Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

Girl on Fire
by Alicia Keys
Publisher: Harper Collins
Imprint: Harper Alley
Release date: March 1, 2022
ISBN: 9780063029569

Lolo Wright’s life is pretty ordinary.  She may live in the Monroe Housing Projects with her father, brother, and maternal grandmother, but she’s going places.  She’s taking AP courses and doing well in school, and sure, she misses her mother, but she doesn’t lack love.  She’s just keeping her head down until she graduates.  It’s not until she and her brother are accosted by a pair of cops in a case of mistaken identity and her brother is roughed up that she discovers she has an untapped superpower. Faced with temptations to use that power on bullies, she manages to keep it in check until the neighborhood drug dealer wants to use her abilities to protect his drug and “protection” businesses.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Other Boys by Damian Alexander

Other Boys by Damien Alexander
First Second
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
ISBN: 9781250222824

Damien is a gay seventh grader at a new school accustomed to being bullied for not being like “other boys.” His home life is less than ideal, and he has always experienced bullying from family and classmates because of the things he enjoys that are considered “girly,” like dolls. He also prefers the company of girls, which makes other boys target him for bullying even more so. Things only become more confusing for Damian when he begins having crushes on boys, even though they’re almost all mean to him.

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