A joyful, surprising, time-traveling delight.

YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE, DAVID BRAVO

David Bravo is having the worst day ever when a time-traveling dog shows up and offers him a chance to do it all over.

Tuesday, Sept. 12, truly takes the cake as the most awful day of 11-year-old David’s entire life. It starts with him anxiously fumbling through his first middle school presentation about his heritage: He has a Brazilian and Mexican American father and a Japanese American mother from Hawaii, and he has difficulty explaining that he is adopted. This is followed by an embarrassing food-poisoning incident that ends with David’s causing an accident that hurts his best friend Antoine’s ankle during cross-country practice. His wish to redo everything is granted by the arrival of Fea, a talking, shape-shifting dog who says her new mission is to help David repair his timestream. His first thought is to fix things for Antoine, worried their friendship may be on the line, but when that doesn’t help, David and Fea end up going back and forth in time trying to make things right. This funny, brave, charming novel is packed full of delights. The plot goes to utterly unexpected and beautiful places in a journey about heritage, culture, choice, and, above all, love and connection. David learns to navigate the many aspects of his identity—his anxiety, his budding romantic feelings for Antoine, and his background as a Latinx by birth—and brings the entire well-developed, diverse cast of characters together while doing so.

A joyful, surprising, time-traveling delight. (Fantasy. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-06-300815-1

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: June 22, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2022

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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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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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NIGHTBIRD

There’s a monster in Sidwell, Massachusetts, that can only be seen at night or, as Twig reveals, if passersby are near her house.

It’s her older brother, James, born with wings just like every male in the Fowler line for the last 200 years. They were cursed by the Witch of Sidwell, left brokenhearted by their forebear Lowell Fowler. Twig and James are tired of the secret and self-imposed isolation. Lonely Twig narrates, bringing the small town and its characters to life, intertwining events present and past, and describing the effects of the spell on her fractured family’s daily life. Longing for some normalcy and companionship, she befriends new-neighbor Julia while James falls in love with Julia’s sister, Agate—only to learn they are descendants of the Witch. James and Agate seem as star-crossed as their ancestors, especially when the townspeople attribute a spate of petty thefts and graffiti protesting the development of the woods to the monster and launch a hunt. The mix of romance and magic is irresistible and the tension, compelling. With the help of friends and through a series of self-realizations and discoveries, Twig grows more self-assured. She is certain she knows how to change the curse. In so doing, Twig not only changes James’ fate, but her own, for the first time feeling the fullness of family, friends and hope for the future.

Enchanting. (Magical realism. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 10, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-385-38958-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Wendy Lamb/Random

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2015

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