cover image The Many Fortunes of Maya

The Many Fortunes of Maya

Nicole D. Collier. Versify, $16.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-358-43464-1

In Georgia, Black middle schooler Maya “MJ” Jenkins is a lot of things—a flautist, a soccer player, and a collector of fortune-cookie fortunes. Feeling that she had to choose between the instrument and the sport, MJ chose soccer (“Daddy’s favorite thing”). But she continues to secretly play the flute in her closet, employing what she calls “Quiet Mode” to engage with the music that centers her. She also regularly consults the Wheel of Fortunes her family made from fortune-cookie slips, spinning it for insight into life events. Most immediately, MJ hopes to be named her soccer season’s MVP, which would bring her closer to joining the club team on which her father once played. When MJ’s best friend wins instead, their bond takes a turn for the worse—just as her parents, who’ve been “whisper-fighting” for months, break the news that they’re separating for the summer. Beginning each chapter with a fortune, Collier (Just Right Jillian) delivers another immersive novel, and its emotionally tinged first-person voice offers fresh observations about parental tensions and changing friendship dynamics. Ages 8–12. Agent: Danielle Chiotti, Upstart Crow Literary. (Jan.)