Two sisters new to town discover friendship and activism at their new school in this series kickoff from a mother-daughter team.
Lucy, a fourth-grader with a sassy cat named Hubble, and her cool sister, Marina, a sixth-grader skilled at martial arts and determined to be an astronaut, have a mixed first day at the Earhart School. Lucy makes a group of great friends, but she falls off the monkey bars when they break, and after school Marina has to defend her against older boys who tease her. The next day, the administration announces that they must tear down the playground for safety reasons. Lucy is mortified. But when her new friends come over for a birthday sleepover, together they come up with an idea to save the playground. They present their idea to their teacher and the principal (who is a black woman) and find out that it will take a lot of work. Between Sofia’s computer coding skills, A.J.’s building skills, Zara’s mind for math, Lucy’s environmentalism, and Marina’s space obsession, they find solutions for every problem they encounter. Sofia and Zara are brown girls; A.J. is black; Lucy and Marina are both white, and Marina is a Russian adoptee. The illustrations are bright and engaging, and if Hubble doesn’t keep readers hooked, then the ups and downs of the girls’ chosen challenge will.
Co-author Lucy Lareau is 12, and this book just might prove that children know what other children want to read. (Graphic fiction. 8-12)