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Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor
Akissi: Tales of Mischief by Marguerite Abouet
All Ducks Are Birds: But, Not All Birds Are Ducks by Tara Michele Zrinski
Arsenic and Old Books by Miranda James
BLAME! MASTER EDITION 1 by Tsutomu Nihei
City of Orphans by Avi
Crush by Svetlana Chmakova
Death on the Page by Essie Lang
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 4 by Ryoko Kui
The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson
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Freezer I'll Shoot by Victoria Hamilton
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I'm Sad by Michael Ian Black and Debbie Ridpath Ohi
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If I Had a Little Dream by Nina Laden and Melissa Castrillón
The Killings at Badger's Drift by Caroline Graham
Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan
Marriage of Unconvenience by Chelsea M. Cameron
The Mother of Black Hollywood: A Memoir by Jenifer Lewis
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Paladin's Grace by T. Kingfisher
Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm
The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright
This is London by Miroslav Sasek
Turtle Under Ice by Juleah del Rosario
We Unleash the Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia
You Are Never Alone by Elin Kelsey and Soyeon Kim

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February 2020 Sources
February 2020 Summary
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 02)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 09)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 16)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 23)
It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (March 30)

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City of Orphans: 03/27/20

City of Orphans

City of Orphans by Avi is set in New York City in 1893, five years before the consolidation of the five boroughs. Maks Geless is a newsie, supporting his family by selling papers. He has Bruno and the Pug Ugly gang to contend with. He can usually avoid them but that all changes when he befriends an orphan girl who then beats up Bruno in self defense.

Meanwhile, Maks's sister is jailed, accused of stealing from a guest at the hotel where she works. Convinced that it's a con job, Maks does everything he can to free his sister, including hiring an ailing lawyer and decides to do one last trial pro bono.

It's a tightly plotted story with no character or scene being wasted. There are times when Maks's narration, talking right to reader, gets in the way of the flow.

For me, what kept me reading more than anything else was Willa's story. She's been living in an alley since her mother died and her father left her. She's street smart and brave in ways that Maks isn't.

Willa's story also puts this novel into the road narrative spectrum. She is an orphan traveler (FF) — and quite possibly a literal one. Her goal or destination is to find a new home (66). Her route is the Blue Highway — or put more precisely, the streets of New York. Put altogether, it's the tale of an orphan finding a new home via the Blue Highways.

Four stars

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