Will engage readers until the final battle.

TEMPEST TOSSED

From the Wonder Woman series

Not all heroines wear capes.

Protected on the hidden floating island of Themyscira, black-haired, light-skinned Princess Diana anticipates the end of her challenging changeling phase on her 16th birthday. She desperately wants to be a warrior like the other Amazonian women. A gift to the queen from the Five Mothers, Athena, Aphrodite, Demeter, Artemis, and Hestia, Diana is different—tall but clumsy; once hale but now weak. However, outside Themyscira’s magical barrier, Diana’s agility, intelligence, strength, and compassion shine. When Themyscira is breached by mortals, Diana disobeys her mother’s command, braving the violent sea to save drowning refugees. Mistaken for a refugee herself, Diana is hustled to a camp where she witnesses the devastating effects of war and cares for the mortals. After her extraordinary abilities are recognized by a United Nations employee and his husband, who get her a student visa, Diana moves to America, where she continues to fight for the weak and finds the place where she belongs. Astutely attuned to the current social climate, the story humanely and intelligently addresses complex issues, including immigration, child trafficking, hunger, and poverty. The text and illustrations, which show brown-skinned characters with a range of skin tones and hairstyles, naturally weave in characters of different backgrounds who are not reduced to their struggles.

Will engage readers until the final battle. (Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America) (Graphic fantasy. 14-18)

Pub Date: June 2, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-4012-8645-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: DC

Review Posted Online: March 11, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2020

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A contemporary hero’s journey, brilliantly told.

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SOLO

The 17-year-old son of a troubled rock star is determined to find his own way in life and love.

On the verge of adulthood, Blade Morrison wants to leave his father’s bad-boy reputation for drug-and-alcohol–induced antics and his sister’s edgy lifestyle behind. The death of his mother 10 years ago left them all without an anchor. Named for the black superhero, Blade shares his family’s connection to music but resents the paparazzi that prevent him from having an open relationship with the girl that he loves. However, there is one secret even Blade is unaware of, and when his sister reveals the truth of his heritage during a bitter fight, Blade is stunned. When he finally gains some measure of equilibrium, he decides to investigate, embarking on a search that will lead him to a small, remote village in Ghana. Along the way, he meets people with a sense of purpose, especially Joy, a young Ghanaian who helps him despite her suspicions of Americans. This rich novel in verse is full of the music that forms its core. In addition to Alexander and co-author Hess’ skilled use of language, references to classic rock songs abound. Secondary characters add texture to the story: does his girlfriend have real feelings for Blade? Is there more to his father than his inability to stay clean and sober? At the center is Blade, fully realized and achingly real in his pain and confusion.

A contemporary hero’s journey, brilliantly told. (Verse fiction. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-310-76183-9

Page Count: 464

Publisher: Blink

Review Posted Online: May 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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Summery fun and games with feeling.

THE SUMMER OF BROKEN RULES

A summer trip helps break 18-year-old Meredith Fox out of a haze of mourning.

Her cousin’s wedding means a return to Martha’s Vineyard, a well-loved destination but one filled with bittersweet memories. It’s been a year and a half since the sudden loss of Meredith’s sister, Claire, and the grief remains strong. Meredith, though, resolves to take this time to celebrate family and bridge the rifts resulting from ghosting friends. She didn’t plan on a meet-cute/embarrassing encounter with the groom’s stepbrother, Wit. Nor did she expect a wedding-week game of Assassin, a water-gun–fueled family tradition. What starts off as a pact of sharing strategic information with Wit grows into something more as the flirting and feelings develop. Only one person can win, though, and any alliance has an expiration date. To win and honor Claire, who was a master of the game, Meredith must keep her eye on the prize. Taking place over the course of a week, the narrative is tight with well-paced reveals that disrupt predictability and keep the plot moving. Early details are picked back up, and many elements come satisfyingly full circle. The short time frame also heightens the tension of this summer romance: What will happen when they leave the bubble of the Vineyard? The mix of budding romance, competitive hijinks, a close-knit circle, as well as dealing with loss make for a satisfying read. The main cast is White.

Summery fun and games with feeling. (family tree) (Romance. 14-18)

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-72821-029-2

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Review Posted Online: March 31, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2021

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