Hunt (Fish in a Tree, 2017, etc.) has crafted another gentle, moving tale of love and loss: the value of the one and the...

SHOUTING AT THE RAIN

“The ones that love you protect your feelings because they’ve been given a piece of you. Others may toss them around for just the same reason.”

It’s the summer that Delsie hears that hard lesson from her grandmother and comes to fully understand what it means. Her best off-Cape friend has returned for the season, but now Brandy, once her soul mate, is wearing makeup and has brought along a mean, snobby friend, Tressa, who’s put off by Delsie’s dirty, bare feet and near-poverty. Ronan is new to the Cape, too, and at first he’s a hard boy to get to know. But Delsie, stunned by Brandy’s betrayal, perseveres, realizing that he’s just as lonely as she is and that his mother is gone, having sent him away, just as hers is—heartbreakingly lost to alcohol and drugs. A richly embroidered cast of characters, a thoughtful exploration of how real friends treat one another, and the true meaning of family all combine to make this a thoroughly satisfying coming-of-age tale. Cape Cod is nicely depicted—not the Cape of tourists but the one of year-round residents—as is the sometimes-sharp contrast between residents and summer people. The book adheres to the white default; one of Delsie's neighbors hails from St. Croix and wears her hair in an Afro.

Hunt (Fish in a Tree, 2017, etc.) has crafted another gentle, moving tale of love and loss: the value of the one and the importance of getting over the other. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-17515-2

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2019

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Wholesome shading to bland, but well-stocked with exotic creatures and locales, plus an agreeable cast headed by a child...

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES

A San Diego preteen learns that she’s an elf, with a place in magic school if she moves to the elves’ hidden realm.

Having felt like an outsider since a knock on the head at age 5 left her able to read minds, Sophie is thrilled when hunky teen stranger Fitz convinces her that she’s not human at all and transports her to the land of Lumenaria, where the ageless elves live. Taken in by a loving couple who run a sanctuary for extinct and mythical animals, Sophie quickly gathers friends and rivals at Foxfire, a distinctly Hogwarts-style school. She also uncovers both clues to her mysterious origins and hints that a rash of strangely hard-to-quench wildfires back on Earth are signs of some dark scheme at work. Though Messenger introduces several characters with inner conflicts and ambiguous agendas, Sophie herself is more simply drawn as a smart, radiant newcomer who unwillingly becomes the center of attention while developing what turn out to be uncommonly powerful magical abilities—reminiscent of the younger Harry Potter, though lacking that streak of mischievousness that rescues Harry from seeming a little too perfect. The author puts her through a kidnapping and several close brushes with death before leaving her poised, amid hints of a higher destiny and still-anonymous enemies, for sequels.

Wholesome shading to bland, but well-stocked with exotic creatures and locales, plus an agreeable cast headed by a child who, while overly fond of screaming, rises to every challenge. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4593-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

more