A delightful tale that navigates the precarious ebb and flow of friendship dynamics.

JUST JAIME

Jaime’s best friend, Maya, is acting strangely—as a matter of fact, so are all of Jaime’s circle of friends.

With this the last day of seventh grade before summer, Jaime needs to get to the bottom of what appears to be a coup to kick her out of their friendship circle. Maya has been nominated by the newest, most attention-seeking and controlling member of the group, Celia, to break the bad news to Jaime that she’s indeed been voted out of the group. From the time Jaime and Maya see each other on the morning bus throughout the tension-filled day that feels like a roller-coaster ride, both dread the confrontation. But while being ostracized, Jaime is invited to a new friend group, and Maya finds herself ambivalent about being led by the nose by the popular Celia, who holds all of the strings of power within their circle. When Jaime reaches an emotional breaking point, her French teacher, Madame Zukosky, sympathetically shares her own experiences, even confessing to having ghosted a friend long ago. Libenson writes in alternating chapters from the first-person perspectives of Jaime and Maya, mixing prose with sketches and comics panels, punctuating both with humorous dialogue readers will find familiar and sometimes painful. Jaime has brown skin and Maya, white, but cultural background plays no part in the story.

A delightful tale that navigates the precarious ebb and flow of friendship dynamics. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 7, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-06-285107-9

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: Feb. 6, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit...

NUMBER THE STARS

The author of the Anastasia books as well as more serious fiction (Rabble Starkey, 1987) offers her first historical fiction—a story about the escape of the Jews from Denmark in 1943.

Five years younger than Lisa in Carol Matas' Lisa's War (1989), Annemarie Johansen has, at 10, known three years of Nazi occupation. Though ever cautious and fearful of the ubiquitous soldiers, she is largely unaware of the extent of the danger around her; the Resistance kept even its participants safer by telling them as little as possible, and Annemarie has never been told that her older sister Lise died in its service. When the Germans plan to round up the Jews, the Johansens take in Annemarie's friend, Ellen Rosen, and pretend she is their daughter; later, they travel to Uncle Hendrik's house on the coast, where the Rosens and other Jews are transported by fishing boat to Sweden. Apart from Lise's offstage death, there is little violence here; like Annemarie, the reader is protected from the full implications of events—but will be caught up in the suspense and menace of several encounters with soldiers and in Annemarie's courageous run as courier on the night of the escape. The book concludes with the Jews' return, after the war, to homes well kept for them by their neighbors.

A deftly told story that dramatizes how Danes appointed themselves bodyguards—not only for their king, who was in the habit of riding alone in Copenhagen, but for their Jews. (Historical fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: April 1, 1989

ISBN: 0547577095

Page Count: 156

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin

Review Posted Online: Oct. 17, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 1989

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For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
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  • New York Times Bestseller

  • Coretta Scott King Book Award Winner

  • Newbery Honor Book

  • National Book Award Winner

BROWN GIRL DREAMING

A multiaward–winning author recalls her childhood and the joy of becoming a writer.

Writing in free verse, Woodson starts with her 1963 birth in Ohio during the civil rights movement, when America is “a country caught / / between Black and White.” But while evoking names such as Malcolm, Martin, James, Rosa and Ruby, her story is also one of family: her father’s people in Ohio and her mother’s people in South Carolina. Moving south to live with her maternal grandmother, she is in a world of sweet peas and collards, getting her hair straightened and avoiding segregated stores with her grandmother. As the writer inside slowly grows, she listens to family stories and fills her days and evenings as a Jehovah’s Witness, activities that continue after a move to Brooklyn to reunite with her mother. The gift of a composition notebook, the experience of reading John Steptoe’s Stevie and Langston Hughes’ poetry, and seeing letters turn into words and words into thoughts all reinforce her conviction that “[W]ords are my brilliance.” Woodson cherishes her memories and shares them with a graceful lyricism; her lovingly wrought vignettes of country and city streets will linger long after the page is turned.

For every dreaming girl (and boy) with a pencil in hand (or keyboard) and a story to share. (Memoir/poetry. 8-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 28, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-399-25251-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books

Review Posted Online: June 25, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2014

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