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And Then, Boom! by Lisa Fipps
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And Then, Boom!

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And Then, Boom! by Lisa Fipps
Hardcover $17.99
May 07, 2024 | ISBN 9780593406328

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    May 07, 2024 | ISBN 9780593406328 | Middle Grade (10 and up)

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  • May 07, 2024 | ISBN 9780593406335 | Middle Grade (10 and up)

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  • May 07, 2024 | ISBN 9780593867051 | Middle Grade (10 and up)

    190 Minutes

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“How do you cope with the unexpected moments that change everything in your world? . . . The verse format, combined with Joe’s comic book and superhero metaphors, works exceptionally well at conveying honest emotion while maintaining a sense of humor and hope. Fipps doesn’t sugarcoat poverty, nor does she romanticize it or treat it as a moral failing; instead, she provides critical representation to the many schoolchildren who are living in poverty. Joe’s courage and individuality shine on every page. . . . A big, bold, engaging, and important story.” —Kirkus Reviews

* “Fipps (Starfish) depicts situations of abuse, financial precarity, houselessness, and hope through easy-to-read verse in this elucidating work. Eleven-year-old Joseph Oak loves superhero comics and his British-born Grandmum, whose ‘arms are like Captain America’s shield,/ protecting me,/ defending me.’ . . . Joe’s pragmatic voice explains, ‘I think I know a lot of things/ kids shouldn’t/ have/ to know’ about how much his grandmother makes cleaning buildings and what their U.S. government–provided benefits cover (and don’t). . . . Fipps employs resonant verse to portray Joe’s bleak reality as well as the bright spots he experiences due to the kindness of his best friends, who help him get food, and his teacher, who advocates for change in the school’s free meal system and opens a food and clothing pantry for students in need.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“As in her Starfish (2021), Fipps focuses on another young person on the fringe of their peer group, and the novel-in-verse narrative works beautifully here, invoking urgency and intimacy. Vivid descriptions of housing and food scarcity are intense and unforgettable, sure to spark empathy from any young reader. Though the story tackles heavy subjects, Joe is a wonderful companion, and there are also deep, dear relationships and an undercurrent of kindness that keeps hope afloat throughout. An exceptionally compassionate examination of existence on the edge.” —Booklist, starred review

“This verse novel’s conversational tone, linear timeline, and dialogue-heavy writing will ease readers nervous about poetry, and the first-person narration shows Joseph’s intelligence and joyful creativity. What Joseph goes through is horrible, but not completely without hope. Joseph is surrounded by a wonderful secondary cast, from his teacher who attempts to support kids living in poverty by changing unfair school systems to a neighbor who models generosity and healthy community building. . . . Fipps’ indictment of how society treats and ignores people who need help (‘It’s amazing / how long you can live / without anyone realizing / how you live’) paves the way for compassionate discussion about how cyclical poverty affects kids.” The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“Supporting characters, including Joe’s teacher, his friends Nick and Hakeem, and the mobile home park’s compassionate owner, are well drawn and vividly portrayed. As in Starfish, Fipps uses short lines, lots of white space, and an engaging first-person voice to carry the story. A fine example of how a novel in verse can be the perfect vehicle for getting inside the head of a character and creating empathy for what it’s like to be him.”The Horn Book

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