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EEP!

Willing readers of all ages will delight in the story’s unusual surprises.

Celebrated Dutch children’s author van Leeuwen brings her enigmatic recent classic to an American audience.

One day, avid bird watcher Warren finds a strange creature under a bush. “This was a bird in the shape of a little girl. Or a little girl in the shape of a bird. Or something in between.” He takes the bird-girl home to his reclusive wife, Tina, and the couple, who always hoped for children, form an immediate attachment to the creature they name Beedy, after its mispronunciation of “Birdy.” When Beedy flies away one day without a good-bye, Warren and Tina, in a fashion much like Alice’s chase after the white rabbit, begin to search for their bird-girl. On their quest, they meet a host of equally downtrodden individuals, including Lottie, whose single father often leaves her alone while traveling for work, a depressed rescue worker and a boy obsessed with spirits and ghosts. Together, they not only look for Beedy but form a fierce bond of friendship and love. Van Leeuwen’s quiet prose beautifully describes the characters’ sentiments as each also finds wonder along the way. Her line drawings, quirky by American standards, add a playful nuance to the already layered story. Adults will better understand Beedy’s need for freedom and a parent’s difficulty in letting go.

Willing readers of all ages will delight in the story’s unusual surprises. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-8775-7907-3

Page Count: 151

Publisher: Gecko Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 17, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2012

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LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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BIGGEST SECRET EVER!

From the Middle School and Other Disasters series , Vol. 3

Fun middle school antics with a dollop of light magic and considerations of loyalty.

Heidi Heckelbeck is a witch and first-year student at Broomfield Academy, a boarding school that educates magical and nonmagical kids alike.

Heidi’s an ordinary tween, concerned with clothes, friendships, crushes (currently on Nick Lee, who’s not in the School of Magic), and her tenuous relationship with Melanie, her often-mean “broommate” and acquaintance from home. She’s also excited about learning witchcraft and is pleased to receive private magic lessons from Mrs. Kettledrum. Her teacher instructs her in calming meditation techniques as a prelude to mind-reading and emergency spells. Sometimes Heidi writes spells enthusiastically but incorrectly, however, with unintended consequences. She also faces a difficult decision about revealing a big secret about new friend Isabelle. Heidi pushes the boundaries of appropriate behavior (both in the real world and the magical one) and must think hard about self-discipline. Breezy and fun, this volume will satisfy devotees who have enjoyed following this engaging character since she was in elementary school, with each entry slowly but surely moving up in complexity as Heidi grows and becomes a little more serious. Her latest adventures are delivered with the usual humorous grayscale illustrations and fonts that vary in size and style, moving the story along quickly. The volume will entice new fans, welcome reluctant readers, and please those who have been awaiting Heidi’s latest exploits. Isabelle reads Black; other central characters are cued white.

Fun middle school antics with a dollop of light magic and considerations of loyalty. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 5, 2024

ISBN: 9781665948340

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon Spotlight

Review Posted Online: Jan. 19, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2024

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