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I'm Kellie, an avid reader and school librarian who loves sharing and talking about books.As a middle school librarian I get to spend my days doing just that, while also enjoy discovering the perfect books to share with my friends. Ms. Burke's Books is a continuation of that, a place where I can offer my honest opinions on the books I read and hopefully help match you to your new favorite book!

What To Read Next

Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston


Amari's beloved older brother Quinton disappeared six months ago, without a trace until Amari opens a briefcase he left her and begins her journey into the supernatural world. Nominated by Quinton to attend summer tryouts at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, Amari is introduced to this magical world that coexists with her own and where her brother was secretly working. Convinced that she must pass the tryouts to follow in her brother's footsteps as a junior agent, Amari's plan is thrown off when it's revealed her talent is that of a magician. Illegal  in the supernatural world, magicians are also suspected of recent attacks and of aiding the most powerful magician, Moreau, who was trying to take down the Bureau. Now Amari must not only win one of the junior agent spots and find her brother, but she may hold the key to stopping whatever Moreau is planning next. 

My Thoughts

Amari and the Night Brothers is the first book in a trilogy, which feels like a mix of Men in Black and a diverse Harry Potter.  Amari is at once confident and determined, while also dealing with being bullied and unsure of her power. Issues of class are prominent throughout the book as Amari is a scholarship student at both her private school and at the Bureau. Surrounded by wealthy peers who judge her and make comments regarding where she lives, she is then also ostracized once it's discovered she's a magician. Amari works hard to not internalize what others say about her, actively choosing to believe in herself and do what it takes to find her brother.

The plot is full of action and moves along at a fast pace, which will appeal to a lot of middle grade and younger YA readers. I do wish that Alston would have included more moments of Amari just being a kid, experiencing things without relation to the investigation of her brother. These details may reflect more of myself as a reader as many will probably appreciate the moving plot! 

Overall, a really strong fantasy novel that is entertaining and offers substance to it's adventure.

Book Information

Author: B.B. Alston
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publish Date: January 19, 2021

Genre(s): fantasy
Recommended for: older middle grade/ younger YA
Protagonist Description13 year old female, Black
Trigger Warnings: Not really

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