The cause is just, the action absorbing, the sexist flack still all too familiar.


A teenager faces stiff opposition in her campaign to bring girls’ basketball to her school in this novel closely based on Bledsoe’s experiences.

It’s 1974, and the best 17-year-old Louisa and four female classmates can do to satisfy their strong desire to play is early morning access to their Portland, Oregon, school’s gym for inexpert scrimmages. Until, that is, Louisa meets Gloria Steinem at a local public event, learns about the recently passed Title IX, and touches off a storm with a letter to her state newspaper protesting the lack of a girls’ sports program in the public schools. Change does come, but it comes hard, with bullying and even a teacher’s physical intimidation to go with a falsified school board meeting transcript, oblique threats to her college plans, foot-dragging pleas for patience from her principal, and new coaches who are incompetent or outright hostile. But support, sometimes from unexpected quarters, not only keeps Louisa motivated, but turns her and a wave of new recruits into a team solid enough to compete for the state championship. Filling in her triumphant tale with expert hoops coaching as well as a period pop-music soundtrack and a flurry of subplots, Bledsoe states in her author’s note that most everything—excepting dialogue and some names—is true. The cast is largely White.

The cause is just, the action absorbing, the sexist flack still all too familiar. (Fictionalized memoir. 14-18)

Pub Date: April 26, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-953103-20-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Three Rooms Press

Review Posted Online: Jan. 25, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2022

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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. 12, 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. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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