I’m coming at you today with a book review. Book reviews are something that I want to start doing on my site. It’s no secret that I love books! I’m a writer, an English teacher and I’m a bookworm. It’s actually something that I’ve come to embrace about myself and I’m so happy to have found a community in which I can share my love of books.
So, to kick things off, here’s my first book review! I read Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston. I heard some pretty good things from others with this book and I was excited to read it and add it to my classroom library. I actually did a first chapter friday (in which i read the first chapter of books to my students on Fridays to get them interested in books) and it hadn’t arrived in the mail yet! I was that excited for it.
Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alone. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good. So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet containing a nomination for a summer try-out at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real. Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense scrutiny and doubt—especially once her own supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal”. With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.
I enjoyed it! I do think that it is great for middle grades and maybe older reluctant students to read. It’s a thick book but its really quick paced. The chapters aren’t too long for them to read. Some parts of the book to be honest were a little annoying just for the simple fact that I love following the rules and I’ve been that way since I can remember so to see Amari be so stubborn annoyed me a little but there is a quote out there that says “well behaved women seldom make history”.
I could identify with where she felt like she didn’t know where to belong. I love a good underdog motif and this gave me it. Especially as a young black girl ( or any minority to be honest) always feeling like people misjudge you or don’t think you deserve certain things is rough. They don’t know how hard you have to work for something thats just given to them. Amari went to a good school and had to deal with mean girls who called her all types of horrible names because she was black and from a rough neighborhood. I had to deal with mean girls in college who felt like I didn’t deserve to be there and was looked down upon so I can definitely understand where she came from with that. That is just really important for kids to see in books. Like I always say, representation matters.
The writing itself was great. He did a great job with building the world like I can envision the scenes as they were happening. It kind of low key reminded me of Men in Black because where normal people would just see a person, through magic eyes (eye drops she put in her eyes) they were actual creatures and aliens. Some of the different “jobs” that I would’ve been interested in was like maybe the dream one with good omens or bad omens. It just seemed like a pretty cool place to work. I know some people would be like magic, shouldn’t that remind you of Harry Potter and a little it does! But that aspect of deceiving the eye reminded me of Men in Black.
All in all, I’d give it a 4/5! To check it out, check out local bookstores, libraries, Target or Amazon.
What books have you read lately? I’m always on the lookout for more!