Review: Listen, Slowly, by Thanhha Lai (2015)

The pitch: Mai, or Mia as she’s known at school, is the thoroughly SoCal daughter of Vietnamese refugees. Her big beach plans for the summer are cut short when her dad announces a family trip to Vietnam to help her grandmother, Ba, say goodbye to her grandfather’s memory. All Mai can … Continue reading

Review: Threatened, by Eliot Schrefer (Feb. 2014)

Luc, an orphan in Gabon, is hired as a research assistant by an Egyptian professor studying chimpanzees. They move into the jungle, which is full of dangers both environmental and human. This is sort of a companion to Schrefer’s lovely Endangered, one of my favorite books of recent years. Though they’re … Continue reading

Cover reveal (oooh): Drift, by M. K. Hutchins (May 2014)

I’ve posted here several times about Tu Books, a Lee & Low imprint devoted to excellent children’s fantasy, sci-fi, and mysteries about characters of color. Other publishers will sometimes pick up an Akata Witch or Summer Prince, but an entire imprint committed to diversifying YA/MG  genre fiction is a huge … Continue reading

Review: The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson

Every five years the futuristic enclosed city of Palmares Tres, in what was Brazil, elects a summer king. He is beautiful and beloved — and at the end of his year, he is sacrificed to choose a new Queen. Best friends June and Gil have never questioned this custom until … Continue reading

Review: Beneath My Mother’s Feet, by Amjed Qamar

Nazia wants to finish school, but she knows she’s destined to get married instead. But then her father loses his job and her mother takes work cleaning houses — the most demeaning possible job, and she needs Nazia to help. How will she get married or finish school or have … Continue reading