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Does Adrian have a horse? As Chloe goes to all ends to prove this fact untrue, both she (and readers) realize that sometimes kids make things up just to fit in—and that that's not always a bad thing. Empathetic storytelling, wonderful illustrations: my favorite picture book in years. ~ Reviewed by Aubrey Restifo
Fans of Paper Things, rejoice! This new book about a group of kids whose families move them to a new town (to 'improve' a neighborhood) is full of great characters and lots of drama: after all, does the new town even want improving? And what does that even mean? An eye-opening story about fitting in, good intentions, and making mistakes. ~ Reviewed by Aubrey Restifo
A young man meets a handsome cat at a gay bar. The cat is repulsive yet charming; adoring but scornful. The man is hooked. In Statovci’s first novel, surreal encounters (like this one) evoke the alienation and exile felt by refugees used to everywhere playing “the other”. Like Exit West, this debut employs just enough magical realism to displace the reader; My Cat Yugoslavia is a perceptual marvel. ~Reviewed by Aubrey Restifo
“See, the problem in this world ain’t sinners, or even the dead. It is men who will step on anyone who stands in the way of their pursuit of power.” Zombies and a very different post-Gettysburg America set the stage for one of the most memorable and subversive dystopias in YA history. Even those hesitant to grapple with fantasy will love this novel’s ruthless and unstoppable Jane McKeene! ~Aubrey Restifo
Daniel Cheng attends a competitive high school in Cupertino, where it seems like every one of his classmates is preparing to go to an Ivy of their choice. But Daniel, the “artist” of the senior class, applies only to RISD—and is shocked when he’s accepted early. As his close friends await college decision letters (and continue to pad their resumes), Daniel uses his newfound “freedom” from the intensity of his studies to examine his parents’ secretive past—and manages to disrupt everything he’s ever known. Profound, moving, and never too perfect, this novel is an exceptional meditation on the meaning of family and being an immigrant. ~Aubrey Restifo