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Enchanting indeed.

A worrywart goblin must face her fears to save not just her sister, but the whole of Teacup Island.

Bix’s headstrong little sister, Pella, is one of her main sources of worry. Ever since they lost their parents, Bix has been responsible for Pella—but Pella is not easily controlled. Mere days before the Midsummer Festival, the goblins’ underground city is struck by yet another earthquake, leading the elders to decide they all must leave. It is said that the Earth Queen who lives in the Enchanted Forest is responsible for the earthquakes, so Pella decides to go confront her. When Bix discovers Pella has left, she rushes off to rescue her despite all her fears of the Enchanted Forest that swallows up anyone who dares to enter. With the help of Cici, an enthusiastic tree troll, Bix navigates dangers and discovers the hero within herself. Gorgeous black-lined, pastel-colored art brings to life this charming adventure story of sisterhood and friendship. Bix, Pella, and Cici, who live in a fantasy land that is filled with magic and devoid of humans, are lovable for their distinct personalities and big hearts. The colorful inhabitants of Teacup Island are all pretty cute—even the ones that veer toward creepy. With danger always lurking and illustrations that are full of movement, it’s easy to get quickly swept up into this tale and not want to leave.

Enchanting indeed. (map, character guide) (Graphic fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 25, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-21153-8

Page Count: 240

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: March 2, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship.

A young tennis champion becomes the target of revenge.

In this sequel to Legacy and the Queen (2019), Legacy Petrin and her friends Javi and Pippa have returned to Legacy’s home province and the orphanage run by her father. With her friends’ help, she is in training to defend her championship when they discover that another player, operating under the protection of High Consul Silla, is presenting herself as Legacy. She is so convincing that the real Legacy is accused of being an imitation. False Legacy has become a hero to the masses, further strengthening Silla’s hold, and it becomes imperative to uncover and defeat her. If Legacy is to win again, she must play her imposter while disguised as someone else. Winning at tennis is not just about money and fame, but resisting Silla’s plans to send more young people into brutal mines with little hope of better lives. Legacy will have to overcome her fears and find the magic that allowed her to claim victory in the past. This story, with its elements of sports, fantasy, and social consciousness that highlight tensions between the powerful and those they prey upon, successfully continues the series conceived by late basketball superstar Bryant. As before, the tennis matches are depicted with pace and spirit. Legacy and Javi have brown skin; most other characters default to White.

A worthy combination of athletic action, the virtues of inner strength, and the importance of friendship. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 24, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-949520-19-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Granity Studios

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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An enthralling fantasy debut exploring exploitation by those in power.

Will 12-year-old Nura be able to outsmart the trickster jinn and save herself and her friends?

Nura lives in the fictional Pakistani town of Meerabagh, where she has worked mining mica to help support her family of five—her mother, herself, and her three younger siblings—since her father’s death. In the mines she has the company of her best friend, Faisal, who is teased by other kids for his stutter, and she enjoys small pleasures like splurging on gulab jamun. Although Maa wants Nura to stop working and attend school, she has no interest in classroom learning and hopes to save up to send her younger siblings to school instead so they can break the family’s cycle of poverty. Following a mining accident in which Faisal and others are lost in the rubble, Nura goes to the rescue. In her quest, she is plunged into the magical, glittering jinn realm, where nothing is as it seems. The author seamlessly weaves into the worldbuilding of the story commentary on real-life problems such as the ravages of child labor and systems that perpetuate inequities. An informative author’s note further explores present-day global cycles of oppression as well as the life-changing power of education. This action-packed story set in a Muslim community moves at a fast pace, with evocative writing that brings the fantasy world to life and lyrical imagery to describe emotions.

An enthralling fantasy debut exploring exploitation by those in power. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: July 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5795-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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