SEEING THINGS

Miranda, 11, apparently has an unusual gift: when she stares at a photo or an old memento, she receives data about the scene or the object's earlier owner. Convinced that she's discovering what she couldn't know otherwise, Great-uncle Bernie introduces her to a group of psychics, hoping for commercial success. Meanwhile, feckless older sister Yvette's charismatic but unsavory former boyfriend Dave (father of the baby Yvette has dumped on her grandmother) coaxes Miranda to reveal where his partner in crime is hiding; but bribes quickly turn to threats as Dave kidnaps her and little brother Jimmy. This harrowing experience forces Miranda to confront the truth: her real gift is an extraordinary memory that has allowed her to reproduce the contents of an old Australian history, plus details others would have forgotten, to aid her deception; and, in trying to weather her parents' death in an auto accident and her family's troubled realignment, she has deceived herself most of all. Klein, an Australian whose novels are often notable for incisive realistic portrayals and original plots, draws these characters with her usual humor and insight, from Jimmy—much more competent than he seems to his protective sister (it's he who frees the two of them from Dave)—to Grandma, patiently making ends meet to raise two more generations. In her taut third-person narrative, the author cleaves so closely to Miranda's point of view that the girl's real troubles, and the key to their alleviation, are only hinted at until the riveting conclusion. (Fiction. 12+)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-670-85282-1

Page Count: 190

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1994

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This story is necessary. This story is important.

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THE HATE U GIVE

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter is a black girl and an expert at navigating the two worlds she exists in: one at Garden Heights, her black neighborhood, and the other at Williamson Prep, her suburban, mostly white high school.

Walking the line between the two becomes immensely harder when Starr is present at the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, by a white police officer. Khalil was unarmed. Khalil’s death becomes national news, where he’s called a thug and possible drug dealer and gangbanger. His death becomes justified in the eyes of many, including one of Starr’s best friends at school. The police’s lackadaisical attitude sparks anger and then protests in the community, turning it into a war zone. Questions remain about what happened in the moments leading to Khalil’s death, and the only witness is Starr, who must now decide what to say or do, if anything. Thomas cuts to the heart of the matter for Starr and for so many like her, laying bare the systemic racism that undergirds her world, and she does so honestly and inescapably, balancing heartbreak and humor. With smooth but powerful prose delivered in Starr’s natural, emphatic voice, finely nuanced characters, and intricate and realistic relationship dynamics, this novel will have readers rooting for Starr and opening their hearts to her friends and family.

This story is necessary. This story is important. (Fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 28, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-06-249853-3

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

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An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments.

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ALWAYS AND FOREVER, LARA JEAN

From the To All the Boys I've Loved Before series , Vol. 3

Lara Jean prepares for college and a wedding.

Korean-American Lara Jean is finally settled into a nice, complication-free relationship with her white boyfriend, Peter. But things don’t stay simple for long. When college acceptance letters roll in, Peter and Lara Jean discover they’re heading in different directions. As the two discuss the long-distance thing, Lara Jean’s widower father is making a major commitment: marrying the neighbor lady he’s been dating. The whirlwind of a wedding, college visits, prom, and the last few months of senior year provides an excellent backdrop for this final book about Lara Jean. The characters ping from event to event with emotions always at the forefront. Han further develops her cast, pushing them to new maturity and leaving few stones unturned. There’s only one problem here, and it’s what’s always held this series back from true greatness: Peter. Despite Han’s best efforts to flesh out Peter with abandonment issues and a crummy dad, he remains little more than a handsome jock. Frankly, Lara Jean and Peter may have cute teen chemistry, but Han's nuanced characterizations have often helped to subvert typical teen love-story tropes. This knowing subversion is frustratingly absent from the novel's denouement.

An emotionally engaging closer that fumbles in its final moments. (Romance. 14-17)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-3048-7

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2017

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