Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from January 19–22 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Tuesday January 19
Horrible Bear!, by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora
Hoping to retrieve her kite, a girl with frizzy red hair reaches into sleeping Bear’s cave just as he rolls over, inadvertently crushing it beneath him. “Horrible Bear!” she shrieks and then stomps home to scribble, kick, and (accidentally) rip the ear off her stuffed bunny. Meanwhile, Bear is indignant over being so rudely awakened, and he is bent on revenge. He practices barging and making a ruckus, eventually stomping down the mountain to the girl’s house, rawr-ing all the way.
Wednesday January 20
The Hollow Boy, by Jonathan Stroud and read by Emily Bevan
British actor Bevan shines in her narration of Stroud’s third title in the Lockwood and Co. series, told from the viewpoint of 18-year-old Lucy, who works with investigators Anthony and George to try and solve mysterious, ghostly hauntings in the Chelsea region of London. Into the mix comes a new assistant, Holly, whose overly efficient manner, fastidiousness, and seemingly false sincerity annoy Lucy to no end.
Thursday January 21
Saving Alex, by Alex Cooper and Joanna Brooks
When 15-year-old Alex comes out, her devout Mormon parents send her to an unlicensed residential facility in southern Utah that promises to “cure” her. The married couple who run the facility out of their home have no therapeutic or counseling training, and they physically and emotionally abuse Alex. When she tries to escape, for example, she is punched, beaten with a belt, and made to stand for hours at a time facing a wall and wearing a backpack filled with rocks.
Friday January 22
When Falcons Fall, by C. S. Harris
Harris’ talent for character development, polished prose, and accurate, Regency-era details makes this eleventh—or any of the previous 10—an easy starting point for newcomers to the Sebastian St. Cyr series. The first line is a fabulously evocative hook: “It was the fly that got to him.” And idiomatic turns of phrase, like “cast up his accounts,” transport readers into the period. In this puzzler, St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, visits Ayleswick-on-Teme at a friend’s deathbed request but also to probe a personal matter concerning his ancestry—the source of his mysterious yellow eyes, acute vision, and ability to hear what no one else can.