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The Archer at Dawn by Swati Teerdhala
Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Breaking the Mould by Victoria Hamilton
Cast Iron Alibi by Victoria Hamilton
Cleopatra in Space: Fallen Empires by Mike Maihack
Curse of the Were-wiener by Ursula Vernon
Delicious in Dungeon, Volume 5 by Ryoko Kui
The Do-Over by Jennifer Honeybourn
Drawing Lessons by Patricia Sands
Grand Theft Horse by G. Neri and Corban Wilkin (Illustrations)
Here Comes the Body by Maria DiRico and Devon Sorvari
Hot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan
(Im)perfectly Happy by Sharina Harris
To Kill a Mocking Girl by Harper Kincaid
Love & Other Curses by Michael Thomas Ford
My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson
Not Like the Movies by Kerry Winfrey
The Pawful Truth by Miranda James
See You On a Starry Night by Lisa Schroeder
Six Cats a Slayin' by Miranda James and Erin Bennett
Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst and Paula Garner
Sun and Moon Have a Tea Party by Yumi Heo
These Witches Don't Burn by Isabel Sterling
The 13 Clocks by James Thurber
This is Edinburgh by Miroslav Sasek
The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez by Adrianna Cuevas
Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed by Laurie Halse Anderson
Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear and Esme Shapiro (Illustrations)
You Brought Me the Ocean by Alex Sanchez and Julie Maroh
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

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Trouble the Saints: 08/15/20

Trouble the Saints

Trouble the Saints by Alaya Dawn Johnson is set in New York on the cusp of the United States's entry into WWII. Phyllis is an assassin driven by prophetic dreams tied to reading the cards. She wants out of the business and a quiet life with her boyfriend Dev, and their mutual friend, Tamara.

This novel has a similar narrative structure to her earlier book, The Summer Prince (2013) but with a vastly different setting. Where one was a futuristic, matriarchal Brazil, this is Harlem and Queens. The first part is told from Phyllis's point of view, the second from Dev's, and the final one from Tamara.

Beyond the magical aspect, Trouble the Saints is an examination of institutionalized racism. Phyllis can pass as white, something she uses to her advantage when she's working as an assassin. Dev, can too, to some degree. But together they can't. Their child probably won't be able to. While there are gun and knife fights, it's the difficult decisions the three characters have to make on the personal level is where the most compelling conflict lies.

Five stars

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