B. B. Alston: Amari and the Night Brothers (Balzer + Bray in HarperCollins Publishers 2022)
Many Thanks to Maxim Kiadó for sending me the book!
What would you say if I told you that all the creatures you’ve read about (goblins, fairies, sea monsters, vampires and vampire hunters) actually exist? You probably didn’t believe it. However, Amari has to believe it when one night she receives a message from her missing brother. Even before he disappeared, Quinton had recommended his sister to the summer camp at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, from which he himself got his scholarship and job. However, Amari has to face the fact that navigating the supernatural world is no easier than ours.
The setting of the story is the American version of the British boarding school: the summer camp. This is also a good location for middle grade stories, because children have to get by without adult help. What I particularly liked about the book is that it shows that escaping to another world does not solve everything. Until now, Amari has been cast out by the rich kids at the school, where the little girl entered with a scholarship. Just when she thinks she can find her place in the supernatural world, it turns out that her ability is illegal. Despite this, the girl can finally make real friends here, while also learning to use her abilities. In the story, we can also get an idea of the discrimination against black people. Amari’s black skin and her special ability are also her important features. I liked that there was a character whose intentions were revealed only at the end.
B. B. Alston’s debut novel was published a year ago and immediately won the Barnes & Noble Children’s and Young Adult Book Award. Since then, it has reached more than 30 countries. The book was published in Hungary this year. I really liked it in English, and I was curious about it in Hungarian as well. The sequel is coming in April in the United States. The film rights of the series were bought by Universal Pictures. A must read for those who love Harry Potter and Nevermoor!
The book was published in the United States with a realistic cover by Godwin Akpan, which I have in the OwlCrate JR exclusive edition, which is more purplish than the original, but I am glad that the Hungarian edition is decorated with the work of Britanny Jackson from the British cover.