cover image Sparrow Rising (Skyborn #1)

Sparrow Rising (Skyborn #1)

Jessica Khoury. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-338-65239-0

Ever since her parents were killed, 12-year-old orphan Ellidee Meadows has yearned to become an elite Goldwing, protecting the Clandoms’ winged peoples against the stone gargols that rule the sky during stormy weather. But as one of the lowly Sparrow Clan, Ellie is destined for life as a farmer, discouraged from participating in the Goldwing Trials. In an attempt to buck tradition, though, she enters, encountering Nox Hatcher, a Crow who was wounded on a secret mission. Learning of an opportunity to attempt another qualifying race as a wild card, Ellie sets forth with Nox as her reluctant companion. But as part of Nox’s band—which includes inventor Gussie, a Falcon, and animal-lover Twig, whose parents hail from different clans—Ellie finds her storybook ideals challenged. Her courage and resolve are tested by the harsh reality of the caste-dominated Clandoms, the duplicitousness of authority figures, and the constant threat of the gargols. With a resourceful, indomitable heroine, this high-flying series opener by Khoury (The Mystwick School of Musicraft) offers a wealth of adrenaline-charged, cinematic aerial scenes featuring a Black protagonist and a largely white, fully winged cast, making for a thoroughly enjoyable adventure. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Lucy Carson, the Friedrich Agency. (July) [/em]