PAWS: Mindy Makes Some Space

Razorbill. (PAWS: Bk. 2). Nov. 2022. 176p. Tr $20.99. ISBN 9780593351918. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780593351932.
Gr 3-6–Mindy and her best friends Gabby and Priya have fallen into a steady routine with their successful dog walking business, P.A.W.S. But a new classmate, Hazel, and Mindy’s mom’s new boyfriend, Michael, flip Mindy’s world upside down. While her friends are eager to invite Hazel (who uses a wheelchair) into the group, Mindy hesitates out of fear of being replaced. Starting with a short summary of the first volume, this inviting sequel focuses on Mindy’s experiences and could be read as a standalone. The authentic tween voice and expressive character designs make for a gentle, slice-of-life story that touches on some big feelings. The main trio are each BIPOC, while Hazel presents white. While Mindy does exhibit some ableist behavior that peers confront and correct, Hazel’s role in Mindy’s character growth tiptoes toward disability trope.
VERDICT A mostly successful entry in a series that will only grow in popularity

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