|Amari and the night brothers (Supernatural investigations)|
Author: Alston, B. B.
Thirteen-year-old Amari, a poor Black girl from the projects, gets an invitation from her missing brother to join the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs and join in the fight against an evil magician.
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 11/01/2020 Gr 3–7—Amari Peters is a young Black girl who believes her brother Quinton is alive, even if no one else does. Everything is going wrong and she just got expelled from school, but something exciting is about to happen. Amari, as recommended by her brother, joins a summer camp at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. She starts to learn a special skill all her own, and discovers magical creatures exist (fairies, aliens, and magicians, to name a few) that the Bureau must protect from average people. Readers follow Amari as she navigates a new magical world, hones her skills, and searches for her brother who was attempting to track down the Night Brothers—a mysterious band of magical criminals. This series debut is sure to be a hit with late elementary students and middle graders who are fans of "Harry Potter," "Percy Jackson," and the Men in Black movies. There are a lot of diverse characters who will be relatable to all kids. Amari is tough, smart, kind, and very likeable. The plot doesn't shy away from depictions of racism and discrimination, which may provide necessary, thoughtful discussion topics for classrooms and families. VERDICT This story is action-packed with no fluff; a magical world readers will want to visit, blended with contemporary themes. An excellent middle grade fantasy that will attract an immediate fan base and leave kids eager for more.—Maeve Dodds, Charlotte Mecklenburg Lib., NC - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 11/01/2020 *Starred Review* Ever since her big brother, Quinton, disappeared six months ago, life’s been hard for Amari—especially staying out of trouble at her fancy private school. But when a strange delivery arrives, containing a way-too-real vision of Quinton and a world more akin to a fantasy film than real life, it’s hard to tell if Amari is dreaming or straight losing her mind. As the vision comes to an end, Amari is left with an invitation to join a summer internship at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs and a glimmer of hope—crazy or not, this opportunity might be her chance to find Quinton and bring him home! Thrust into a world of magic, technology, and mysticism, the fortitudinous Amari, alongside Elsie, her new best friend and yet-to-shift dragon, leads readers through a plot to save Quinton and his partner, Marie. Amari and Elsie don't face an easy path, however, as new and old issues surrounding fitting in, friendship, and loyalty arise, stirring feelings of mistrust and self-doubt. Fast-paced adventure and cutthroat pre-adolescent contempt make for a delightfully challenging journey here, particularly considering the ways that Alston frames Amari’s racial and economic experiences as a Black girl as the root of her strong-willed nature and spirit of integrity. It’s a good thing this book is the first of a series, because readers will be sorely disappointed when it ends. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.