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Certain to give readers the warm fuzzies

Gabriella and Renphlegena (Phleg for short) are two very different girls from vastly different worlds.

Gabriella is an only child, Phleg is one of 12; Gabriella is quiet and well-mannered, Phleg is loud and uncouth; Gabriella has excellent diplomacy skills and Phleg can communicate with animals; Gabriella has long dark hair, Phleg’s hair is short and iridescent silver; Gabriella is a human princess and Phleg is a fairy commoner. Their two worlds collide when Phleg makes a bet with her siblings that she can last three days as a changeling in the human world. As the story opens she’s already used her magic to trade places with the unsuspecting Princess Gabriella of Fairhaven. For the first time, Phleg doesn’t have to do chores or supervise her 11 noisy siblings, while Gabriella must do Phleg’s work. As high jinks ensue on both sides, each girl learns something valuable about herself. Among the fairies, Gabriella is not required to be a weak princess; she’s expected to speak up for herself. Meanwhile, Phleg allows her tough exterior to soften. Phleg provides readers with a fresh perspective on the absurdities of human propriety, while Gabriella is the frame through which readers become acquainted with fairy life and customs. The humorous third-person narration alternates between Phleg and Gabriella. Neither the human nor the fairy world appears to be racially diverse, and Phleg is depicted with a peach complexion on the cover.

Certain to give readers the warm fuzzies . (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 10, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-338-12147-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Scholastic

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2017

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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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A moving tale of baseball, magic, and former rivals who come together to solve a problem.

A middle schooler struggles to adjust after moving to an idyllic Massachusetts town.

Trish Das is at a crossroads. Not only is the 12-year-old unhappy that her family has moved yet again due to her mother’s cardiology career, she also has to try out for a new baseball team. The fact that one of her new teammates is a former archrival further complicates matters. Math prodigy Ben Messina went head-to-head against fellow math whiz Trish at last spring’s Math Puzzlers Championship. When Trish emerged victorious, Ben was stunned. The two get closer when the team’s mysterious pregame snacks start making everyone play better while also causing magical side effects during games. Equally surprising are the cryptic puzzle booklets Trish and Ben receive in the mail that lead them to even more wins. But as the puzzles get harder to solve, the risk of failing to do so increases. Alternating between Trish’s and Ben’s perspectives, LaRocca’s novel—a companion to 2019’s Midsummer’s Mayhem—is a Much Ado About Nothing homage that explores parental expectations, complicated friendships, and teamwork. The protagonists’ love of problem-solving shines through, and the puzzles themselves are clearly explained. As a third-generation Indian American, Trish also has moving conversations about the circumstances that led her grandparents to emigrate and how those decisions still impact their lives. Ben is implied White. Final illustrations not seen.

A moving tale of baseball, magic, and former rivals who come together to solve a problem. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: June 15, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-4998-1101-8

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Yellow Jacket

Review Posted Online: March 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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