From the Flower Power series , Vol. 2

Fifth grade BFFs Katie-Rose, Yasaman, Violet and Camilla ride again in this stride-hitting second entry in the Flower Power series (Luv Ya Bunches, 2009). Once again, readers drop in on the girls during a particularly eventful, anxiety-riddled week at Rivendell Elementary: Katie-Rose struggles with her concern that sneaky Natalia might be weaseling her way into Yasaman's good graces, while Milla wrestles with her longstanding crush on adorkable Max and Violet finally visits her mother in the mental health clinic and champions the class outcast, Cyril, taking a stand against the epically odious Modessa. All of this takes place against a backdrop of youthful nutrition-related activism—Yasaman discovers that their school-selected snacks, Cheezy Nips, are full of trans fats, contain no cheese and are made by a company that engages in animal cruelty. Myracle is particularly adept at conveying the hilariously, touchingly messy inner lives of preteens, and with the first book's exposition out of the way, all the flower friends' wonderful neuroses, blunders, kindnesses and grace notes blossom into a realistic, easy-to-relate-to riot of pre-adolescent exuberance. A triumph. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-8109-8983-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Amulet/Abrams

Review Posted Online: Aug. 31, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2010

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From the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries series

In this series debut, Maggie Sinclair tracks down a dognapper and solves a mystery about the noises in the walls of her Brooklyn brownstone apartment building. The 12-year-old heroine, who shares a middle name—Brooklyn—with her twin brother, Finn, is juggling two dogwalking jobs she’s keeping secret from her parents, and somehow she attracts the ire of the dogs’ former walker. Maggie tells her story in the first person—she’s self-possessed and likable, even when her clueless brother invites her ex–best friend, now something of an enemy, to their shared 12th birthday party. Maggie’s attention to details helps her to figure out why dogs seem to be disappearing and why there seem to be mice in the walls of her building, though astute readers will pick up on the solution to at least one mystery before Maggie solves it. There’s a brief nod to Nancy Drew, but the real tensions in this contemporary preteen story are more about friendship and boy crushes than skullduggery. Still, the setting is appealing, and Maggie is a smart and competent heroine whose personal life is just as interesting as—if not more than—her detective work. (Mystery. 10-13)



Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 967-1-59990-525-9

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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After Castro’s takeover, nine-year-old Julian and his older brothers are sent away by their fearful parents via “Operation Pedro Pan” to a camp in Miami for Cuban-exile children. Here he discovers that a ruthless bully has essentially been put in charge. Julian is quicker-witted than his brothers or anyone else ever imagined, though, and with his inherent smarts, developing maturity and the help of child and adult friends, he learns to navigate the dynamics of the camp and surroundings and grows from the former baby of the family to independence and self-confidence. A daring rescue mission at the end of the novel will have readers rooting for Julian even as it opens his family’s eyes to his courage and resourcefulness. This autobiographical novel is a well-meaning, fast-paced and often exciting read, though at times the writing feels choppy. It will introduce readers to a not-so-distant period whose echoes are still felt today and inspire admiration for young people who had to be brave despite frightening and lonely odds. (Historical fiction. 9-12)


Pub Date: Aug. 3, 2010

ISBN: 978-1-59643-168-3

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Review Posted Online: June 14, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2010

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