An urban story that explores the universal themes of integrity, trust, and respect in relationships.

EVERYTHING'S CHANGED

From the Top-Secret Diary of Celie Valentine series , Vol. 3

A 10-year-old girl copes with a family move as well as challenges with both new and old friends in this third book about Celie Valentine.

Celie Valentine Altman’s family moves from Brooklyn to Manhattan in order to allow Celie’s grandmother, who is becoming increasingly confused as she ages, to live with them, along with a live-in nurse. Although the new place is only about an hour by subway away from their previous home, Celie is forced to adjust quickly to life without sharing a room with her sister as well as to a new school and new friends. Via first-person diary entries on ruled paper, spy notes, and sketches made over the course of just 10 days, readers get to follow along with Celie’s moral dilemmas: should she go along with the pushy Mary Majors, who seems to invite trouble wherever she goes? Should she continue to pry into her sister’s boyfriend challenges against her sister’s wishes? Can she be friends with both Mary and Charlie? Shouldn’t she tell her parents when plans change or something is unsafe? When her decisions culminate in a minor disaster, Celie is grateful that her loving parents and grandmother can help her balance her world again. Celie and her family are white, as are Mary Majors and Charlie; her doodles reveal an awareness of New York’s cultural mix.

An urban story that explores the universal themes of integrity, trust, and respect in relationships. (Fiction. 8-11)

Pub Date: March 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62979-672-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Boyds Mills

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet!

WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE

From the Ryan Hart series , Vol. 1

Ryan Hart is navigating the fourth grade and all its challenges with determination.

Her mom named her Ryan because it means “king,” and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name; Ryan knows it means she is a leader. So when changes occur or disaster strikes, budding chef Ryan does her best to find the positive and “make sunshine.” When her dad is laid off from the post office, the family must make adjustments that include moving into a smaller house, selling their car, and changing how they shop for groceries. But Ryan gets to stay at Vernon Elementary, and her mom still finds a way to get her the ingredients she needs to practice new recipes. Her older brother, Ray, can be bossy, but he finds little ways to support her, especially when she is down—as does the whole family. Each episodic chapter confronts Ryan with a situation; intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching, they should be familiar and accessible to readers, as when Ryan fumbles her Easter speech despite careful practice. Ryan, her family, and friends are Black, and Watson continues to bring visibility to both Portland, Oregon, generally and its Black community specifically, making another wonderful contribution that allows Black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love.

Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: April 28, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5476-0056-4

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

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However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the...

TUCK EVERLASTING

At a time when death has become an acceptable, even voguish subject in children's fiction, Natalie Babbitt comes through with a stylistic gem about living forever. 

Protected Winnie, the ten-year-old heroine, is not immortal, but when she comes upon young Jesse Tuck drinking from a secret spring in her parents' woods, she finds herself involved with a family who, having innocently drunk the same water some 87 years earlier, haven't aged a moment since. Though the mood is delicate, there is no lack of action, with the Tucks (previously suspected of witchcraft) now pursued for kidnapping Winnie; Mae Tuck, the middle aged mother, striking and killing a stranger who is onto their secret and would sell the water; and Winnie taking Mae's place in prison so that the Tucks can get away before she is hanged from the neck until....? Though Babbitt makes the family a sad one, most of their reasons for discontent are circumstantial and there isn't a great deal of wisdom to be gleaned from their fate or Winnie's decision not to share it. 

However the compelling fitness of theme and event and the apt but unexpected imagery (the opening sentences compare the first week in August when this takes place to "the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning") help to justify the extravagant early assertion that had the secret about to be revealed been known at the time of the action, the very earth "would have trembled on its axis like a beetle on a pin." (Fantasy. 9-11)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1975

ISBN: 0312369816

Page Count: 164

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: April 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1975

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