When a forlorn 12-year-old girl finds an enchanted beach stone shaped like a cellphone, suddenly everything starts to get pretty darn weird….
Reluctantly, Emily Edelman is having an adventure—aka adult code word for “disruption and discomfort and change.” Yeah, she just moved to a new place where everyone hates her, including the resident mean girl. And her 15-year-old sister, Hilary, and 6-year-old brother, Dougie, are the opposite of help. Enter a huge, snarky, carnivorous demon named Gorgo and the malevolent Venomüch family. Emily soon realizes that not only does her stone have rare, magical powers that are fueled by the moon, but that she is the Stonemaster; in a “Lean In” moment, she owns that fact. Emily is white, but secondary characters, including new, Latina friend Angela, are relatively diverse; of special note is a black, totally badass librarian. Rubens, a veteran writer and producer of late-night comedy, revels in parody, wordplay, and spoofy send-ups of Harry Potter–ish antics, with flecks of Lemony Snicket for good measure. He shows great affection for librarians, annoying siblings, things that kids intuitively know, and dogs, doggs and dogggs. Ultimately, Emily uses her power to save others, finds out that there are scarier things than mean girls, and embraces her next “adventure,” whatever it may be.
Abrakadonculous! Especially good fun for a rainy afternoon or a not-too-groggy sick day. (Fantasy. 8-12)