he’d have a shot with her tonight but the Tess drama is a distraction. Shy, white Ellie is thrilled to attend the dance with her crush and even more grateful that her Korean-American stepsister, Seo-yeon (known as Ashlyn at school), will be babysitting for her. Ashlyn, though, couldn’t care less about babysitting. And Jade, likely white, can barely contain her nefarious glee. When Heart Grenade “totally robbed” her band at the mall contest, she decided that revenge was the only option. There’s no telling how this night will end with hearts, music, and friendship on the line. This eventful middle school dance is told from seven points of view by seven different writers. Under Malone’s editorship, they pull it off with seamless chemistry and strong character building.

A fun, fresh take on a classic theme. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Aug. 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-8660-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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Moving and poetic.

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PAX

A motherless boy is forced to abandon his domesticated fox when his father decides to join soldiers in an approaching war.

Twelve-year-old Peter found his loyal companion, Pax, as an orphaned kit while still grieving his own mother’s death. Peter’s difficult and often harsh father said he could keep the fox “for now” but five years later insists the boy leave Pax by the road when he takes Peter to his grandfather’s house, hundreds of miles away. Peter’s journey back to Pax and Pax’s steadfastness in waiting for Peter’s return result in a tale of survival, intrinsic connection, and redemption. The battles between warring humans in the unnamed conflict remain remote, but the oncoming wave of deaths is seen through Pax’s eyes as woodland creatures are blown up by mines. While Pax learns to negotiate the complications of surviving in the wild and relating to other foxes, Peter breaks his foot and must learn to trust a seemingly eccentric woman named Vola who battles her own ghosts of war. Alternating chapters from the perspectives of boy and fox are perfectly paced and complementary. Only Peter, Pax, Vola, and three of Pax’s fox companions are named, conferring a spare, fablelike quality. Every moment in the graceful, fluid narrative is believable. Klassen’s cover art has a sense of contained, powerful stillness. (Interior illustrations not seen.)

Moving and poetic. (Animal fantasy. 9-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 2, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-237701-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 19, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2015

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A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

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The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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