A creepy literary adaptation to please existing Sabrina fans and that may entice new ones.


From the Chilling Adventures of Sabrina series , Vol. 1

A prequel to Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.

Sabrina Spellman lives with her aunts, Zelda and Hilda, and cousin Ambrose in their funeral home, which they run because “even witches need to make a living.” As the daughter of a warlock, Sabrina possesses magical abilities that may be further realized once she has her dark baptism and enrolls in the Academy of Unseen Arts. But her half-mortal self is hesitant to leave behind her friends, Roz and Susie, and her sweet, artsy boyfriend, Harvey. Pressured by Zelda to uphold the Spellman family name, she is mocked by her potential Academy peers for only being half witch, and to top it all off, she doubts Harvey’s feelings for her. She and Ambrose cast a spell which intensifies Harvey’s infatuation, leaving Sabrina overwhelmed rather than reassured. And when she turns to an admiring wishing-well spirit for help, matters only worsen. The narrative alternates between chapters told from Sabrina’s point of view and those titled “What Happens in the Dark”—the latter offering insight into various characters’ weaknesses and fears. Lack of fully rounded character development hinders readers’ full investment, but glimpses into the characters’ darker sides will pique interest. The racial makeup of the cast reflects that of the television show: Sabrina is white, Ambrose is black, and there is diversity in several supporting characters.

A creepy literary adaptation to please existing Sabrina fans and that may entice new ones. (Horror. 13-adult)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-338-32604-8

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 21, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2019

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This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression.

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After surviving a suicide attempt, a fragile teen isn't sure she can endure without cutting herself.

Seventeen-year-old Charlie Davis, a white girl living on the margins, thinks she has little reason to live: her father drowned himself; her bereft and abusive mother kicked her out; her best friend, Ellis, is nearly brain dead after cutting too deeply; and she's gone through unspeakable experiences living on the street. After spending time in treatment with other young women like her—who cut, burn, poke, and otherwise hurt themselves—Charlie is released and takes a bus from the Twin Cities to Tucson to be closer to Mikey, a boy she "like-likes" but who had pined for Ellis instead. But things don't go as planned in the Arizona desert, because sweet Mikey just wants to be friends. Feeling rejected, Charlie, an artist, is drawn into a destructive new relationship with her sexy older co-worker, a "semifamous" local musician who's obviously a junkie alcoholic. Through intense, diarylike chapters chronicling Charlie's journey, the author captures the brutal and heartbreaking way "girls who write their pain on their bodies" scar and mar themselves, either succumbing or surviving. Like most issue books, this is not an easy read, but it's poignant and transcendent as Charlie breaks more and more before piecing herself back together.

This grittily provocative debut explores the horrors of self-harm and the healing power of artistic expression. (author’s note) (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-101-93471-5

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: May 3, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2016

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An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away.


A Mexican American boy takes on heavy responsibilities when his family is torn apart.

Mateo’s life is turned upside down the day U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents show up unsuccessfully seeking his Pa at his New York City bodega. The Garcias live in fear until the day both parents are picked up; his Pa is taken to jail and his Ma to a detention center. The adults around Mateo offer support to him and his 7-year-old sister, Sophie, however, he knows he is now responsible for caring for her and the bodega as well as trying to survive junior year—that is, if he wants to fulfill his dream to enter the drama program at the Tisch School of the Arts and become an actor. Mateo’s relationships with his friends Kimmie and Adam (a potential love interest) also suffer repercussions as he keeps his situation a secret. Kimmie is half Korean (her other half is unspecified) and Adam is Italian American; Mateo feels disconnected from them, less American, and with worries they can’t understand. He talks himself out of choosing a safer course of action, a decision that deepens the story. Mateo’s self-awareness and inner monologue at times make him seem older than 16, and, with significant turmoil in the main plot, some side elements feel underdeveloped. Aleman’s narrative joins the ranks of heart-wrenching stories of migrant families who have been separated.

An ode to the children of migrants who have been taken away. (Fiction. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5605-8

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Feb. 22, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2021

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