A Flicker of Courage

Deb Caletti. Putnam, $13.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-9848-1305-3
Kind Henry Every lives a life of hunger and fear in a dilapidated house with neglectful parents. The only spots of light are his glimpses into the joyful Dante house next door, where his classmate Apollo lives with his loving family, and secret excursions to visit his beloved grandfather, Captain Every, who lives in a lighthouse that houses a towering library. When Apollo appears wailing in front of Henry’s house, it turns out that the town’s villain, Vlad Luxor, has transformed his little brother Rocco into a lizard. Joined by classmates kind Jo and fearless Pirate Girl, and a loyal terrier named Button, the kids learn that they are what people barely dare to whisper: spell breakers. Together, the friends find the courage to embrace their power, saving Rocco and standing up to the childish, pompous tyrant to stop him from hurting anyone else. Through a broad-strokes portrayal of good vs. evil, this fast-paced middle grade debut from YA author Caletti (A Heart in a Body in the World) offers an allegorical message about activism and cooperation. Images that reinforce descriptions appear throughout alongside faux-serious titles (“A Great, Glistening Walrus”). Ages 8–12. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/17/2019
Release date: 01/07/2020
Genre: Children's
Book - 978-1-9848-1306-0
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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