A lovely mixture of friends and family and more than a touch of magic.

THE MAGICAL BOOKSHOP

The charming proprietor of Mrs. Owl’s Bookshop magically supplies customers with just the book they need.

It is Clara’s favorite place. Books seem to be alive and aware, and only Mrs. Owl and Clara can hear Mr. King, a talking mirror, and Gustaf the rhyming cat, whose pronouncements are surprisingly appropriate and helpful. And there’s always chocolate to make things better. When her best friend, Lottie, moves away due to her parents’ divorce, Clara is forlorn. Now she must deal with bullies on her own, and she must adjust to the new boy who becomes her seatmate at school. But worst of all, her new teacher is the woman for whom Lottie’s father left his family. Clara’s family and her friends at the bookstore are loving and supportive, providing encouragement and practical advice. But there is also trouble at the bookstore, where the villain of the piece tries to damage the business with dirty tricks. Via Kemp’s translation from the original German, Clara tells her own story in a conversational, British-inflected tone that will engage readers’ sympathy. The characters, who seem to be white, are wonderfully eccentric. There is plenty of action, angst, and fun as well as imaginative, sometimes hilarious magic. Friendly, informal black-and-white cartoons that enhance the fun are sprinkled throughout. There’s a happy, satisfying, if not perfect ending that will have readers glad for Clara.

A lovely mixture of friends and family and more than a touch of magic. (discussion questions) (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-78607-866-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Rock the Boat/Oneworld

Review Posted Online: March 15, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

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 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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Embedding their appealing protagonist in a fully realized Caribbean setting, Callender has readers rooting for Caroline the...

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HURRICANE CHILD

Born during a storm, Caroline Murphy, a 12-year-old black girl, is convinced that she has been cursed with bad luck.

The old ladies around her way say this is the fate of any child born during a hurricane. Recent events in her life seem to confirm this. Feeling unwanted by everyone, especially since the abrupt departure of her mom, Caroline leads a difficult life. She is bullied by those at her school in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, including her teacher, for her skin, which is darker than theirs. She is also followed around by a spirit—the woman in black—that she is sure only she can see. The arrival of a new student from Barbados changes Caroline’s life significantly. Also bullied, the exuberantly dreadlocked Kalinda becomes Caroline’s first and only friend, and soon Caroline’s feelings blossom into something more than platonic. This spells problems for Caroline, since feelings like these are considered sinful in Catholic school. Caroline now must deal with growing up without a mother and her feelings for Kalinda, all while trying to figure out why the woman in black will not leave her alone. Her journey to the answers to her most burning questions finds her discovering much about herself and those around her. Writing in Caroline’s present-tense voice, Callender draws readers in and makes them identify with Caroline’s angst and sorrow and joy and pain.

Embedding their appealing protagonist in a fully realized Caribbean setting, Callender has readers rooting for Caroline the whole way. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-12930-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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