Another bundle of lightly delivered life lessons wrapped in a cozy blanket of wish fulfillment.

MY LIFE AS A BILLIONAIRE

From the My Life series , Vol. 10

A winning lottery ticket gives 12-year-old Derek Fallon a taste of what it’s like to have massive, fantastic wealth!

As in his previous nine My Life series outings, Derek discovers that opportunity brings ups, downs, and negotiations with both himself and others. When the Powerball ticket that he gets in lieu of the $40 he was promised for helping his friend’s big brother, Jamie, move some equipment comes up a winner, the first check alone is big enough to cover not only personal indulgences like a pair of $9,000 sneakers, but a cool BMX wheelchair for his buddy Umberto and a massive donation to the Greta Thunberg Foundation. It also leaves him feeling like an outsider, since everyone now treats him differently, and guilty to have so much without having earned it. Luckily, he also has common-sensical friends to keep his head straight and indulgent but rock-solid parents to check his wilder impulses while filling him in on the basics of money management. He also has Jamie, with whom he agreed to split the proceeds and who goes hog wild with his share, as a cautionary example when questions arise about the ticket’s legitimacy. Stick figure drawings in the margins add wry visual definitions and commentary to Derek’s dazed and dazzled narrative. The cast presents as White throughout.

Another bundle of lightly delivered life lessons wrapped in a cozy blanket of wish fulfillment. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: April 6, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-250-26181-6

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Feb. 9, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

Wholesome shading to bland, but well-stocked with exotic creatures and locales, plus an agreeable cast headed by a child...

KEEPER OF THE LOST CITIES

A San Diego preteen learns that she’s an elf, with a place in magic school if she moves to the elves’ hidden realm.

Having felt like an outsider since a knock on the head at age 5 left her able to read minds, Sophie is thrilled when hunky teen stranger Fitz convinces her that she’s not human at all and transports her to the land of Lumenaria, where the ageless elves live. Taken in by a loving couple who run a sanctuary for extinct and mythical animals, Sophie quickly gathers friends and rivals at Foxfire, a distinctly Hogwarts-style school. She also uncovers both clues to her mysterious origins and hints that a rash of strangely hard-to-quench wildfires back on Earth are signs of some dark scheme at work. Though Messenger introduces several characters with inner conflicts and ambiguous agendas, Sophie herself is more simply drawn as a smart, radiant newcomer who unwillingly becomes the center of attention while developing what turn out to be uncommonly powerful magical abilities—reminiscent of the younger Harry Potter, though lacking that streak of mischievousness that rescues Harry from seeming a little too perfect. The author puts her through a kidnapping and several close brushes with death before leaving her poised, amid hints of a higher destiny and still-anonymous enemies, for sequels.

Wholesome shading to bland, but well-stocked with exotic creatures and locales, plus an agreeable cast headed by a child who, while overly fond of screaming, rises to every challenge. (Fantasy. 10-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4424-4593-2

Page Count: 496

Publisher: Aladdin

Review Posted Online: July 18, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2012

Did you like this book?

Energizing and compassionate.

OBIE IS MAN ENOUGH

An aspiring transgender Junior Olympian swimmer finds the strength and pride in his identity to race toward his dreams in this debut coming-of-age novel by groundbreaking trans athlete Bailar.

Starting over after his abusive and discriminatory swim coach excluded him from the team, Obie Chang, a biracial (White/Korean) transgender boy worries about catching up to the other boys and proving that he is “man enough.” Although his family supports him, one of his best friends at school and the pool has turned into his biggest bully, and the other is drifting away toward the mean, popular girls. As he dives from the blocks into the challenging waters of seventh grade and swims toward his goal of qualifying for the Junior Olympics, Obie discovers belonging in his community and in himself. Affirming adults—including his parents and grandparents, a new swim coach, and his favorite teacher—play significant supporting roles by offering encouragement without pressure, centering Obie’s feelings, and validating Obie’s right to set his own boundaries. Vulnerable first-person narration explores Obie’s internal conflict about standing up for himself and his desire to connect to his Korean heritage through his relationship with Halmoni, his paternal grandmother. A romance with Charlie, a cisgender biracial (Cuban/White) girl, is gentle and privacy-affirming. Short chapters and the steady pace of external tension balance moments of rumination, grounding them in the ongoing action of Obie’s experiences.

Energizing and compassionate. (author's note, resources, glossary) (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: Sept. 7, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-37946-2

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: July 8, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more