Lively, funny, tender without being syrupy, and full of life.

READ REVIEW

ELEVEN AND HOLDING

Since Macy’s Iraq War–veteran father left the family to work on a “special project,” it seems like nothing is really right in her life.

The situation is exacerbated by her other issues: her beloved nana has died, and Macy is starting seventh grade in the fall without her BFF, Twee, a Vietnamese adoptee who’s a year younger. Then she meets Ginger, an endearingly oddball older woman who is looking for her lost dog, and Switch, a young teen skateboarder who leads a mysterious life and might just be a friend. Macy learns that her dad is just 100 miles away, so she plans to sneak off on a bus to try to bring him back, but she ends up riding there in the sidecar of a motorcycle driven by Switch, who has—sort of—stolen it. There are many hints that things aren’t as they seem. Ginger is confused; is her dog really lost, or maybe he’s dead? Could Switch be the runaway foster child that Macy’s mother, a probation officer, is looking for? Clues that things were far from good with Macy’s father before he left are also abundant, and canny readers will pick up on all of this before the reveal. It hardly matters though. Driven by attractive, colorful characters, this tale is immersive and engaging. With the exception of Twee, the major characters are white.

Lively, funny, tender without being syrupy, and full of life. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: June 7, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-06-240547-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: March 16, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in...

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner

  • IndieBound Bestseller

NEW KID

From the New Kid series , Vol. 1

Jordan Banks takes readers down the rabbit hole and into his mostly white prep school in this heartbreakingly accurate middle-grade tale of race, class, microaggressions, and the quest for self-identity.

He may be the new kid, but as an African-American boy from Washington Heights, that stigma entails so much more than getting lost on the way to homeroom. Riverdale Academy Day School, located at the opposite end of Manhattan, is a world away, and Jordan finds himself a stranger in a foreign land, where pink clothing is called salmon, white administrators mistake a veteran African-American teacher for the football coach, and white classmates ape African-American Vernacular English to make themselves sound cool. Jordan’s a gifted artist, and his drawings blend with the narrative to give readers a full sense of his two worlds and his methods of coping with existing in between. Craft skillfully employs the graphic-novel format to its full advantage, giving his readers a delightful and authentic cast of characters who, along with New York itself, pop off the page with vibrancy and nuance. Shrinking Jordan to ant-sized proportions upon his entering the school cafeteria, for instance, transforms the lunchroom into a grotesque Wonderland in which his lack of social standing becomes visually arresting and viscerally uncomfortable.

An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-269120-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Newbery Medal Winner

THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON

An elderly witch, a magical girl, a brave carpenter, a wise monster, a tiny dragon, paper birds, and a madwoman converge to thwart a magician who feeds on sorrow.

Every year Elders of the Protectorate leave a baby in the forest, warning everyone an evil Witch demands this sacrifice. In reality, every year, a kind witch named Xan rescues the babies and find families for them. One year Xan saves a baby girl with a crescent birthmark who accidentally feeds on moonlight and becomes “enmagicked.” Magic babies can be tricky, so Xan adopts little Luna herself and lovingly raises her, with help from an ancient swamp monster and a chatty, wee dragon. Luna’s magical powers emerge as her 13th birthday approaches. Meanwhile, Luna’s deranged real mother enters the forest to find her daughter. Simultaneously, a young carpenter from the Protectorate enters the forest to kill the Witch and end the sacrifices. Xan also enters the forest to rescue the next sacrificed child, and Luna, the monster, and the dragon enter the forest to protect Xan. In the dramatic denouement, a volcano erupts, the real villain attempts to destroy all, and love prevails. Replete with traditional motifs, this nontraditional fairy tale boasts sinister and endearing characters, magical elements, strong storytelling, and unleashed forces. Luna has black eyes, curly, black hair, and “amber” skin.

Guaranteed to enchant, enthrall, and enmagick. (Fantasy. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-61620-567-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Algonquin

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

more