cover image Spirit Week Showdown

Spirit Week Showdown

Crystal Allen. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-234233-1

In this entertaining first book in the Magnificent Mya Tibbs series, African-American fourth-grader Mya dreams of becoming a cowgirl someday, but her immediate goal is winning her school’s Spirit Week. The two winners from each grade get VIP tickets to their Texas town’s fall festival, and Mya and her new best friend, Naomi, have their eyes on the prize. But when Mya is paired with class bully Connie and doesn’t push to swap partners, it drives a wedge between the two girls. Mya’s warm, loving family runs a farm and ranch store where Mya and her older brother, Nugget, help out. Like Mya, Nugget is struggling with friend troubles—in his case, wanting to become more popular. While Mya’s journey toward discovering what real friendship looks like is fairly conventional, Allen (The Laura Line) has created a big-hearted, high-spirited, cowboy-booted heroine (“The yippee is back in my ki-yay,” she thinks as things begin to look up). The story’s vivid small-town setting and memorable characters will have many readers looking forward to more from Mya. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jennifer Rofé, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. [em](Jan.) [/em]