A sweet reminder that being a middle school girl is about far more than boys and makeup.

HOW TO OUTFOX YOUR FRIENDS WHEN YOU DON'T HAVE A CLUE

From the My Life Is a Zoo series , Vol. 3

When your best friend lives on the other side of the world, it can be hard to stay best friends.

When Liv comes back to town to visit, Ana's sure everything will go back to the way it was before Liv moved, and they will be as close as ever. Unfortunately, they've both changed far too much for that to happen. Ana is no longer horribly shy and in constant battle with Ashley; in fact, they're good friends. And Liv has purple hair and a new friend in New Zealand that she insists on texting, even when she and Ana are hanging out. Can the two overcome the distance they've traveled and create a new, stronger friendship out of the remnants of the old one? Keating's sharp focus is on one of the most crucial relationships of a 13-year-old's life: friendships. With her trademark kid-oriented wit and lighthearted touch, Keating leads readers through the daily emotional ups and downs of the typical just-turned-teenager who is trying to juggle hormones, parents, schoolwork, and, most importantly, her friends. Ana’s voice is refreshingly distinct: “It was actually sort of nice not to think about how I looked, unlike in school where I felt like we were all walking some pretend runway.”

A sweet reminder that being a middle school girl is about far more than boys and makeup. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-4926-1794-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2015

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GIRL'S BEST FRIEND

From the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries series

In this series debut, Maggie Sinclair tracks down a dognapper and solves a mystery about the noises in the walls of her Brooklyn brownstone apartment building. The 12-year-old heroine, who shares a middle name—Brooklyn—with her twin brother, Finn, is juggling two dogwalking jobs she’s keeping secret from her parents, and somehow she attracts the ire of the dogs’ former walker. Maggie tells her story in the first person—she’s self-possessed and likable, even when her clueless brother invites her ex–best friend, now something of an enemy, to their shared 12th birthday party. Maggie’s attention to details helps her to figure out why dogs seem to be disappearing and why there seem to be mice in the walls of her building, though astute readers will pick up on the solution to at least one mystery before Maggie solves it. There’s a brief nod to Nancy Drew, but the real tensions in this contemporary preteen story are more about friendship and boy crushes than skullduggery. Still, the setting is appealing, and Maggie is a smart and competent heroine whose personal life is just as interesting as—if not more than—her detective work. (Mystery. 10-13)

   

 

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 967-1-59990-525-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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90 MILES TO HAVANA

After Castro’s takeover, nine-year-old Julian and his older brothers are sent away by their fearful parents via “Operation Pedro Pan” to a camp in Miami for Cuban-exile children. Here he discovers that a ruthless bully has essentially been put in charge. Julian is quicker-witted than his brothers or anyone else ever imagined, though, and with his inherent smarts, developing maturity and the help of child and adult friends, he learns to navigate the dynamics of the camp and surroundings and grows from the former baby of the family to independence and self-confidence. A daring rescue mission at the end of the novel will have readers rooting for Julian even as it opens his family’s eyes to his courage and resourcefulness. This autobiographical novel is a well-meaning, fast-paced and often exciting read, though at times the writing feels choppy. It will introduce readers to a not-so-distant period whose echoes are still felt today and inspire admiration for young people who had to be brave despite frightening and lonely odds. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

 

Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59643-168-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

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