I had seen a few years ago that new and interesting avenues of thought, conversation and action opened up when I changed the antagonist of a story into its protagonist. This time, instead of switching to another viewpoint character, I changed the heroine’s family background.
Kristin Wolden Nitz
Coyote Queen (Greenwillow Books, 2023) by Jessica Vitalis is a fascinating story of one girl’s experience with poverty, domestic violence, and magic.
Twelve-year-old Fud, Felicity Ulyssa Dahlers, and her mom have always been on their own. Until Larry. Who makes the rules. And has an uneven temper and is super easy to anger. When the new neighbor girl tells her about a beauty pageant where the prize money is enough to get them away from Larry, Fud knows she has to apply and win.
Read the compelling first line: “Before the coyote stuff happened, I would have told you that magic didn’t exist.”
The story is set in Wyoming where Fud sees, and experiences, coyotes in a very unique way. The book just came out, but already it is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection.
Inspired by some experiences when Jessica was a child, this is her third book. Read about her other books here. And check out her fun facts on Jessica’s about page here.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit.
So Loud! (Annick Press, April 2024) by Sahar Golshan and illustrated by Shiva Delsooz is a book to be put on your to be read list for next spring. (I read an ARC.) It’s funny, charming, and especially important story for little girls who have been told to they’re too loud. (And even for the adult women who were told the same thing.)
Rudabeh, Rudy for short, is too loud. At least that’s what all the adults tell her. But when Rudy turns her volume down like the water in a tap, she doesn’t feel like herself. Rudy’s especially worried that the grandmother she’s meeting for the first time will think she’s too loud like everyone else does.
I love this character so much.
So Loud! is Sahar’s debut picture book. Read about her here and about her other writing here.
Read about Shiva here and check out her portfolio here.