In some parallel universe, I am in middle school – yes, this book is so good I would even consider going back to middle school… maybe – Sal and Gabi are my friends, and we are trying to sift our ways through the difficulties and moments of beauty the world throws our way. Listening to this on Libro.fm in my car must have made me quite the sight. I laughed hysterically and yelled “Yes!” while air-hi-fiving all the characters who treated other beings with love and respect. (Thank you, Anthony Perez, for voicing this book SO WELL!) Read it, listen to it, and before you start, find the closest Cuban restaurant because you’re going to definitely want some Cuban food. Can’t wait for Hernandez’ next book!
In a Latinx land where colonizers once banned magic and subjugated the people, the Castallan have retaken their land, reintroduced their way of life, and returned their magic to the land. But rebels have used wielders of magic to banish the crown prince to a great void and the surviving royal family, especially the prince's brother Alfie, cannot give up hope of finding a way to him. But when Alfie accidentaly releases the darkest of magic into the world, only the strength of Finn, a thief who will teach him much about his kingdom and himself, and his own loyalty and character will help him stop the evil. If you get a chance to listen to this on Libro.fm, it is read by Kyla Garcia and her performance is completely brilliant (consider that subtle distinction between the way a loved one would say "mija" and the same word issuing from one whose intentions are evil - it'll give you chills).
In a world in which the president tests the boundaries of his power daily, in which scapegoating and hating the "Other" is again in vogue, Internment should be mandatory reading. The chilling effect of the book's beginning, a list of events, some of which have happened and some have not, is to remind us how easily history can repeat. In this horrific near future, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin, her parents, and all Muslims have been placed in an internment camp. Resistance is certainly dangerous, possibly futile and those inside wrestle with the right course of action. Internment is a powerful reminder of the human cost of silence in the face of unchecked power.
This beautifully illustrated celebration of all that makes father/daughter relationships powerful also incorporates a vision of our neighborhoods that includes so many who do not often see their world reflected in the pages of books. This is for all those fathers who show their love in ways not typically seen in the pages of a book, and for all those daughters who recognize and cherish those acts of love.
Books like this will make our schools kind - not again, but for the first time. Nova is a twelve-year-old space geek who is autistic and has a very difficult time communicating all the wonder that is occuring inside of her to anyone other than her older sister Bridget. The foster care system has been difficult for the girls, but Bridget promised that they would always be together. Even if they were separated, she promised to come back for Nova. The sisters dream of the freedom of space travel and the pending launch of space shuttle Challenger, with a teacher-turned-astronaut on board, makes all their dreams seem possible. But then Bridget goes missing. Nova knows Bridget will be back to watch the launch together, but as it gets closer and Nova becomes more comfortable with her new family, doubt, anger, and fear assault Nova's tenuous balance. Put this with Out of My Mind and Rain, Reign, and make it required reading in every elementary school.