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Reviews of the Week, with Sonali Dev, Tae Keller, Fiona Mozley, 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 December 11–15 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.


Monday, December 11A Distant Heart by Sonali Dev

 A Distant Heart, by Sonali Dev

In the past, a rare immunodeficiency confines Kimi to her germ-free bedroom. Her only friend, Rahul, pays off a debt to her father by washing windows and tutoring Kimi, trying to maintain an emotional distance from the sick girl with the doe-like eyes. In the present, Kimi lives a normal life after multiple treatments and a heart transplant until Rahul, now a police officer, informs her that the leader of a black-market organ ring is targeting her. Thrilling action sequences and a complex, weighty romance propel this smart, sensitive story.



Tuesday, December 12Together We Rise by the Women's March Organizers

 Together We Rise, by The Women’s March Organizers

In the year since the Women’s March on Washington (and simultaneous marches around the globe), the organizers of the historic event have come together to share their experiences and the lessons they’ve learned in the time since Donald Trump’s inauguration. This book is a collection of photos and oral histories that expertly blends the larger-than-life power of the movement and small-scale moments shared among the women in charge.


Wednesday, December 13The Great Dictionary Caper by Judy Sierra

 The Great Dictionary Caper, by Judy Sierra

“Words can get bored. They sit in the dictionary, day in, day out,” begins this delightful picture book from Sierra, depicting what happens when dictionary words break free from their pages and have a parade. It’s all fun and word games, but in the process, readers will also get a tidy lesson in linguistic concepts, like onomatopoeia and contractions. Each concept is exemplified and playfully portrayed by animated, anthropomorphized words and their accoutrements.


Thursday, December 14Elmet by Fiona Mozley

 Elmet, by Fiona Mozley

Shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker Prize, Mozley’s preternaturally accomplished debut novel is a riveting and disquieting fable of a family reaching back to life’s essentials and embracing nature’s beauty, abundance, and challenges, yet remaining caught in the perpetual twist of human good and evil. In pristinely gorgeous and eviscerating prose, Mozley, who chimes with Hannah Tinti, Lydia Millet, and Daniel Woodrell, sets ablaze a suspenseful family tragedy stoked by social critique, escalated by men’s violence against women, and darkly veined with elements of country noir.


Friday, December 15The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller

 The Science of Breakable Things, by Tae Keller

Natalie’s hashtag-loving seventh-grade science teacher, Mr. Neely, encourages his students to tackle long-term projects using the scientific method, which is how Natalie and her BFF Twig enter the classic egg-drop contest. But Natalie is also undertaking a more personal science experiment, trying to bring her botanist mother out of depression. She’s convinced the $500 prize for Operation Egg will provide the funds to fly Mom to New Mexico to see the Cobalt Blue Orchid, a flower that thrives in the harshest conditions, and everything will go back to normal again.



About the Author:

Enobong Essien is Booklist's first international intern, coming all the way from across the pond. Her favorite 'procrastinate from studying' activities include: reading, writing, crocheting and taking note of all the ways Americans are different than Brits.

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