Light and serious, playful and real, this is a debut not to be missed.


Chinelo is happy the way things are; she just has to convince everyone else to stop seeking change.

Nigerian Canadian high schooler Chinelo has accepted the fact that some of her childhood neighborhood crew have left for what their families perceived as better neighborhoods. At least Kate Tran, her Vietnamese Canadian best friend, still lives in Ginger East. The Trans, who are like a second family to Chinelo, still run their store, a neighborhood institution. But things are changing: Rents are going up, and upscale shops are appearing along with a new crosswalk. But when the Trans’ store is vandalized and Kate starts pulling away from Chinelo, the changes become too much. As Chinelo tries to prove it was an outsider to the neighborhood who threw the brick through the store window, her outspokenness lands her in a viral video and on the TV news, and a neighborhood protest she helps organize ends badly. Chinelo’s youthful, down-to-earth voice is humorous and utterly believable. The serious topics of gentrification, stereotyping, and inequality are ruthlessly examined without getting in the way of an engaging story of a young woman trying to find her place in a changing world. The effortless diversity of the cast—supporting characters are Black, Trinidadian, and Colombian—is a model for fiction.

Light and serious, playful and real, this is a debut not to be missed. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-17259-9

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Nov. 24, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

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There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.


The finely drawn characters capture readers’ attention in this debut.

Autumn and Phineas, nicknamed Finny, were born a week apart; their mothers are still best friends. Growing up, Autumn and Finny were like peas in a pod despite their differences: Autumn is “quirky and odd,” while Finny is “sweet and shy and everyone like[s] him.” But in eighth grade, Autumn and Finny stop being friends due to an unexpected kiss. They drift apart and find new friends, but their friendship keeps asserting itself at parties, shared holiday gatherings and random encounters. In the summer after graduation, Autumn and Finny reconnect and are finally ready to be more than friends. But on August 8, everything changes, and Autumn has to rely on all her strength to move on. Autumn’s coming-of-age is sensitively chronicled, with a wide range of experiences and events shaping her character. Even secondary characters are well-rounded, with their own histories and motivations.

There’s not much plot here, but readers will relish the opportunity to climb inside Autumn’s head.   (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: April 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-4022-7782-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2013

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A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense.

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From the Good Girl's Guide to Murder series , Vol. 1

Everyone believes that Salil Singh killed his girlfriend, Andrea Bell, five years ago—except Pippa Fitz-Amobi.

Pip has known and liked Sal since childhood; he’d supported her when she was being bullied in middle school. For her senior capstone project, Pip researches the disappearance of former Fairview High student Andie, last seen on April 18, 2014, by her younger sister, Becca. The original investigation concluded with most of the evidence pointing to Sal, who was found dead in the woods, apparently by suicide. Andie’s body was never recovered, and Sal was assumed by most to be guilty of abduction and murder. Unable to ignore the gaps in the case, Pip sets out to prove Sal’s innocence, beginning with interviewing his younger brother, Ravi. With his help, Pip digs deeper, unveiling unsavory facts about Andie and the real reason Sal’s friends couldn’t provide him with an alibi. But someone is watching, and Pip may be in more danger than she realizes. Pip’s sleuthing is both impressive and accessible. Online articles about the case and interview transcripts are provided throughout, and Pip’s capstone logs offer insights into her thought processes as new evidence and suspects arise. Jackson’s debut is well-executed and surprises readers with a connective web of interesting characters and motives. Pip and Andie are white, and Sal is of Indian descent.

A treat for mystery readers who enjoy being kept in suspense. (Mystery. 14-18)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-9636-0

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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