cover image Rock Star

Rock Star

Kelly Starling Lyons, illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Penguin Workshop, $5.99 trade paper (96p) ISBN 978-0-448-48751-9

Jada Jones, an African-American fourth grader who lives in Raleigh, N.C., isn’t looking forward to starting the new school year without her best friend Mari, who has moved out of town. But luckily for Jada, who’s a devoted rock hunter, a monthlong class project that focuses on rocks gives her a chance to dive into her geological passion—and maybe make new friends in two of her classmates, Lena and Simone. In this first title in the Jada Jones series, Lyons writes with keen sensitivity about the big emotions surrounding school friendships, especially when Jada comes to understand that Simone has been hostile to her because she believes Jada is stealing Lena away from her. Final art not seen by PW. Simultaneously available: Class Act. Ages 6–8. Author’s agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Sept.)