This beautiful, moving, and insightful collection is quintessentially American and a valuable addition to all middle and...

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AN ANTHOLOGY

Thirteen leading YA voices from diverse backgrounds lend their talents to this anthology of 12 fictional short stories.

The collection represents the lives of people of color, immigrants, poor, and nonheteronormative individuals, drawing the reader into narratives that touch on universal themes of love and youth in its many iterations. Whether the reader dives into Eric Gansworth’s story of a youth from the rez grappling with racism and identity in high school, Malinda Lo’s tale of sexism and gender-flipping costumes at a science-fiction convention, or Melissa de la Cruz’s story of an undocumented Filipina student who wants “America to want me because I was already a part of the fabric of the country,” each contribution reminds us of the diverse individuals that make up the United States. Together they form a beautiful quilt of marginalized voices that include both bestselling authors, such as Jason Reynolds and Gene Luen Yang, as well as up-and-coming writers. The complexities of intersectional identities are also explored, for example in Sara Farizan’s story of a bisexual Iranian-American girl who introduces her girlfriend to her immigrant grandmother. United by vivid descriptions of food, language, and cultural norms, the collection will serve as both mirror and window to teens from all walks of life.

This beautiful, moving, and insightful collection is quintessentially American and a valuable addition to all middle and high school classrooms. (Short stories. 12-18)

Pub Date: Aug. 14, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6628-3

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: April 30, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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Riveting, brutal and beautifully told.

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    Best Books Of 2014

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WE WERE LIARS

A devastating tale of greed and secrets springs from the summer that tore Cady’s life apart.

Cady Sinclair’s family uses its inherited wealth to ensure that each successive generation is blond, beautiful and powerful. Reunited each summer by the family patriarch on his private island, his three adult daughters and various grandchildren lead charmed, fairy-tale lives (an idea reinforced by the periodic inclusions of Cady’s reworkings of fairy tales to tell the Sinclair family story). But this is no sanitized, modern Disney fairy tale; this is Cinderella with her stepsisters’ slashed heels in bloody glass slippers. Cady’s fairy-tale retellings are dark, as is the personal tragedy that has led to her examination of the skeletons in the Sinclair castle’s closets; its rent turns out to be extracted in personal sacrifices. Brilliantly, Lockhart resists simply crucifying the Sinclairs, which might make the family’s foreshadowed tragedy predictable or even satisfying. Instead, she humanizes them (and their painful contradictions) by including nostalgic images that showcase the love shared among Cady, her two cousins closest in age, and Gat, the Heathcliff-esque figure she has always loved. Though increasingly disenchanted with the Sinclair legacy of self-absorption, the four believe family redemption is possible—if they have the courage to act. Their sincere hopes and foolish naïveté make the teens’ desperate, grand gesture all that much more tragic.

Riveting, brutal and beautifully told. (Fiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: May 13, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-385-74126-2

Page Count: 240

Publisher: Delacorte

Review Posted Online: March 17, 2014

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1, 2014

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Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in.

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THE CRUEL PRINCE

From the Folk of the Air series , Vol. 1

Black is back with another dark tale of Faerie, this one set in Faerie and launching a new trilogy.

Jude—broken, rebuilt, fueled by anger and a sense of powerlessness—has never recovered from watching her adoptive Faerie father murder her parents. Human Jude (whose brown hair curls and whose skin color is never described) both hates and loves Madoc, whose murderous nature is true to his Faerie self and who in his way loves her. Brought up among the Gentry, Jude has never felt at ease, but after a decade, Faerie has become her home despite the constant peril. Black’s latest looks at nature and nurture and spins a tale of court intrigue, bloodshed, and a truly messed-up relationship that might be the saving of Jude and the titular prince, who, like Jude, has been shaped by the cruelties of others. Fierce and observant Jude is utterly unaware of the currents that swirl around her. She fights, plots, even murders enemies, but she must also navigate her relationship with her complex family (human, Faerie, and mixed). This is a heady blend of Faerie lore, high fantasy, and high school drama, dripping with description that brings the dangerous but tempting world of Faerie to life.

Black is building a complex mythology; now is a great time to tune in. (Fantasy. 14-adult)

Pub Date: Jan. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-316-31027-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Sept. 26, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2017

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