Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2024) Featured Review: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen

  • The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
  • by Issac Blum
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Imprint: Philomel Books
  • Release Date: September 13, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780593525821

Hoodie moves to a small Philly suburb with his family and members of their Orthodox Jewish community. It’s culture shock for the residents and for Hoodie, who has never had close contact with non-Jewish people. With the mayor leading the charge against her newest neighbors, Hoodie befriends her daughter, Anna-Marie, much to the horror of his family and community. As they try to maintain their rocky friendship, the tension in town boils over leading to horrifying outcomes.

Hoodie’s amusing inner and outer dialogue bring levity and laughs to a serious story. The ripped from the headlines events are understandable to readers and perfectly portray how situations can quickly become volatile in the age of social media. Hoodie and Anna-Marie are polar opposites yet they both struggle with the confines placed on them by their parents and seek to find a balance that works for them.

Hand this to readers interested in issues-oriented stories and fans of In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton and Color Me In by Natasha Diaz

-Cathy DeCampli

Other Nominated Titles

Release Date: November 8, 2022

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.

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.

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