Though some of the physics may leave some readers dizzy, feisty young Molly will keep them grounded in this page-turning...

DOMINION

From the Molly Stout Adventures series , Vol. 1

A steampunk adventure forces its young protagonist to choose which side she’s on.

Molly Stout seems to defy gravity as she deftly swings her way across the deck of the family’s airship, the Legerdemain. At 14, Molly is a young engineer, serving alongside her 16 year-old twin brothers with their alcoholic father as captain. The family serves as crew to one of many airships used to harvest the spirits that populate the skies of British colony Terra Nova and that serve as the power source for the airships. While on a harvest, the white teen catches her first spirit, which her captain father allows her to keep, solidly locked away. Like a ghost from the past, literally, Molly’s spirit warns her of a plot by those most high that may destroy both the human and the spirit worlds. From the spirit, Molly comes to understand the atrocity her ancestors committed when they began to enslave the spirits and decides to betray her family by aligning herself with the spirits to free all those kept in machine bondage. Aptly titled, Arbuthnott’s debut novel is the first part of an original, fascinating tale that offers an unusual, magical spin on how far human beings will go to gain dominion over the world. This series opener focuses primarily on Molly’s family conflict in the skies, leaving unmentioned any indigenous population of Terra Nova; should subsequent adventures take her into the “dangerous Inner Continent,” here’s hoping issues of colonialism are addressed as deftly.

Though some of the physics may leave some readers dizzy, feisty young Molly will keep them grounded in this page-turning mystical adventure. (Steampunk. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 21, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4598-1117-1

Page Count: 312

Publisher: Orca

Review Posted Online: Dec. 6, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2016

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in...

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 11

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2019

  • Kirkus Prize
  • Kirkus Prize
    winner

  • IndieBound Bestseller

NEW KID

From the New Kid series , Vol. 1

Jordan Banks takes readers down the rabbit hole and into his mostly white prep school in this heartbreakingly accurate middle-grade tale of race, class, microaggressions, and the quest for self-identity.

He may be the new kid, but as an African-American boy from Washington Heights, that stigma entails so much more than getting lost on the way to homeroom. Riverdale Academy Day School, located at the opposite end of Manhattan, is a world away, and Jordan finds himself a stranger in a foreign land, where pink clothing is called salmon, white administrators mistake a veteran African-American teacher for the football coach, and white classmates ape African-American Vernacular English to make themselves sound cool. Jordan’s a gifted artist, and his drawings blend with the narrative to give readers a full sense of his two worlds and his methods of coping with existing in between. Craft skillfully employs the graphic-novel format to its full advantage, giving his readers a delightful and authentic cast of characters who, along with New York itself, pop off the page with vibrancy and nuance. Shrinking Jordan to ant-sized proportions upon his entering the school cafeteria, for instance, transforms the lunchroom into a grotesque Wonderland in which his lack of social standing becomes visually arresting and viscerally uncomfortable.

An engrossing, humorous, and vitally important graphic novel that should be required reading in every middle school in America. (Graphic fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Feb. 5, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-269120-0

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Oct. 15, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2018

Did you like this book?

An endearing protagonist runs the first, fast leg of Reynolds' promising relay.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

Google Rating

  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • google rating
  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2016

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • National Book Award Finalist

GHOST

From the Track series , Vol. 1

Castle “Ghost” Cranshaw feels like he’s been running ever since his dad pulled that gun on him and his mom—and used it.

His dad’s been in jail three years now, but Ghost still feels the trauma, which is probably at the root of the many “altercations” he gets into at middle school. When he inserts himself into a practice for a local elite track team, the Defenders, he’s fast enough that the hard-as-nails coach decides to put him on the team. Ghost is surprised to find himself caring enough about being on the team that he curbs his behavior to avoid “altercations.” But Ma doesn’t have money to spare on things like fancy running shoes, so Ghost shoplifts a pair that make his feet feel impossibly light—and his conscience correspondingly heavy. Ghost’s narration is candid and colloquial, reminiscent of such original voices as Bud Caldwell and Joey Pigza; his level of self-understanding is both believably childlike and disarming in its perception. He is self-focused enough that secondary characters initially feel one-dimensional, Coach in particular, but as he gets to know them better, so do readers, in a way that unfolds naturally and pleasingly. His three fellow “newbies” on the Defenders await their turns to star in subsequent series outings. Characters are black by default; those few white people in Ghost’s world are described as such.

An endearing protagonist runs the first, fast leg of Reynolds' promising relay. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 30, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4814-5015-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Caitlyn Dlouhy/Atheneum

Review Posted Online: July 20, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2016

Did you like this book?

more