cover image Noteworthy


Riley Redgate. Amulet, $17.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2373-5

Jordan Sun is an alto at a performing arts boarding school that rewards sopranos with big parts and altos with nothing (Jordan is also Chinese, something she suspects doesn’t help her land roles either). Fed up, she tries out for a prestigious all-male a cappella group, the Sharpshooters, doing her best to pass as a boy. The group loves her voice, and soon Jordan is living a double life as Julian and realizing how much she enjoys it. Throughout, Jordan digs into questions about gender, sexuality, bias, and privilege (“What had I ever gotten out of being a girl, anyway? What did I even like about it?... I wasn’t skinny, I wasn’t pretty, and I didn’t care about any of it as much as I was supposed to”), eventually opening herself up to a newfound, empowering fluidity. Redgate (Seven Ways We Lie) vividly captures the world of a cappella, and she uses Jordan’s soul-searching—as well as her family’s financial struggles, which linger in the background—to bring freshness and substantial depth to a gender-bending/mistaken identity plot that has a long history in literature and theater. Ages 13–up. Agent: Caryn Wiseman, Andrea Brown Literary. (May)