cover image Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

Tanita S. Davis. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-293700-1

Last year, Madalyn Thomas weathered myriad storms: her best friend moved away, her own family moved across town due to her father’s being laid off, and there was a shooting scare at the school she transferred to. Understandably, rising seventh grader Madalyn doesn’t want to return—so her parents institute a plan that will accommodate her wish, as well as their new working situations. To attend Kingsbridge Junior High, Madalyn must live with her eccentric great uncle Papa Lobo in Sheldon, Calif. But despite being the only Black girl in her class, having a larger bedroom, new friends, and proximity to a nice library persuades Madalyn to endure. Things seem to be looking up, until Madalyn discovers that one of her new friends suffered a bullying experience and may now discriminate against Black boys. To make matters worse, fire season sweeps through the state. With the help of her elders, Madalyn must recognize that “you don’t have to be friends with someone to help them.” In this gentle multigenerational narrative, Davis (Serena Says) explores race, tough conversations, and climate change as her endearing protagonist learns to face conflict and embrace community. Ages 8–12. Agent: Steve Chudney, Chudney Agency. (Sept.)