Reviews of the Week: Phil Knight, Jason Reynolds, Sarah J. Maas, and More

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 May 2–6 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.

Shoe DogMonday May 2

Shoe Dog, by Phil Knight

“How long do you think you’re going to keep jackassing around with these shoes?” That’s what Phil Knight’s father said in 1964, when his 26-year-old son asked for money to help pay for $1,000 worth of Tiger running shoes, manufactured by a Japanese company that improbably had agreed to make Knight its West Coast distributor (it helped that Knight’s partner in the venture was legendary University of Oregon track coach Bill Bowerman, whose wife had written Knight a check for $500 from her Christmas fund).

As Brave As YouTuesday May 3

As Brave As You, by Jason Reynolds

Reynolds’ first foray into middle-grade fiction follows the path of other stellar writers like Christopher Paul Curtis and Rita Williams-Garcia, who have brought their young protagonists home to meet the family. Our narrator is 11-year-old Genie, a worrier from Brooklyn who’s headed, along with his older brother, Ernie, to his grandparents’ home in backwoods Virginia. There’s culture shock aplenty (no Internet, no TV), plus the more visceral earthquake of learning Grandpop is blind.


A Court of Mist and FuryWednesday May 4

A Court of Mist and Fury, by Sarah J. Maas

Once-human Feyre and her faerie lover Tamlin bested the wicked Amarantha in A Court of Thorns and Roses(2015), but a happy ending this is not. Feyre, traumatized and guilt-ridden over all she experienced, struggles to regain her sense of self, while Tamlin grows both more protective and more constricting. Making matters worse is the bargain Feyre made with enigmatic Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

Being JazzThursday May 5

Being Jazz, by Jazz Jennings

A memoir at the age of 15? Yes, if you happen to be Jazz Jennings, arguably the most well-known trans teen in America and the subject of the reality show I Am Jazz. Though born a boy, Jazz knew from the time she could form a coherent thought that she was a girl. Officially diagnosed at age 3 with what was then called Gender Identity Disorder, Jazz—thanks to extraordinarily supportive parents—began to come out at age 5.



The Trouble with Goats and SheepFriday May 6

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, by Joanna Cannon

During the hot English summer of 1976, Margaret Creasy goes missing, bewildering her husband, John, and worrying her neighbors. Some said it was because of the heat, but 10-year-old Gracie Bennett, who lives two doors down from the Creasys’ house, thinks otherwise. After talking to the local vicar, Gracie and her best friend, Tilly, go looking for God, to make sure everyone is safe and to bring Mrs. Creasy back.





About the Author:

Sarah Grant is the Marketing Associate for Booklist. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Grant.

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