Rock Star

illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton. 96p. (Jada Jones). Penguin Workshop. Sept. 2017. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9780448487519.
Gr 1–3—Jada Jones is a fourth grader who loves rocks. In this installment, Jada's best friend and fellow rock lover has moved, and Jada is struggling with making new friends. Her hopes are brightened considerably when her teacher informs the class that they will be working on a science project about rocks and minerals. At first, things do not go well because Jada is working with two girls who are best friends. Simone is afraid that Jada will steal her BFF. Eventually, the girls work out their differences, become friends, and present a project of "awesome" rock stars. Though the plot is familiar, it is one that early elementary students will relate to and enjoy. The main characters are what set this title apart in the chapter book field: they are all girls of color who love science. Readers who love "Ivy and Bean" or "Katie Woo" will want to meet Jada Jones.
VERDICT With a nice balance of friendship, drama, and the much-needed representation of girls of color who revel in scientific pursuits, this is a strong purchase for most collections.

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