A fun work with strong reader appeal.

FIERCE HEROINES

INSPIRING FEMALE CHARACTERS IN POP CULTURE

A collection of lovingly crafted entries to inspire and empower.

This compilation of artwork and character profiles serves as a celebration of fictional women. The profiles are split into sections dedicated to characters from anime and manga, cartoons, comics, movies, TV shows, and video games. Each two-page spread contains a gorgeous full-color illustration and a page of text that details the character’s interaction with gender roles, their admirable traits, and a brief, relatively spoiler-free summary of their plotline and character arc along with the names of their creators and first appearance. Racial and ethnic diversity is represented, with characters included who are Latinx, Black, Asian, Muslim, and Pacific Islander. A plus-size woman is shown, as are disabled characters. Queer characters represent a range of identities including transgender women; however, some queer characters, such as Diana Prince/Wonder Woman—who is bisexual—do not have their identities fully addressed. With 75 entries (and brief tributes to additional characters at the end), readers are sure to find someone they haven’t heard of before. Each entry is designed to invest readers in the character and entice them to seek out the works in which they appear. The format lends itself well to casual browsing while the short length of each profile makes the book ideal for those averse to longer reads.

A fun work with strong reader appeal. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-7624-9663-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Running Press Kids

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Without that frame, this would have been a fine addition to the wacked-out summer-camp subgenre.

I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS

Survival camp? How can you not have bad feelings about that?

Sixteen-year-old nerd (or geek, but not dork) Henry Lambert has no desire to go to Strongwoods Survival Camp. His father thinks it might help Henry man up and free him of some of his odd phobias. Randy, Henry’s best friend since kindergarten, is excited at the prospect of going thanks to the camp’s promotional YouTube video, so Henry relents. When they arrive at the shabby camp in the middle of nowhere and meet the possibly insane counselor (and only staff member), Max, Henry’s bad feelings multiply. Max tries to train his five campers with a combination of carrot and stick, but the boys are not athletes, let alone survivalists. When a trio of gangsters drops in on the camp Games to try to collect the debt owed by the owner, the boys suddenly have to put their skills to the test. Too bad they don’t have any—at all. Strand’s summer-camp farce is peopled with sarcastic losers who’re chatty and wry. It’s often funny, and the gags turn in unexpected directions and would do Saturday Night Live skits proud. However, the story’s flow is hampered by an unnecessary and completely unfunny frame that takes place during the premier of the movie the boys make of their experience. The repeated intrusions bring the narrative to a screeching halt.

Without that frame, this would have been a fine addition to the wacked-out summer-camp subgenre. (Fiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: March 1, 2014

ISBN: 978-1-4022-8455-7

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: Jan. 15, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 2014

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A fresh, beautifully written look at high school sports that sparkles with strong female athletes.

WE ARE THE WILDCATS

“The girls who played varsity last season each still nurse a secret wound, the thinnest of scabs capping a mountain of scar tissue.”

The intense pressure that Coach exerts on these former field hockey champions is far less than what they place on themselves. They are tormented by last season’s championship loss: Ali and Kearson choked; Mel, the leading scorer, didn’t score at all; and Phoebe limped off the field. This year, the West Essex Wildcats—including new members Grace and Luci—are willing to give up romance, free time, and family for the privilege of being a Wildcat. At sleepovers before weekend games the girls enjoy dinner, movies, and bonding, but on this night, the first before the new season, devastating secrets are revealed. Anyone who raised a high school championship trophy—or dreams of doing so—will find Vivian’s (Stay Sweet, 2018, etc.) book powerfully familiar and sink deeply into this juicy read. The writing is both poetic and blunt, just like the badass Wildcats. The pace may frustrate—it takes a while to grasp that the book is not about the season but a series of perspectives and shocking reveals over the course of one long night. The end, while satisfying, lacks sophistication. Most main characters are white; Ali is Korean American, and Luci is Argentinian and white American.

A fresh, beautifully written look at high school sports that sparkles with strong female athletes. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 31, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-3990-0

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more