Now that Emily and her buddies have set up their new store and detective agency, readers looking for chapter books on the...

OPERATION BUNNY

THE FAIRY DETECTIVE AGENCY'S FIRST CASE

From the Wings & Co. series , Vol. 1

Emily, an unloved orphan, finds a new family and occupation when she discovers her true calling.

Emily Vole might only be 9, but she has lived quite a life. After being abandoned in a hatbox, she is adopted by the Dashwoods, a hedge fund manager and his social-climber wife. After the Dashwoods have triplets of their own, they force Emily into servitude. When she is rescued from her Cinderella life by her neighbor, Miss String, and a man-sized talking cat named Fidget, Emily’s life changes: She discovers that she is the new Keeper of the Keys. References to fairy tales add depth to the story and make a clever backdrop to this series kickoff, in which a Circe-like witch turns people into animals and lures fairies to their doom in a magical lamp. Roberts’ detailed, humorous black-and-white illustrations are a big step up from the normal chapter-book fare; the train station where Emily is discovered is dramatically drawn with crosshatched lines and a beam of light highlighting the hatbox, while later illustrations show Emily, with her wide, sad eyes, in the full squalor of her life with the Dashwoods.

Now that Emily and her buddies have set up their new store and detective agency, readers looking for chapter books on the long side will look forward to more magical cases. (Fantasy. 7-12)

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-8050-9892-1

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Nov. 20, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2013

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

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

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 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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Embedding their appealing protagonist in a fully realized Caribbean setting, Callender has readers rooting for Caroline the...

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HURRICANE CHILD

Born during a storm, Caroline Murphy, a 12-year-old black girl, is convinced that she has been cursed with bad luck.

The old ladies around her way say this is the fate of any child born during a hurricane. Recent events in her life seem to confirm this. Feeling unwanted by everyone, especially since the abrupt departure of her mom, Caroline leads a difficult life. She is bullied by those at her school in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, including her teacher, for her skin, which is darker than theirs. She is also followed around by a spirit—the woman in black—that she is sure only she can see. The arrival of a new student from Barbados changes Caroline’s life significantly. Also bullied, the exuberantly dreadlocked Kalinda becomes Caroline’s first and only friend, and soon Caroline’s feelings blossom into something more than platonic. This spells problems for Caroline, since feelings like these are considered sinful in Catholic school. Caroline now must deal with growing up without a mother and her feelings for Kalinda, all while trying to figure out why the woman in black will not leave her alone. Her journey to the answers to her most burning questions finds her discovering much about herself and those around her. Writing in Caroline’s present-tense voice, Callender draws readers in and makes them identify with Caroline’s angst and sorrow and joy and pain.

Embedding their appealing protagonist in a fully realized Caribbean setting, Callender has readers rooting for Caroline the whole way. (Fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 27, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-338-12930-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Nov. 22, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2017

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