A compelling new fantasy series with an unlikely heroine, quirky helpers, dragons, portals, witches, and wizards.

DRAGON'S GREEN

From the Worldquake series , Vol. 1

This series opener introduces “unprepossessing eleven-year-old” Effie Truelove and her classmates at Tusitala School for the Gifted, Troubled and Strange who discover their magical powers trying to rescue some special books.

Living in the post-worldquake era, white Effie hangs out with her grandfather Griffin Truelove, a scholar of magic, who recently started introducing her to “magical thinking.” Close to death, Griffin leaves Effie a ring, his magical objects, and his library, warning her to protect the books, find Dragon’s Green, and stop the Diberi. Effie’s clueless, but wearing Griffin’s ring gives her unusual strength. Outraged when her father sells Griffin’s library to a sinister book dealer, Effie salvages a book called Dragon’s Green, which literally transports her to the Otherworld, where she learns she’s a True Hero. Determined to save the books, Effie enlists four of her classmates after empowering each with one of Griffin’s magical objects, unleashing their skills as mage, warrior, healer, and witch. In vivid, inviting prose, Thomas deftly evokes an original, intriguing post-technological Earth looming with evil where “books are magic” and memorable misfits become heroes.

A compelling new fantasy series with an unlikely heroine, quirky helpers, dragons, portals, witches, and wizards. (Fantasy. 9-12)

Pub Date: May 30, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4814-9784-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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Japanese-American Aki and her family operate an asparagus farm in Westminster, Calif., until they are summarily uprooted and...

SYLVIA & AKI

Two third-grade girls in California suffer the dehumanizing effects of racial segregation after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor in 1942 in this moving story based on true events in the lives of Sylvia Mendez and Aki Munemitsu.

Japanese-American Aki and her family operate an asparagus farm in Westminster, Calif., until they are summarily uprooted and dispatched to an internment camp in Poston, Ariz., for the duration of World War II. As Aki endures the humiliation and deprivation of the hot, cramped barracks, she wonders if there’s “something wrong with being Japanese.” Sylvia’s Mexican-American family leases the Munemitsu farm. She expects to attend the local school but faces disappointment when authorities assign her to a separate, second-rate school for Mexican kids. In response, Sylvia’s father brings a legal action against the school district arguing against segregation in what eventually becomes a successful landmark case. Their lives intersect after Sylvia finds Aki’s doll, meets her in Poston and sends her letters. Working with material from interviews, Conkling alternates between Aki and Sylvia’s stories, telling them in the third person from the war’s start in 1942 through its end in 1945, with an epilogue updating Sylvia’s story to 1955.

Pub Date: July 12, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-58246-337-7

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Tricycle

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2011

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An inspiring sports story all the way to the buzzer.

WE ARE FAMILY

Basketball is life in Lorain, Ohio.

A group of seventh graders have different reasons for joining Hoop Group, an elite youth basketball program. Jayden, who lives in a tiny, cramped house with his mother and grandmother, desperately needs the money playing for the NBA would bring. Chris’ uncle made it out of Lorain and into the NBA, but he doesn’t share his uncle’s skills and can’t quite live up to his father’s expectations. Tamika’s dad was Hoop Group’s coach before Parkinson’s disease put the team’s future in jeopardy; she has a lot to prove and dreams of being the next Pat Summitt. Dex and his hardworking single mom are struggling with poverty, but he just loves the game––especially the Cleveland Cavs. And Anthony, frankly, doesn’t have much of a choice; it was either join this character-building group or face expulsion from school. A makeshift team of preteens with a lot on their plates, they discover as much about themselves (and one another) off the court as they do on it. The authors present a convincing argument about the value of basketball beyond points on the board and big contracts. The characters’ dreams are relatable along with the book’s universally valuable emphasis on hard work and perseverance. But the specifics about what it takes to make it in basketball and the fast-paced on-court action provide something special for young fans of the game. Main characters read as Black.

An inspiring sports story all the way to the buzzer. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 31, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-06-297109-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

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