Filled with teachable moments that are perfect for modern-day discussions of race and justice, this is also a story about...

A SKY FULL OF STARS

Race, police brutality, and a justice system that won’t hold guilty white men accountable for menacing fellow black citizens—topical current events reveal their gnarled, bitter roots.

In this sequel to Midnight Without a Moon (2017), a story that followed the horrific lynching of Emmett Till, Jackson continues the tale. It’s Stillwater, Mississippi, in November 1955. Roy Bryant and J.W. Milam have been acquitted of Till’s murder despite several witnesses to their crime. The boy’s purported crime was whistling at a white woman. His sentence was death. Rose “Rosa” Lee Carter is a 13-year-old black girl struggling to make sense of her world in the aftermath of such a blatant miscarriage of justice. The story of racial injustice in the Deep South feels all the more wicked told through the eyes of a young girl. Rosa Lee’s coming-of-age during the turbulent era shows her quest for survival—within her family, as a young black woman, as a soul burning for justice. Jackson sensitively shows how Rosa changes from a girl consumed with shame—for her dark skin, for her grandmother Ma Pearl’s cruelty, and for her mother’s abandonment—into a girl learning to take pride in herself and what she brings to the world.

Filled with teachable moments that are perfect for modern-day discussions of race and justice, this is also a story about the complexities of family and choices . (Historical fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-544-80065-6

Page Count: 320

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2017

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

It’s great to see these kids “so enthusiastic about committing high treason.” (historical note) (Historical fiction. 10-12)

THE CONSPIRACY

From the Plot to Kill Hitler series , Vol. 1

Near the end of World War II, two kids join their parents in a plot to kill Adolf Hitler.

Max, 12, lives with his parents and his older sister in a Berlin that’s under constant air bombardment. During one such raid, a mortally wounded man stumbles into the white German family’s home and gasps out his last wish: “The Führer must die.” With this nighttime visitation, Max and Gerta discover their parents have been part of a resistance cell, and the siblings want in. They meet a colorful band of upper-class types who seem almost too whimsical to be serious. Despite her charming levity, Prussian aristocrat and cell leader Frau Becker is grimly aware of the stakes. She enlists Max and Gerta as couriers who sneak forged identification papers to Jews in hiding. Max and Gerta are merely (and realistically) cogs in the adults’ plans, but there’s plenty of room for their own heroism. They escape capture, rescue each other when they’re caught out during an air raid, and willingly put themselves repeatedly at risk to catch a spy. The fictional plotters—based on a mix of several real anti-Hitler resistance cells—are portrayed with a genuine humor, giving them the space to feel alive even in such a slim volume.

It’s great to see these kids “so enthusiastic about committing high treason.” (historical note) (Historical fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: April 21, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-338-35902-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Jan. 21, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

A solid debut: fluent, funny and eminently sequel-worthy.

ALMOST SUPER

Inventively tweaking a popular premise, Jensen pits two Incredibles-style families with superpowers against each other—until a new challenge rises to unite them.

The Johnsons invariably spit at the mere mention of their hated rivals, the Baileys. Likewise, all Baileys habitually shake their fists when referring to the Johnsons. Having long looked forward to getting a superpower so that he too can battle his clan’s nemeses, Rafter Bailey is devastated when, instead of being able to fly or something else cool, he acquires the “power” to strike a match on soft polyester. But when hated classmate Juanita Johnson turns up newly endowed with a similarly bogus power and, against all family tradition, they compare notes, it becomes clear that something fishy is going on. Both families regard themselves as the heroes and their rivals as the villains. Someone has been inciting them to fight each other. Worse yet, that someone has apparently developed a device that turns real superpowers into silly ones. Teaching themselves on the fly how to get past their prejudice and work together, Rafter, his little brother, Benny, and Juanita follow a well-laid-out chain of clues and deductions to the climactic discovery of a third, genuinely nefarious family, the Joneses, and a fiendishly clever scheme to dispose of all the Baileys and Johnsons at once. Can they carry the day?

A solid debut: fluent, funny and eminently sequel-worthy. (Adventure. 10-12)

Pub Date: Jan. 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-06-220961-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more