Gabi K. Huesca

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Review of Pedro’s Yo-Yos: How a Filipino Immigrant Came to America and Changed the World of Toys

Pedro’s Yo-Yos: How a Filipino Immigrant Came to America and Changed the World of Toys by Rob Peñas; illus. by Carl AngelPrimary    Lee & Low    40 pp.4/24    9781620145746    $20.95Born in 1896 under Spanish colonial rule in the Philippines, Pedro Flores immigrated to the United States as a teenager. It wasn’t...

Review of Wildful

Wildful by Kengo Kurimoto; illus. by the authorIntermediate    Groundwood    216 pp.2/24    9781773068626    $22.99e-book ed.  9781773068633    $16.99In this gorgeous graphic novel with minimal text, it’s an ordinary day as Poppy takes her dog, Pepper, out for a walk, all the while listening to music, scrolling mindlessly through her cell phone. Pepper,...

Review of Stories of the Islands

Stories of the Islands by Clar Angkasa; illus. by the authorIntermediate, Middle School    Holiday    176 pp.10/23    9780823449781    $22.99Paper ed.  9780823455737    $14.99e-book ed.  9780823457281    $11.99These graphic-format retellings of three Indonesian folktales steer their female protagonists away from traditional “superficial tropes” and render them as empowered, intelligent characters who determine their own...

Five Questions for Clar Angkasa

In Stories of the Islands (Holiday, 8–12 years), Clar Angkasa retells three Indonesian folktales in a gorgeous graphic format, reframing the tales in ways that empower their female protagonists.  1. Were folktales a big part of your experience growing up? If so, who would share them with you?  Clar Angkasa:...

Review of I’d Rather Burn than Bloom

I’d Rather Burn than Bloom by Shannon C. F. RogersHigh School    Feiwel    320 pp.7/23    9781250845665    $19.99e-book ed.  9781250845672    $11.99When Marisol Martin’s mother, with whom she had a difficult relationship, dies in a car crash, Marisol and her family are plunged into grief they don’t know how to begin to process....

Review of You Are Here: Connecting Flights

You Are Here: Connecting Flights edited by Ellen Oh Intermediate, Middle School    Allida/HarperCollins    272 pp. 3/23    9780063239081    $18.99 e-book ed.  9780063239104    $11.99 In this collection of linked short stories, a nasty storm strikes Chicago’s (fictional) Gateway International Airport, delaying flights and suspending travel plans. Twelve-year-old Paul and his family, who...

Review of Ruby Lost and Found

Ruby Lost and Found by Christina LiMiddle School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    304 pp.5/23    9780063008939    $19.99e-book ed.  9780063008953    $10.99Thirteen-year-old Ruby Chu is grieving the death of Ye-Ye, her paternal grandfather, who would devise elaborate scavenger hunts around San Francisco’s Chinatown for her. Ruby has also lost her best friends Mia, who moved...

Review of Land of Broken Promises

Land of Broken Promises by Jane KuoMiddle School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    240 pp.6/23    9780063119048    $18.99e-book ed.  9780063119086    $10.99In this sequel in verse to In the Beautiful Country (rev. 7/22), we follow Ai Shi Zhang—American name, Anna—and her family in the suburbs of Los Angeles as they struggle to carve out a...

Review of Maribel’s Year

Maribel’s Year by Michelle Sterling; illus. by Sarah GonzalesPrimary    Tegen/HarperCollins    40 pp.5/23    9780063114357    $19.99Maribel shares her journey through her first year as a newcomer to the United States. This picture book begins by depicting a stark contrast of differences: the cold, isolating foreignness of her new home versus the warm,...

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