cover image Heart or Mind

Heart or Mind

Patrick Jones. Lerner/Darby Creek, $7.99 trade paper (120p) ISBN 978-1-5124-0091-5

Rodney falls for a Somali classmate, Jawahir, while protecting her during a riot between Somali and African-American students at their Minneapolis high school. Their tragic love affair echoes that of Romeo and Juliet in one of four titles kicking off the Unbarred series of modern-day Shakespeare adaptations, written at a fourth-grade reading level and featuring kids who have served time in juvenile detention systems. Jones effectively characterizes real-life tensions to ratchet up the drama and danger as battle lines between ethnic and religious groups are drawn, and hate and violence seethe. Available simultaneously: Duty or Desire, Fight or Flee, and Friend or Foe. Ages 11–up. (Mar.)