A beautiful, quiet, indoor-outdoor family story that will dazzle the eye and warm the heart.

READ REVIEW

YOUNG ADULT FOR CLIPPINGS TEST

An animal’s-eye view of a typical night on a farm.

As Tessa, a little curly-haired, olive-skinned girl, her father, mother, and baby brother, Sam, progress through an evening, a night, and a morning, their yellow-eyed, marmalade tabby cat sees much that the humans miss. Following each refrain of “only the cat saw...” is a wordless, double-page spread of the cat prowling about: gazing at the sheep from the window; catching fireflies; watching an owl hunt a mouse, and more. After the tabby’s active night, the narrative shifts to Tessa’s perspective for a satisfying ending. Wolff’s spectacularly textured, highly saturated paintings show that cats who wander have lives all their own independent of their owners. With these new illustrations accompanying a text first published in 1985, Wolff also offers an intimate look at this multiracial family that is rarely illustrated in picture books: Readers see Tessa’s head and legs as she sits on the toilet at 2 am; Mother nurses Sam in bed while Father sleeps. Since the book opens with Father hanging laundry on the clothesline while holding baby Sam in a baby carrier, and ends with Father feeding Sam while Mother cooks breakfast, it seems that both parents take an equal share in raising the children and caring for the house.

A beautiful, quiet, indoor-outdoor family story that will dazzle the eye and warm the heart. (Picture book. 3-5)

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Troy's Publishing Company for Vicky Test

Review Posted Online: March 14, 2020

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An atmospheric and creepy page-turner.

I KILLED ZOE SPANOS

Seventeen-year-old Anna Cicconi finds herself in the middle of a mystery when she takes a summer nanny job in the swanky Hamptons enclave of Herron Hills.

Frick begins her story at the end. Well, sort of. August in the Hamptons signals the turning of the leaves and sees the grisly discovery of 19-year-old Zoe Spanos’ body. Zoe disappeared on New Year’s Eve, and Anna, who happens to strongly resemble her, has confessed to her murder. However, Martina Green, who runs the podcast Missing Zoe, doesn’t believe Anna did it and attempts to find out what really happened. Flash back to June: Hard-partying recent high school grad Anna sees her new job caring for Tom and Emilia Bellamy’s 8-year-old daughter as a fresh start. As one sun-drenched day melts into the next, Anna is drawn to Windemere, the neighboring Talbots’ looming, Gothic-style home, and to the brooding, mysterious Caden Talbot. But Anna can’t shake a feeling of déjà vu, and she’s having impossible memories that intertwine her life with Zoe’s. Frick easily juggles multiple narratives, and readers will enjoy connecting the dots of her cleverly plotted thriller inspired by Daphne du Maurier’s classic Rebecca. Anna and Zoe are white; the supporting cast includes biracial characters Martina (Latinx/white) and Caden (black/white). Caden discusses grappling with being raised by white adoptive parents, facing racialized suspicion as Zoe’s boyfriend, and feeling marginalized at Yale.

An atmospheric and creepy page-turner. (map) (Thriller. 14-adult)

Pub Date: June 30, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-5344-4970-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: McElderry

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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A thrilling romance that could use more even pacing.

THE STARS WE STEAL

For the second time in her life, Leo must choose between her family and true love.

Nineteen-year-old Princess Leonie Kolburg’s royal family is bankrupt. In order to salvage the fortune they accrued before humans fled the frozen Earth 170 years ago, Leonie’s father is forcing her to participate in the Valg Season, an elaborate set of matchmaking events held to facilitate the marriages of rich and royal teens. Leo grudgingly joins in even though she has other ideas: She’s invented a water filtration system that, if patented, could provide a steady income—that is if Leo’s calculating Aunt Freja, the Captain of the ship hosting the festivities, stops blocking her at every turn. Just as Leo is about to give up hope, her long-lost love, Elliot, suddenly appears onboard three years after Leo’s family forced her to break off their engagement. Donne (Brightly Burning, 2018) returns to space, this time examining the fascinatingly twisted world of the rich and famous. Leo and her peers are nuanced, deeply felt, and diverse in terms of sexuality but not race, which may be a function of the realities of wealth and power. The plot is fast paced although somewhat uneven: Most of the action resolves in the last quarter of the book, which makes the resolutions to drawn-out conflicts feel rushed.

A thrilling romance that could use more even pacing. (Science fiction. 16-adult)

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-328-94894-6

Page Count: 400

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 10, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2019

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