Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams

Mirror Girls by Kelly McWilliams
Publisher: Hachette
Imprint: Little, Brown and Company
Release date: February 8, 2022
ISBN: 9780759553873

After the death of their grandmothers, two biracial twins, one who appears black and one who has been passing as white, are reunited in Jim Crow Georgia. Nana’s dying wish is to be buried back home in Georgia so civil rights activist Charlie leaves Harlem to return to her familial roots, the place where her parents were killed. Magnolia was raised as a white southern belle but as her grandmother lies dying she reveals a family secret – Magnolia is biracial. As she learns the truth a powerful curse is unleashed and Magnolia can no longer see herself in mirrors.  Surrounded by the ghosts of dead slaves and murdered family members, the girls must break the curse that has the power to kill them and confront the racism that tries to tear them apart.

This is a short book but encompasses multiple genres – gothic fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction. Dark subjects are offset by the growing love between the sisters and their unbreakable family bond. Magnolia and Charlie are polar opposites but help each other grow in strength and compassion. The short chapters keep the reader engaged with plenty of action and dialogue. 

This title is good for readers looking for entry level fantasy and readers who want something a little spooky but not too scary. The Cost of Knowing by Brittany Morris, In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton are wonderful readalikes.

Cathy DeCampli

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.