Teen angst soars as Johnson delightfully conjures up more nefarious deeds from the mountain mist.

THE VANISHING STAIR

From the Truly Devious series , Vol. 2

Murder and mayhem return to Ellingham Academy.

This sequel to Truly Devious (2018), an engrossing mystery set at an exclusive prep school in the mountains of Vermont, ramps up the intrigue as teen sleuth Stevie Bell continues to probe Ellingham’s troubled past and present. At the end of Volume 1, Stevie’s parents, having gotten wind that following the supposedly accidental death of one student, another had gone missing, yanked her out of Ellingham and brought her home to Pittsburgh. Now Stevie gets to return to Ellingham thanks to the intercession of the “worst man in America,” scheming, nationalistic Pennsylvania senator Edward King, for whom Stevie’s parents work. King asks Stevie to keep an eye on his rebellious son, David, who’s also her love interest. Once back, Stevie continues to investigate both the present-day death of housemate Hayes Major and the uncanny disappearance of Element “Ellie” Walker as well as the 1936 Ellingham kidnapping and murders. As before, Johnson deftly alternates between Stevie’s first-person narrative, as her investigations yield new insights and dangers for her mostly white, serviceably diverse set of misfit-genius classmates, and historical flashbacks involving the original Ellingham mysteries. Throughout this volume, Johnson’s compelling would-be Sherlock proves to be as bad at personal relationships as she is adept at solving mysteries.

Teen angst soars as Johnson delightfully conjures up more nefarious deeds from the mountain mist. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: Jan. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-233808-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 8, 2019

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How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

CROOKED KINGDOM

From the Six of Crows series , Vol. 2

This hefty sequel to Six of Crows (2015) brings high-tension conclusions to the many intertwined intrigues of Ketterdam.

It's time for revenge—has been ever since old-before-his-time crook Kaz and his friends were double-crossed by the merchant princes of Ketterdam, an early-industrial Amsterdam-like fantasy city filled to the brim with crime and corruption. Disabled, infuriated, and perpetually scheming Kaz, the light-skinned teen mastermind, coordinates the efforts to rescue Inej. Though Kaz is loath to admit weakness, Inej is his, for he can't bear any harm come to the knife-wielding, brown-skinned Suli acrobat. Their team is rounded out by Wylan, a light-skinned chemist and musician whose merchant father tried to have him murdered and who can't read due to a print disability; Wylan's brown-skinned biracial boyfriend, Jesper, a flirtatious gambler with ADHD; Nina, the pale brunette Grisha witch and recovering addict from Russia-like Ravka; Matthias, Nina's national enemy and great love, a big, white, blond drüskelle warrior from the cold northern lands; and Kuwei, the rescued Shu boy everyone wants to kidnap. Can these kids rescue everyone who needs rescuing in Ketterdam's vile political swamp? This is dark and violent—one notable scene features a parade of teens armed with revolvers, rifles, pistols, explosives, and flash bombs—but gut-wrenchingly genuine. Astonishingly, Bardugo keeps all these balls in the air over the 500-plus pages of narrative.

How can such a hefty tome be un-put-down-able excitement from beginning to end? (glossary) (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 27, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-62779-213-4

Page Count: 560

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Aug. 2, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2016

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A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.

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FIREKEEPER'S DAUGHTER

Testing the strength of family bonds is never easy—and lies make it even harder.

Daunis is trying to balance her two communities: The Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, teen is constantly adapting, whether she is with her Anishinaabe father’s side of the family, the Firekeepers, or the Fontaines, her White mother’s wealthy relatives. She has grand plans for her future, as she wants to become a doctor, but has decided to defer her plans to go away for college because her maternal grandmother is recovering from a stroke. Daunis spends her free time playing hockey with her Firekeeper half brother, Levi, but tragedy strikes, and she discovers someone is selling a dangerous new form of meth—and the bodies are piling up. While trying to figure out who is behind this, Daunis pulls away from her family, covering up where she has been and what she has been doing. While dealing with tough topics like rape, drugs, racism, and death, this book balances the darkness with Ojibwe cultural texture and well-crafted characters. Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what’s going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief.

A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status. (Thriller. 14-18)

Pub Date: March 16, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-76656-4

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Dec. 10, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2021

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