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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog The Boy in the Black Suit
by Jason Reynolds

School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Matt's mother just died, and his dad isn't coping well, hanging out with the local drunk and downing whiskey, which results in his getting hit by a car and landing in the hospital. Matt is also grieving his mom's death and now he's on his own, until he lands a job at the local funeral home: $15 an hour and Mr. Ray as his boss. Attending other people's funerals helps the teen come to grips with his own grief. Hearing mourners express their real thoughts of suffering at each funeral allows Matt to figure out his own feelings. Mr. Ray is wise and shows up at all the right times to help out the struggling young man, and when Mr. Ray's secrets come to light, he appears even cooler in Matt's eyes. Amid all this, Matt meets Lovey, the girl of his dreams, who is smart, funny, gorgeous, and tough. A mystery intersecting Lovey's life and that ofMatt's best friend, Chris, deepens the plot. Written in a breezy style with complex characters who have real lives, this is another hit for Reynolds, fresh off the success of his When I Was the Greatest (S. & S., 2014). The author's seemingly effortless writing shines in this slice-of-life story, which covers a lot of the protagonist's emotional ground. The realistic setting and character-driven tale keeps readers turning the pages of this winner.-Amy Cheney, Alameda County Library, San Leandro, CA (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog The Party and Other Stories
by Sergio Ruzzier

School Library Journal PreS-Gr 2-This easy reader-style picture book is actually three stories in one and stars two lovable and very different best friends. In "The Party," Fox is trying to read while Chick repeatedly interrupts him and requests to use his bathroom, where he proceeds to throw a raucous shindig with some other party animals. In "Good Soup," Fox digs in his garden accompanied by an indignant Chick who reminds Fox at each turn that he is supposed to be a carnivore, not a veggie-lover. In a fun twist, Chick eventually remembers that foxes are also "supposed" to eat little birds, and is glad that his friend breaks the norm. Finally in "Sit Still," Fox is painting a landscape when Chick buzzes by and offers to sit for a portrait. Chick has a long list of needs that prevent him from being able to pose, so Fox happily paints the landscape after all. In each story, Chick is the comic relief to Fox's straight man. Chick takes everything literally, while Fox plays the role of grumpy, but secretly genial, next-door neighbor. Pleasant and cartoonish pastel panels add to this enjoyable read. In the tradition of Frog and Toad and Elephant and Piggie, Fox and Chick will feel right at home in company of these other friendship tales. VERDICT Simple vocabulary, dialogue-only text, and situational comedy make this a winning choice as a confidence booster for children just learning to read. Recommended for picture book collections.-Lauren Younger, formerly at NYPL Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list Ruzzier kicks off a new picture-book series with this charmer, blending graphic-novel and early-reader conventions for young readers not quite ready to tackle chapter books. Adopting an odd-couple formula, the book's three short stories follow practical Fox and unpredictable Chick think Rabbit and Tigger through misunderstandings that challenge their friendship but never derail it. In The Party, Chick asks to use Fox's bathroom but neglects to mention he'd like to use it for a party. Needless to say, Fox isn't pleased. Chick's persistent questioning of Fox's vegetarian preferences comically backfires in Good Soup when he points out that foxes should eat things like moles and little birds. The final story, Sit Still, opens outside with Fox painting the landscape, but the serene scene is once more interrupted by Chick, whose desire to have his portrait painted is pitted against his inability to hold a pose. Painted in candy-hued watercolors with all text rendered in speech balloons or as sound effects, these humorous stories highlight how patience and understanding can make even the most unlikely friendships work.--Smith, Julia Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Ruzzier (This Is Not a Picture Book!) kicks off a new comics-style early-chapter series, drawn with panels and dialogue balloons and starring an animal odd couple. Fox is an even-tempered reader, cook, and artist; Chick is a pain in the neck. In the first and funniest chapter, Chick asks Fox if he may use his bathroom, and then proceeds to throw a party in it (the "CRASH! THUD! SPLASH!" tips off Fox). Chapter two gets a little dark as Chick, who initially criticizes the vegetarian Fox for not being "a real fox," suddenly realizes that his soup-making friend is actually doing him a favor by not eating him. Chapter three centers on Chick's inability to sit still for a portrait. The root of their friendship remains an enigma-why does Fox tolerate such an annoying friend? But there's an easygoing, reassuring rhythm to the storytelling, and the simple text and sunny colors should engage nascent readers. Ages 5-8. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog The Guest List
by Lucy Foley

Library Journal Foley (The Hunting Party) outdoes herself again with this page-turning thriller; it's like experiencing Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express and And Then There Were None rolled into one. A wedding taking place between an ambitious magazine publisher and a reality television star on an isolated island off the coast of Ireland, with friends and family in attendance. They all have secrets, and it only takes a few days of drinking games, isolation, and resentments to bring every murky feeling to the surface. The island and the ancient folly where the wedding party stays are themselves characters, adding to the feeling of almost supernatural mystery and the unease that something is lurking in the shadows and getting ready to strike. VERDICT Only a handful of thriller writers can accomplish what Foley does here: weave a complex plot from the perspectives of eight characters plus an omniscient narrator without causing confusion or reader exhaustion when the plot bounces from one person to the next. Fans of Christie, Louise Penny, and Ruth Rendell will absolutely love this book, which doesn't reveal its secrets until the very last page. [See Prepub Alert, 11/25/19.]—Adriana Delgado, West Palm Beach, FL

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Set on a remote island off the Irish coast where a massacre once occurred, this entertaining if uneven mystery from Foley (The Hunting Party) opens just after the high-profile wedding of Will Slater, the star of the reality TV show Survive the Night, and Julia Keegan, an online magazine editor. During the reception, the lights go out, prompting a “scream of terror,” which turns out to have come from a server, who reports having seen a lot of blood. Flashbacks from various perspectives, including the bride and her sister, the maid of honor, recount what preceded the server’s grim discovery—a body. Meanwhile, Julia is on edge after having received an anonymous note warning her not to marry Will, because he’s not who he seems. Foley defers disclosing the murder victim’s identity until quite late, but she undercuts the suspense with obvious indications of who it is. The tension of the setup isn’t quite matched by the reveals, though the nicely creepy setting compensates somewhat. Readers seeking thrills will find plenty. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, ICM Partners. (May)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list This is one guest list no one would want to be on, just as no one would have wanted an invitation to the New Year's Eve party in Foley's previous novel, The Hunting Party (2019). Lives unravel amid the revelry on an eerie and remote island as family and friends assemble for a glam wedding in an updated Murder on the Orient Express. Each of the principal characters has a reason to want one of their number dead. The narcissistic bride, the unstable bridesmaid, the odd wedding planner and her husband, the resentful plus-one, the groom and his former schoolmates, with “something dark and cruel hiding behind the schoolboy manners,” who are revealed to be a pack of sadistic bullies. By the time the worst of them is found murdered, readers will not be sorry and might, in a Christie moment, have wanted to kill her or him themselves. At times the story threatens to overwhelm itself with a bit too much ominous darkness and “anxious distraction,” but fans of the genre will enjoy the proceedings, imagining just how good that sumptuous wedding cake might have tasted.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Book list This is one guest list no one would want to be on, just as no one would have wanted an invitation to the New Year's Eve party in Foley's previous novel, The Hunting Party (2019). Lives unravel amid the revelry on an eerie and remote island as family and friends assemble for a glam wedding in an updated Murder on the Orient Express. Each of the principal characters has a reason to want one of their number dead. The narcissistic bride, the unstable bridesmaid, the odd wedding planner and her husband, the resentful plus-one, the groom and his former schoolmates, with “something dark and cruel hiding behind the schoolboy manners,” who are revealed to be a pack of sadistic bullies. By the time the worst of them is found murdered, readers will not be sorry and might, in a Christie moment, have wanted to kill her or him themselves. At times the story threatens to overwhelm itself with a bit too much ominous darkness and “anxious distraction,” but fans of the genre will enjoy the proceedings, imagining just how good that sumptuous wedding cake might have tasted.

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

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