cover image Sparkle


Lakita Wilson. Viking, $18.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-593-46575-2

When Black 11-year-old Sparkle Moore is diagnosed with alopecia, she must navigate anxiety and self-image issues in this intimately rendered read by Wilson (Be Real, Macy Weaver). Sparkle, a promising theatrical performer who has just started the sixth grade at Maryland Arts Academy, is devastated to learn that the school’s renowned theater director Ms. June will be retiring after one last production. Sparkle’s manager mother, meanwhile, is delighted when Sparkle lands a shampoo ad, though the growing bald spots on Sparkle’s head pose both an obstacle and a growing concern to the ad sponsors. To make matters worse, Sparkle’s Emmy-nominated actor father is out of work, and she fears that the family needs her modeling to help support them financially. When she gets an opportunity to work with Ms. June, she’s determined to make a good impression. But everything becomes much more complicated as she attempts to juggle her diagnosis with friendships and exciting opportunities. Using emotionally turbulent and candid prose, Wilson delivers a heartfelt narrative about personal growth in which Sparkle approaches each challenge with tenacity and drive. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)