Winston Chu vs. the Wingmeisters

Disney/Rick Riordan Presents. (Winston Chu: Bk. 2). Feb. 2024. 368p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368075398.
Gr 5 Up–In the second book of Winston Chu’s adventures, the magpie Mr. Gu is trying to take over the city by running for San Francisco’s mayor. Once Winston, Mav, Cassa, Bijal, Monroe, and Philippa realize that Mr. Gu is putting bird brains into human bodies, they know it’s time to save the world again. With the help of old adversary Mr. Pang (Mr. Gu’s brother) and his oddities store, Pang’s Whimsies, they arm themselves against Mr. Gu and an unexpected accomplice. With a first-person narrative, the novel establishes a self-reflective tone of moving on as grief is being processed and change has begun, which in return inspires hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel. As each side quest is completed to achieve the overall goal of defeating Mr. Gu, Winston discovers what type of person and friend he wants to be while overcoming his own pride and anger. There are references to Chinese and Senegalese cultural traditions by way of food and mythology.
VERDICT A rollicking sequel that focuses on friendship, grief, and overcoming your fears that will appeal to anyone who enjoyed the first book in Lee’s series.

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