MY LIFE IN PINK AND GREEN

From the Pink & Green series , Vol. 1

When 12-year old Lucy learns the family pharmacy might close, she decides to attract customers using her preternatural knowledge of make-up application and products. When not giving the homecoming queen lip-gloss advice and booking appointments, Lucy helps her best friend Sunny deal with the many mini-mortifications of a first crush. The squeals, giggles and tiffs between these best buds teetering on adolescence allow readers a glimpse of true tweendom. Boys still seem mysterious, like aliens, and to Lucy they remain more annoying than infatuating. Preteens will enjoy Lucy’s sweet first-person narrative, a disarming combination of innocence and earnestness. She feels sick of adults patronizing her and treating her like a little kid, particularly her flaky mom and no-nonsense grandma. A Going Green grant for local businesses seems a perfect way to make the pharmacy relevant again and prove that she should be taken seriously. Greenwald clearly takes preteens seriously, emphasizing their ardent concern for the environment and desire for change. This refreshing novel successfully delivers an authentic and endearing portrait of the not-quite-teen experience. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: March 1, 2009

ISBN: 978-0-8109-8352-6

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Abrams

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2009

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The poem/novel ends with only a trace of hope; there are no pat endings, but a glimpse of beauty wrought from brutal reality.

OUT OF THE DUST

Billie Jo tells of her life in Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl: Her mother dies after a gruesome accident caused by her father's leaving a bucket of kerosene near the stove; Billie Jo is partially responsible—fully responsible in the eyes of the community—and sustains injuries that seem to bring to a halt her dreams of playing the piano.

Finding a way through her grief is not made easier by her taciturn father, who went on a drinking binge while Billie Joe's mother, not yet dead, begged for water. Told in free-verse poetry of dated entries that span the winter of 1934 to the winter of 1935, this is an unremittingly bleak portrait of one corner of Depression-era life. In Billie Jo, the only character who comes to life, Hesse (The Music of Dolphins, 1996, etc.) presents a hale and determined heroine who confronts unrelenting misery and begins to transcend it.

The poem/novel ends with only a trace of hope; there are no pat endings, but a glimpse of beauty wrought from brutal reality. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 1997

ISBN: 978-0-590-36080-7

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1997

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A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula.

HOCUS POCUS AND THE ALL-NEW SEQUEL

In honor of its 25th anniversary, a Disney Halloween horror/comedy film gets a sequel to go with its original novelization.

Three Salem witches hanged in 1693 for stealing a child’s life force are revived in 1993 when 16-year-old new kid Max completes a spell by lighting a magical candle (which has to be kindled by a virgin to work). Max and dazzling, popular classmate Allison have to keep said witches at bay until dawn to save all of the local children from a similar fate. Fast-forward to 2018: Poppy, daughter of Max and Allison, inadvertently works a spell that sends her parents and an aunt to hell in exchange for the gleeful witches. With help from her best friend, Travis, and classmate Isabella, on whom she has a major crush, Poppy has only hours to keep the weird sisters from working more evil. The witches, each daffier than the last, supply most of the comedy as well as plenty of menace but end up back in the infernal regions. There’s also a talking cat, a talking dog, a gaggle of costumed heroines, and an oblique reference to a certain beloved Halloween movie. Traditional Disney wholesomeness is spiced, not soured, by occasional innuendo and a big twist in the sequel. Poppy and her family are white, while Travis and Isabella are both African-American.

A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula. (Fantasy. 10-15)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-02003-9

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Freeform/Disney

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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