cover image Scout’s Honor

Scout’s Honor

Lily Anderson. Holt, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-250-24673-8

Ladybird Scouts may portray themselves as community-minded young women with a fondness for tea parties and pastel colors, but in truth, they’re also warriors who covertly protect the world from interdimensional monsters that most folks can’t see. Critter-class mulligrubs are drawn to the mortal realm by intense emotions, which they gorge upon before transforming into Carnivore-stage people-eaters. Prudence Perry—a half–Puerto Rican, half-white 16-year-old from Northern California—was a third-generation Ladybird until three years ago, when she quit after her best friend died during a hunt. Physically scarred and living with an anxiety disorder and PTSD, Prue now spends her free time with a group of lovable “civilian” misfits—or at least, she did, until she broke curfew. As punishment, Prue must either transfer to an all-girls private school, or dust off her daggers and devote her summer to training new Scouts. Anderson (The Throwback List) deftly balances snarky humor and heart-thumping action with affecting discussions about friendship, inclusivity, and mental health. The surprise-studded plot seamlessly integrates both Anderson’s clever, unique mythology and excerpts from the Ladybird Handbook, and the realistically rendered, intersectionally diverse cast is kind, charismatic, and full of moxie. Ages 14–up. Agent: Laura Zats, Headwater Literary. (Apr.)