HarperCollins/Quill Tree. Mar. 2022. 208p. Tr $22.99. ISBN 9780062741165; pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780062741158.
Gr 5-8–Zuli, a Black child and the only one of her kind, lives in a sacred tree that holds the souls of birds that have died and are waiting to be reborn. Zuli was raised with love by the Wings, the guardians of birds’ souls, who taught her to work with them. The birds’ souls tell her their stories as she helps them move on, which always makes her wonder where she came from and what the world is like beyond the tree. One day, everything changes—birds are dying, but their souls aren’t returning to the tree to be reborn. The Wings, ever protective of Zuli, reluctantly let her leave the safety of the tree to find out what’s happening. She encounters mystical creatures, frightening situations, and surprising revelations about her origins. Zuli’s companion, Frowly the owl, adds some humor to this dramatic story. Liu (Monstress) creates a dreamy, thrilling narrative. Issakhanian’s artwork is the perfect complement to the story; the illustrations are gorgeous, the facial expressions dynamic, and color deftly depicts the ethereal spirit worlds, contrasted with the more dramatic worlds and creatures Zuli visits.
VERDICT This beautifully rendered tale of searching, mystery, and danger will appeal to fantasy readers who enjoy stories of adventure and discovery.

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