Hello and thanks for visiting the blog. Up next: my first review of 2021! I hope it makes you want to pick up this one and starts off your reading year on a happy note (if you haven’t already! I know some of you book fiends are already on track with your Storygraph/Goodreads yearly challenges, you).
Today I’m joining the blog tour for a very special book, a 2021 debut with a lot of punch in it, Amari and the Night Brothers by B B Alston. My warm thanks to Dave @ The Write Reads and Egmont Books for my spot on the tour and for the ARC. Note: Because it’s an ARC, some content and quotes featured in my review might not make it to final publication.
Be sure to follow the tour along, as The Write Reads’ ultimate blog tours are always humongous and filled with awesome bloggers! You can check out the tour’s progress on the main The Write Reads twitter, The Write Reads on Tour’s twitter, or by following the hashtags #AmariAndTheNightBrothers, #AmariPeters, and #NominationDetected.
Scroll down to read my review and know more about the next big series in MG fiction!
Cover & Details
Published: Egmont Books (21 Jan, 2021) | Genre(s): Fantasy, Paranormal, Science Fantasy | Series: Supernatural Investigations #1
When a young girl receives a mysterious package from her missing brother, she uncovers a secret magical world. Motivated to find her brother, Amari embarks on a magical journey as she enrolls in a secret supernatural school. But more than sentient elevators and weredragons hide in this new world…Amari will have to contend with much more personal stakes if she hopes to survive the year.
Four words: Mysterious, touching, imaginative, nostalgic
Match with readers who love:
🔮 Series that grow with the reader;
🔮 Involving worlds, both magical and modern;
🔮 Magical schools;
🔮 MG with a fantastic mc;
🔮 Supportive parents/tutors;
🔮 Talking elevators;
🔮 Snark and fun moments paired with touching reality.
Review this way…or is it?
Don’t fret, it really is. I just wanted to start my review with a cheeky reference to one of the funniest moments in the book, which made me actually lol and not lol in that dry online sense :p
Fun is something aplenty in Amari and the Night Brothers, the first magical adventure in a series that promises a magical journey within every book. It’s one of those first books that really leaves room for a fantastic MG series that can grow with its reader and accompany them from childhood to adulthood!
B B Alston has built a world that transported me to my precious childhood adventures, reminding me of my favorite magical reads from a time I hold very dear. It had me thinking fondly of Henry H. Neff’s The Tapestry series, mixed in with a healthy dose of Star Wars and Men in Black. Talk about wild comps, right?
But the author goes further than that by creating a world entirely its own! Much of that is achieved through an incredible main character that really shows us that sometimes children make the best teachers. There’s a special nuance to the story as well as a fun and supportive cast of characters who helps Amari fight against prejudice and bullying.
Amari’s quest to find her brother throws us into a magical world where the supernatural abounds; gods, mummies, talking elevators, dark prisons for dark magicians, and even, naturally, magical social media. The Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, both a magical academy and a secret administrative workplace, is such a fun world to unravel that I’m sure every kid will keep their nose glued to the page, laughing and enjoying every moment. There’re all the imaginative quirks of a completely new world (like cosmic seances, magical carpets, and rooms hiding secrets of the universe) while still managing to make it current to the experiences of younger audiences.
Alongside relatable and exciting moments to share in, the book features a world where ever kid has their own kind of magic, literally!
This truly made me think how special this story is and how much I love the messages contained within its pages. Every kid reading this one will be assured that there’s something magical inside them that can’t be snuffed out, not by adversity, not by circumstances, not by anyone else.
Being the Black girl from a poor neighborhood at a snobby, rich-kid school, Amari’s life was never an easy one. But when she throws herself into her objectives with fervor and claw (we call that “garra” in my language, a ravenous fury to succeed), whether it be finding her missing brother or acing a magical exam where she puts on a kickass pair of flying shoes, she will literally bring out the magic around her and discover and achieve things she never even thought possible.
Her love for her family is what gives her this fire and I loved that we get to read amazing supportive parents/tutors in children’s fiction 😁 She’s an amazing kid that fosters kindness, acceptance, and thus bravery, even as she lives with her own grief, anger, and resentment. I loved that she was all of those things, effortlessly. She made me shed tears more than a couple times.
All of this made Amari and the Night Brothers an excellent story with all the best of books for younger audiences. There’s magic, wonder, and among that, there’s the harshness of a world that tries its best to make kids grow up too fast, too young. But above that, there’s an incredible story of resilience, unity, community, and the power there is in believing in yourself. What more could a kid need?
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Connect with B B Alston
B. B. Alston lives in Lexington, SC. Amari and the Night Brothers is his debut middle grade novel. When not writing, he can be found eating too many sweets and exploring country roads to see where they lead.
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