Operation Sisterhood

Crown. Jan. 2022. 320p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780593379899.
Gr 3-7–Eleven-year-old Bo and her mother have always been a team: inventing recipes, planning trips to Lagos, and building community in their tight-knit apartment building in the Bronx. However, everything changes when Mum falls in love with Bill, a kind bookstore owner who seems to make her happier than Bo has ever seen. In a whirlwind, Bo and her mum move into a historic brownstone in Harlem filled with a menagerie of animals and new family members, including a talkative stepsister, Sunday, and the twins, Lee and Lil. Instead of public school, the kids spend their days in rigorous self-guided inquiry, project-based learning, and independent trips to local museums and monuments. Bo has to learn to share her formerly very organized space for the first time—and toughest of all—she has to share her mom. Bo’s growth throughout the plot is gentle, heartfelt, and sure to resonate with young readers who also have blended families, and who prefer subtle conflicts more than high stakes drama. Rhuday-Perkovich authentically explores the anxiety and grief that comes with major life changes while also celebrating the positives: that change often brings growth and that learning to share can ultimately make a life even bigger than before. All of the main characters are Black.
VERDICT This eclectic celebration of Black joy, community, learning, and sisterhood is perfect for fans of Kelly Yang or Aisha Saeed.

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