THE DREAMWEAVERS

Fraternal twins embark on a magical adventure to rescue their grandfather and break a decadeslong curse.

After their parents’ mysterious disappearance in the City of Ashes, 12-year-olds Mei and Yun have been outcasts in their village. Their orphan status and reputation for seeing vaporous auras have left them with few friends. The sister and brother have been raised by their grandfather, who is known for his delicious cooking. Word of his talent has reached the Imperial City, and the Emperor’s son will be visiting to taste their grandfather’s famous mooncakes. But a sour mood has overtaken the village, and the mooncakes taste disgusting and rotten. The twins’ grandfather is taken away to the palace to await trial for supposedly using harmful magic on the prince. Determined to rescue him, Mei and Yun undertake a dangerous journey that reveals hidden truths about their family’s roots and the cursed City of Ashes. Set in ancient China during the Ming dynasty, this fantasy incorporates elements of Chinese folklore, with the Jade Rabbit acting as a spiritual guide for the twins, references to the Monkey King, and the presence of a mirrorlike dream world. The twins’ sibling bond never wavers throughout the challenges they face; like yin and yang, their individual personalities and strengths balance each other and highlight the story’s theme of achieving peace by acknowledging both the light and the dark and creating your own destiny.

An enchanting tale. (author's note, cultural notes) (Historical fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 14, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-8234-4423-6

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Holiday House

Review Posted Online: July 27, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Remarkable.

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2020

  • IndieBound Bestseller

  • Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature Honor Book

PRAIRIE LOTUS

A “half-Chinese and half-white” girl finds her place in a Little House–inspired fictional settler town.

After the death of her Chinese mother, Hanna, an aspiring dressmaker, and her White father seek a fresh start in Dakota Territory. It’s 1880, and they endure challenges similar to those faced by the Ingallses and so many others: dreary travel through unfamiliar lands, the struggle to protect food stores from nature, and the risky uncertainty of establishing a livelihood in a new place. Fans of the Little House books will find many of the small satisfactions of Laura’s stories—the mouthwatering descriptions of victuals, the attention to smart building construction, the glorious details of pleats and poplins—here in abundance. Park brings new depth to these well-trodden tales, though, as she renders visible both the xenophobia of the town’s White residents, which ranges in expression from microaggressions to full-out assault, and Hanna’s fight to overcome it with empathy and dignity. Hanna’s encounters with women of the nearby Ihanktonwan community are a treat; they hint at the whole world beyond a White settler perspective, a world all children deserve to learn about. A deeply personal author’s note about the story’s inspiration may leave readers wishing for additional resources for further study and more clarity about her use of Lakota/Dakota. While the cover art unfortunately evokes none of the richness of the text and instead insinuates insidious stereotypes, readers who sink into the pages behind it will be rewarded.

Remarkable. (Historical fiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: March 3, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-328-78150-5

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Clarion Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

Did you like this book?

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

LEGACY AND THE DOUBLE

From the Legacy series , Vol. 2

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 28, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2021

Did you like this book?

more