Lifetime Passes

Terry Blas, illus. by Claudia Aguirre. Abrams, $23.99 (160p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4667-3
Jackie Chavez, 16 and “a DACA kid,” helps her tia Gina, a nurse, at Valley Care Living in Santa Clarita, Calif. Coping with the absence of her parents, who were deported to Mexico three years earlier, Jackie reminisces about the times they spent at local theme park Kingdom Adventure. What starts as a listless narrative about season pass–holder Jackie’s fondness for the park turns into a macabre scheme to take Valley Care Living residents on day trips to Kingdom Adventure in the hopes they die there, thereby yielding lifetime passes for Jackie and her friends. Though white cousins Nikki and Berke Bridgetower take advantage of the situation to benefit themselves, Jackie and Danny, who is light-skinned and gay, become close to residents Phyllis Adler, who is white and Jewish, and Allen, who is Black, over the course of summer vacation. Mrs. Adler’s history with the park—moving, if contrived—prompts Jackie to assess her unhappiness with her friends and life. If Blas’s emotionally poignant story struggles to gain momentum due to its deeply internal focus, Aguirre’s emphatic, detailed art—with strong, curved linework—delights, especially in depictions of the park’s accoutrements. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 12–up. Agent: Kate McKean, Morhaim Literary. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/29/2021
Release date: 10/01/2021
Genre: Children's
Hardcover - 160 pages - 978-1-4197-4666-6
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