An openhearted, endearing, and unforgettable debut about the challenges of friendship, growing up, and the boundless love of...

READ REVIEW

LOVE LIKE SKY

In the face of a loved one’s illness, Georgie struggles with blended-family growing pains and the ups and downs of friendship.

It’s summertime, and for 11-year-old Georgie and her 6-year-old sister, Peaches, doing the latest dances offers a respite from the changes that came with their parents’ divorce. They have a new stepmom, Millicent, nicknamed “Millipede” by Georgie. Could she be the reason Georgie and Peaches don’t see their dad as much as they used to? The girls have also moved from Atlanta to the suburbs with their mother to live with their new stepdad, Frank, and stepsister, Tangie. Tangie is still mourning the sudden death of her younger sister, Morgan, five years earlier, and she’s less than thrilled about Georgie and Peaches’ arrival in her life. When Georgie accidently makes things worse with Tangie, she reaches out to a “getting-out-of-a-jam” expert, her best friend, Nikki. But even Nikki can’t solve the problem when someone close to Georgie falls seriously ill. Feisty, loyal Georgie is determined to make things right in her family and thwart a mean girl’s scheme. A budding romance and a timely lesson about social justice round out Georgie’s summer. Chock-full of cultural and historical references that reflect Georgie and her family’s and friends’ African-American heritage, Youngblood’s debut is a celebration of intergenerational family bonds. Readers in co-parenting or blended families especially will relate to the conflicts between Georgie’s loving but imperfect parents.

An openhearted, endearing, and unforgettable debut about the challenges of friendship, growing up, and the boundless love of family. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 6, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-01650-6

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs.

WRECKING BALL

From the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series , Vol. 14

The Heffley family’s house undergoes a disastrous attempt at home improvement.

When Great Aunt Reba dies, she leaves some money to the family. Greg’s mom calls a family meeting to determine what to do with their share, proposing home improvements and then overruling the family’s cartoonish wish lists and instead pushing for an addition to the kitchen. Before bringing in the construction crew, the Heffleys attempt to do minor maintenance and repairs themselves—during which Greg fails at the work in various slapstick scenes. Once the professionals are brought in, the problems keep getting worse: angry neighbors, terrifying problems in walls, and—most serious—civil permitting issues that put the kibosh on what work’s been done. Left with only enough inheritance to patch and repair the exterior of the house—and with the school’s dismal standardized test scores as a final straw—Greg’s mom steers the family toward moving, opening up house-hunting and house-selling storylines (and devastating loyal Rowley, who doesn’t want to lose his best friend). While Greg’s positive about the move, he’s not completely uncaring about Rowley’s action. (And of course, Greg himself is not as unaffected as he wishes.) The gags include effectively placed callbacks to seemingly incidental events (the “stress lizard” brought in on testing day is particularly funny) and a lampoon of after-school-special–style problem books. Just when it seems that the Heffleys really will move, a new sequence of chaotic trouble and property destruction heralds a return to the status quo. Whew.

Readers can still rely on this series to bring laughs. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: Nov. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-4197-3903-3

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Nov. 19, 2019

Did you like this book?

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE ONE AND ONLY BOB

Tiny, sassy Bob the dog, friend of The One and Only Ivan (2012), returns to tell his tale.

Wisecracking Bob, who is a little bit Chihuahua among other things, now lives with his girl, Julia, and her parents. Happily, her father works at Wildworld Zoological Park and Sanctuary, the zoo where Bob’s two best friends, Ivan the gorilla and Ruby the elephant, live, so Bob gets to visit and catch up with them regularly. Due to an early betrayal, Bob doesn’t trust humans (most humans are good only for their thumbs); he fears he’s going soft living with Julia, and he’s certain he is a Bad Dog—as in “not a good representative of my species.” On a visit to the zoo with a storm threatening, Bob accidentally falls into the gorilla enclosure just as a tornado strikes. So that’s what it’s like to fly. In the storm’s aftermath, Bob proves to everyone (and finally himself) that there is a big heart in that tiny chest…and a brave one too. With this companion, Applegate picks up where her Newbery Medal winner left off, and fans will be overjoyed to ride along in the head of lovable, self-deprecating Bob on his storm-tossed adventure. His wry doggy observations and attitude are pitch perfect (augmented by the canine glossary and Castelao’s picture dictionary of dog postures found in the frontmatter). Gorilla Ivan described Julia as having straight, black hair in the previous title, and Castelao's illustrations in that volume showed her as pale-skinned. (Finished art not available for review.)

With Ivan’s movie out this year from Disney, expect great interest—it will be richly rewarded. (afterword) (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-06-299131-7

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

more