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THE LAST RHEE WITCH

Rich in Korean mythology and suspense; will keep readers guessing.

Twelve-year-old Ronnie Miller finds answers to her past at a summer camp in Central Washington.

Korean American Ronnie is growing up in Seattle with her widowed dad, who’s a transracial adoptee raised by white parents. She’s full of insecurities about her limited grasp of Korean language and culture. And ever since her birthday, Ronnie hasn’t been able to stop speaking in rhymes. Encouraged by her dad, she agrees to give summer camp a try—at least Jack Park, her best friend, who’s Korean and white, will be there, too. One night around the campfire, a counselor tells a ghost story: The camp was built on the site of the estate of the wealthy Rhee family, six of whom were murdered. Now, the nearby forest is said to be haunted by the ghost of Min-Young, the last daughter and Rhee heir. Ronnie suddenly realizes that she’s already seen the gwishin, or Korean ghost—a pale figure with hollow eyes, stringy black hair, and a red scarf around her neck—standing at the edge of the woods. The plot quickly thickens as Ronnie continues to encounter the gwishin. This deftly crafted, page-turning narrative features a broadly diverse cast. As the story unfolds, a world of dokkaebi (goblins), witches, and magic is revealed, and Ronnie satisfyingly overcomes her self-doubts, figures out the rhyming situation, uncovers a long-running conflict, and returns home with a new sense of self.

Rich in Korean mythology and suspense; will keep readers guessing. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 14, 2024

ISBN: 9781368099073

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: March 9, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2024

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CHARLOTTE'S WEB

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

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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

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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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