Sure to satisfy beginners and seasoned dancers longing to relive those first steps that made them love the craft.

READ REVIEW

ACROSS THE FLOOR

From the Orca Limelights series

Learning contemporary dance isn’t the most conventional route to earning a varsity football spot, but for Luc Waldon, it’s his only shot.

After biracial (black/white) Luc, a talented high school athlete, sustains a devastating knee injury, his coach orders him to take summer dance classes as a strength-building exercise. Since he dreams of winning a college football scholarship and hopefully playing in the NFL, Luc will do anything to retain his spot, but what he assumes will be an easy solution to his problem turns out to be far more challenging than expected. Deen (Sleight of Hand, 2015, etc.) is clearly in her element writing about dance, and every leg extension and muscle strain feels achingly authentic, as does Luc’s initial cluelessness, providing readers with an excellent introduction to dance terminology. She intertwines Luc’s journey as a dancer with a plot detailing his struggle to convince his workaholic father that time spent in the studio and away from the family lawn business is a worthy sacrifice. While the narrative zips along too quickly for some characters to become fully actualized, racial and sexual diversity is seamlessly integrated into the text. Dance is the central focus of the book, and deep reverence for the art form emanates from every page.

Sure to satisfy beginners and seasoned dancers longing to relive those first steps that made them love the craft. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4598-0920-8

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes

LEGEND

From the Legend series , Vol. 1

A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles.

Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republic’s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. He's also the Republic's most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Day’s self-deprecating affection for others to June's Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic setting—plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiers—escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel.

This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes . (Science fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: Nov. 29, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-399-25675-2

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Putnam

Review Posted Online: April 8, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula.

HOCUS POCUS AND THE ALL-NEW SEQUEL

In honor of its 25th anniversary, a Disney Halloween horror/comedy film gets a sequel to go with its original novelization.

Three Salem witches hanged in 1693 for stealing a child’s life force are revived in 1993 when 16-year-old new kid Max completes a spell by lighting a magical candle (which has to be kindled by a virgin to work). Max and dazzling, popular classmate Allison have to keep said witches at bay until dawn to save all of the local children from a similar fate. Fast-forward to 2018: Poppy, daughter of Max and Allison, inadvertently works a spell that sends her parents and an aunt to hell in exchange for the gleeful witches. With help from her best friend, Travis, and classmate Isabella, on whom she has a major crush, Poppy has only hours to keep the weird sisters from working more evil. The witches, each daffier than the last, supply most of the comedy as well as plenty of menace but end up back in the infernal regions. There’s also a talking cat, a talking dog, a gaggle of costumed heroines, and an oblique reference to a certain beloved Halloween movie. Traditional Disney wholesomeness is spiced, not soured, by occasional innuendo and a big twist in the sequel. Poppy and her family are white, while Travis and Isabella are both African-American.

A bit of envelope-pushing freshens up the formula. (Fantasy. 10-15)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-368-02003-9

Page Count: 528

Publisher: Freeform/Disney

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2018

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