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FOREVER NEVERLAND

A magical ode to childhood that updates the classic while keeping its flavor.

Two Americans go adventuring in Neverland in this continuation of the famous Barrie classic.

Clover and Fergus, two white children from San Diego, are spending three weeks in London with grandparents whom they have never met. As they struggle to settle into a strange place, Fergus is intrigued by sightings of a mysterious boy outside of their sixth-floor nursery window. A talk with their grandmother reveals that they are the descendants of Wendy—she is Margaret from the famous novel’s conclusion—and that Peter’s appearance means that he wants to take them on an adventure. Neverland is everything that the siblings could want, until mermaids start mysteriously disappearing. Adrian does an exemplary job of creating complex and compelling characters out of the sibling protagonists—who alternate narration duties—so that readers are thoroughly invested in their journeys before Peter whisks them away. Fergus’ autism is deftly woven into the narrative and the siblings’ relationship. Clover, used to mothering her younger brother, struggles to stop worrying in Neverland, while Fergus, loving the freedom he finds there, fears that he will be judged. Two welcome and notable changes to the original Neverland mythos are the inclusion of female Lost Boys—the group as a whole alternates the monikers “Lost Boys and “Lost Girls”—as well as a racially diverse cast of supporting characters; Barrie’s Indians do not figure in the plot and indeed are not mentioned at all. A list of books and websites on autism is appended.

A magical ode to childhood that updates the classic while keeping its flavor. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 25, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-525-57926-7

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: March 26, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

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

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 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

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NURA AND THE IMMORTAL PALACE

An enthralling fantasy debut exploring exploitation by those in power.

Will 12-year-old Nura be able to outsmart the trickster jinn and save herself and her friends?

Nura lives in the fictional Pakistani town of Meerabagh, where she has worked mining mica to help support her family of five—her mother, herself, and her three younger siblings—since her father’s death. In the mines she has the company of her best friend, Faisal, who is teased by other kids for his stutter, and she enjoys small pleasures like splurging on gulab jamun. Although Maa wants Nura to stop working and attend school, she has no interest in classroom learning and hopes to save up to send her younger siblings to school instead so they can break the family’s cycle of poverty. Following a mining accident in which Faisal and others are lost in the rubble, Nura goes to the rescue. In her quest, she is plunged into the magical, glittering jinn realm, where nothing is as it seems. The author seamlessly weaves into the worldbuilding of the story commentary on real-life problems such as the ravages of child labor and systems that perpetuate inequities. An informative author’s note further explores present-day global cycles of oppression as well as the life-changing power of education. This action-packed story set in a Muslim community moves at a fast pace, with evocative writing that brings the fantasy world to life and lyrical imagery to describe emotions.

An enthralling fantasy debut exploring exploitation by those in power. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: July 5, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-7595-5795-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Jimmy Patterson/Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: April 26, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2022

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