A smooth transition into a fresh format that should both resonate with existing fans and entice new ones.

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LIGHTS, CAMERA, MIDDLE SCHOOL!

From the Babymouse Tales from the Locker series , Vol. 1

With her trademark sassy panache, Babymouse embarks on a new adventure: middle school.

Babymouse has traded in her A-line heart dress for stylish new leggings and is ready for middle school. Anxious to fit in and make friends, she worries over her clothes and her cafeteria social standing. When extracurricular activities are announced, she knows her choice is important. She decides to join the film club, and when her cinematic musings bring the club together, she is named director of their upcoming project, Au Revoir, My Locker. However, being the director is harder than Babymouse expects; when things go hilariously awry, will she be able to pull the group—and ultimately herself—back together? After 20 vivaciously pink and cheerful graphic novels, the Holms have revamped their winning franchise into a hybrid of text and prose, similar to such fan favorites as Cherise Mericle Harper’s Fashion Kitty. This first in a series seamlessly blends many beloved elements from the graphic novels, including large comic panels with recognizable black-and-white illustrations, with their lively prose, making for a natural evolution for its maturing audience. Budding filmmakers will be delighted to find a glossary of film terms to help them understand the narrative’s jargon.

A smooth transition into a fresh format that should both resonate with existing fans and entice new ones. (Graphic fantasy. 7-12)

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-399-55438-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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An eminently satisfying story of family, recovery, and growing into manhood.

REBOUND

In this prequel to Newbery Award–winning The Crossover (2014), Alexander revisits previous themes and formats while exploring new ones.

For Charlie Bell, the future father of The Crossover’s Jordan and Josh, his father’s death alters his relationship with his mother and causes him to avoid what reminds him of his dad. At first, he’s just withdrawn, but after he steals from a neighbor, his mother packs a reluctant Charlie off to his grandparents near Washington, D.C., for the summer. His grandfather works part-time at a Boys and Girls Club where his cousin Roxie is a star basketball player. Despite his protests, she draws him into the game. His time with his grandparents deepens Charlie’s understanding of his father, and he begins to heal. “I feel / a little more normal, / like maybe he’s still here, / … in a / as long as I remember him / he’s still right here / in my heart / kind of way.” Once again, Alexander has given readers an African-American protagonist to cheer. He is surrounded by a strong supporting cast, especially two brilliant female characters, his friend CJ and his cousin Roxie, as well as his feisty and wise granddaddy. Music and cultural references from the late 1980s add authenticity. The novel in verse is enhanced by Anyabwile’s art, which reinforces Charlie’s love for comics.

An eminently satisfying story of family, recovery, and growing into manhood. (Historical verse fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-86813-7

Page Count: 416

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: March 4, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2018

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Tris is a charmer, and readers will root for him all the way.

THE DOUGHNUT KING

From the Doughnut Fix series , Vol. 2

Twelve-year old Tris Levin has come to love the tiny upstate New York town of Petersville, where his family relocated from New York City in The Doughnut Fix (2018).

He cannot keep up with the demand of his booming doughnut business. He and his partner, Josh, decide the solution is to acquire an extremely costly robotic doughnut-making machine, but how to make it happen? Petersville’s shrinking population is causing it to lose the post office, and the library and school are at risk as well. An effort to make the town a foodie destination with Mom’s Station House restaurant and Tris’ Doughnut Stop as mainstays is just the beginning of a renewal plan. Tris reluctantly enters a televised kids’ cooking contest to try to win the big prize while advertising his town. Readers view the events and characters entirely through Tris’ thoughts as he narrates his own tale earnestly and honestly, learning much about himself. He makes and loses a friend, fellow contestant Keya, an Indian girl with whom he has lovely discussions of the Yiddish language and his family’s few Jewish traditions. (The book adheres to a white default.) His takes on the highs, lows, and draconian demands of the contest, hosted by the evil Chef JJ, are both hilarious and a spot-on spoof of reality shows. There are some surprise twists and a satisfying outcome.

Tris is a charmer, and readers will root for him all the way. (recipes, acknowledgements) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4926-5544-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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