cover image Saving Montgomery Sole

Saving Montgomery Sole

Mariko Tamaki. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-62672-271-2

In a quietly assured story, Tamaki (This One Summer) introduces Montgomery Sole, the 16-year-old daughter of lesbian mothers and the president of her school’s “mystery club,” which consists of Montgomery discussing topics like ESP and healing crystals with her friends Thomas and Naoki. When a preacher from a hyperbolic, homophobic church à la Westboro Baptist moves into her small California town, Montgomery is nervous that his son, a fellow student, will single her out for having gay parents. Alongside this anxiety is her recent online purchase of the Eye of Know, a $5.99 amulet that purports to be a “portal to vision untold.” When Montgomery’s flashes of anger starting having mysterious effects on her targets, she begins to believe that the amulet might be responsible. Montgomery’s interest in the supernatural, along with her thirst to understand the unknowable, parallels her often-fruitless efforts to understand her classmates, her younger sister, and her own identity. Montgomery’s slow confrontation with reality creates a realistic, satisfying arc, and Tamaki’s economical storytelling results in dimensional characters whose struggles feel viscerally real. Ages 12–up. Agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary Agency. (Apr.)