Growing up together in a housing project, 13-year-olds Tai and Mila are longtime best friends, but they couldn’t be more opposite. Sassy Tai thrives on the neighborhood’s energy, while quiet, reserved Mila can’t wait to get out. Their differences increase after Mila spends the summer in the suburbs with her aunt and older sister; there, she feels free, unburdened of a horrible secret that makes her afraid to go to Tai’s house. When she returns home, Tai senses that something in Mila has changed, and it causes a rift—it seems that the only things that unite them now are their love of dance and the upcoming audition for a program designed for fine arts students. Through successfully rendered dialogue, Chase (the Del Rio Bay Clique series) vividly conjures the triumphs, tensions, and worries percolating in the girls’ low-income neighborhood. Tai’s exuberance forms an effective foil to Mila’s internal turmoil, and the building anticipation about who will be chosen for the program and whether Mila will divulge her secret will keep readers turning pages. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jennifer Carlson, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 06/25/2018 Release date: 08/14/2018 Genre: Children's
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