Outstanding for dog lovers and anyone who could use a hefty dose of good feeling.

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RAISING LUMIE

Olive, a seventh grader with plenty of heart, is raising a puppy to be a guide dog for the blind.

Olive’s devoted to dogs, and the opportunity to raise Lumie through the first year of her life comes at just the right time for her. Her beloved father died six months ago of cancer, and she’ll be living with her stepsister, Maudie, a young woman who’s nearly a stranger to her. Maudie is trying to find her way through a serious but unhappy relationship with a self-focused man who doesn’t want Olive in their lives. In addition, Olive must relocate three hours away from all she’s ever known, moving with Maudie into a small section of a rooming house. Winner of a Newbery Honor for Hope Was Here (2000), Bauer once again works her magic, crafting memorable characters overflowing with courage and kindness who react in believable—but also admirable—ways to the challenges in their lives. Just as Olive gets ready to face Lumie’s placement in advanced training, the year-old dog is viciously attacked and seriously injured in the park by an escaped guard dog, leaving her fate in doubt. The pitch-perfect ending will leave readers both smiling and crying—simultaneously. Olive and Maudie present white; some of their fellow rooming-house residents are people of color.

Outstanding for dog lovers and anyone who could use a hefty dose of good feeling. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: June 16, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-11320-2

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

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DRAMA

From award winner Telgemeier (Smile, 2010), a pitch-perfect graphic novel portrayal of a middle school musical, adroitly capturing the drama both on and offstage.

Seventh-grader Callie Marin is over-the-moon to be on stage crew again this year for Eucalyptus Middle School’s production of Moon over Mississippi. Callie's just getting over popular baseball jock and eighth-grader Greg, who crushed her when he left Callie to return to his girlfriend, Bonnie, the stuck-up star of the play. Callie's healing heart is quickly captured by Justin and Jesse Mendocino, the two very cute twins who are working on the play with her. Equally determined to make the best sets possible with a shoestring budget and to get one of the Mendocino boys to notice her, the immensely likable Callie will find this to be an extremely drama-filled experience indeed. The palpably engaging and whip-smart characterization ensures that the charisma and camaraderie run high among those working on the production. When Greg snubs Callie in the halls and misses her reference to Guys and Dolls, one of her friends assuredly tells her, "Don't worry, Cal. We’re the cool kids….He's the dork." With the clear, stylish art, the strongly appealing characters and just the right pinch of drama, this book will undoubtedly make readers stand up and cheer.

Brava!  (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-545-32698-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 22, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2012

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An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in...

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NEW KID

Jordan Banks takes readers down the rabbit hole and into his mostly white prep school in this heartbreakingly accurate middle-grade tale of race, class, microaggressions, and the quest for self-identity.

He may be the new kid, but as an African-American boy from Washington Heights, that stigma entails so much more than getting lost on the way to homeroom. Riverdale Academy Day School, located at the opposite end of Manhattan, is a world away, and Jordan finds himself a stranger in a foreign land, where pink clothing is called salmon, white administrators mistake a veteran African-American teacher for the football coach, and white classmates ape African-American Vernacular English to make themselves sound cool. Jordan’s a gifted artist, and his drawings blend with the narrative to give readers a full sense of his two worlds and his methods of coping with existing in between. Craft skillfully employs the graphic-novel format to its full advantage, giving his readers a delightful and authentic cast of characters who, along with New York itself, pop off the page with vibrancy and nuance. Shrinking Jordan to ant-sized proportions upon his entering the school cafeteria, for instance, transforms the lunchroom into a grotesque Wonderland in which his lack of social standing becomes visually arresting and viscerally uncomfortable.

An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-269120-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

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