Map of Flames

Putnam. (­Forgotten Five: Bk. 1). Feb. 2022. 384p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593325407.
Gr 3-7–Birdie and Brix, along with Tenner, Cabot, and Seven, once lived with their parents in the city of Estero. They all are supernaturals, like their parents, with powers plucked from the animal kingdom, such as camouflage and night vision. When the city condemned the use of superpowers and labeled them criminals, the families fled for safety to an island far away from civilization. While the children were still very young, all but Birdie and Brix’s dad left to confront their mislabeled reputations. That was 15 years ago, and no one has heard from them since. As far as the kids know, their parents are dead. While still grappling with this abandonment, the five kids face a new dilemma—the death of the remaining parental figure in their lives, Birdie and Brix’s dad, and a note that directs Birdie to find a secret map and deliver it to her mother in Estero. Though told to keep this mission a secret, Birdie is forced to share this new information with the other supernaturals so they can join forces and help uncover the surprising truth behind their parents’ disappearance in the unfamiliar, modern city of Estero. This new series blends science fiction with the animal kingdom, highlighting incredible feats of nature alongside a compelling quest to survive.
VERDICT Middle graders seeking a new twist on science fiction and superpower heroism will find this fast-paced first installment the answer to their search.

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