cover image Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey

Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey

Erin Entrada Kelly. Greenwillow, $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-06-297042-8

Marisol Rainey, an anxious eight-year-old who calms herself by watching silent films, lives in Louisiana with her teacher mother, who is Filipino; her white father, who works on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico; and her 12-year-old brother, Oz, a video game fanatic. As she does for most inanimate objects, Marisol has given the perfect climbing tree in their new home’s backyard a name: Peppina. Though her best friend, Jada, who has dark skin and curly hair, makes climbing the large magnolia look easy, Marisol grows frustrated by the fear that keeps Marisol from mounting Peppina’s branches. Infusing her protagonist with a number of endearing quirks—naming household objects and “rescuing” stuffed animals from a local claw machine—Newbery Medalist Kelly once again shows a knack for capturing a childlike perspective as Marisol navigates her feelings: avoiding a school bully and navigating her identity, finding the courage to ride her bike past a frightening dog, and debating whether to admit her fears to Jada. There is no calamitous “do-or-die” moment that forces Marisol to confront her fear; instead, Kelly lets Marisol ease her way through it, in the process offering a clear message about doing things in one’s own time. Final art, by the author, not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (May)