Winter 2020 Kids Indie Next List
“What a breath of fresh air! This absorbing new middle reader takes you on the kind of exhilarating adventure as only you would find when stepping through the wardrobe to Narnia. With a whole lot of heart — and some guts to boot — in this book, you might well find yourself cheering (with wild abandon) alongside the ever-so-plucky antagonist, Amari, whose spirit shines brighter than any magic wand would. This might easily become the next big #BlackGirlMagic series of the year!”
— Colleen Ross, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
New York Times bestseller!
Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black in this exhilarating debut middle grade fantasy, the first in a series filled with #blackgirlmagic. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, the Percy Jackson series, and Nevermoor.
Amari Peters has never stopped believing her missing brother, Quinton, is alive. Not even when the police told her otherwise, or when she got in trouble for standing up to bullies who said he was gone for good.
So when she finds a ticking briefcase in his closet, containing a nomination for a summer tryout at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain the secretive organization holds the key to locating Quinton—if only she can wrap her head around the idea of magicians, fairies, aliens, and other supernatural creatures all being real.
Now she must compete for a spot against kids who’ve known about magic their whole lives. No matter how hard she tries, Amari can’t seem to escape their intense doubt and scrutiny—especially once her supernaturally enhanced talent is deemed “illegal.” With an evil magician threatening the supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she’s an enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t stick it out and pass the tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton.
Plus don't miss the thrilling sequel, Amari and the Great Game!
About the Author
B. B. Alston lives in Lexington, South Carolina. His debut novel, Amari and the Night Brothers, is a #1 Kids’ Indie Next pick and the winner of Barnes & Noble’s inaugural Children’s and YA Book Award as well as a New York Times and indie bestseller. When not writing, he can be found eating too many sweets and exploring country roads to see where they lead. Visit him online at www.bbalston.com.
“This series debut is sure to be a hit with late elementary students and middle graders who are fans of “Harry Potter,” “Percy Jackson,” and the Men in Black movies….An excellent middle grade fantasy that will attract an immediate fan base and leave kids eager for more.” — School Library Journal (starred review)
“The author weaves magical whimsy with honest, realistically portrayed circumstances, allowing Amari’s literal #BlackGirlMagic to shine even when she doesn’t believe in herself. This timely, energetic, first-person narrative moves quickly with clear descriptions, a thrilling buildup, and strong messages about profiling. An impressive debut series opener.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“In this thrilling debut, Alston thrusts his intrepid heroine into a setting packed with magic, mythical creatures, and danger. Amari, a Black girl with limited means, confronts privilege and prejudice even while delving into a world of wonder, humor, and adventure, making this a sure-to-please winner.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Fast-paced adventure and cutthroat pre-adolescent contempt make for a delightfully challenging journey here, particularly considering the ways that Alston frames Amari’s racial and economic experiences as a Black girl as the root of her strong-willed nature and spirit of integrity. It’s a good thing this book is the first of a series, because readers will be sorely disappointed when it ends.” — ALA Booklist (starred review)
“A breath of fresh air in the normal-kid-finds-out-they’re-magic genre, with Amari’s snappy, no-nonsense narration, a mix of new, bizarre supernatural creatures and classic vampires and witches, and rich world building that reads as both familiar and fantastic…. Readers will no doubt cross their fingers for more of Amari’s adventures.” — Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“The story introduces a world of enchantment, danger, excitement, and humor. While many parallels can be drawn between the protagonist and a certain boy wizard, readers will root for Amari’s own unique determination and wit.” — Horn Book Magazine
“An enchanting fantasy adventure filled with heart and soul. Amari is magical!”
— Angie Thomas, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THE HATE U GIVE
“As a former black girl misfit who wanted nothing more in the world than to be magical, this book is a song to my soul. Amari is the heroine we all need.” — Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of DEAR MARTIN
“Sharp, funny and brightly imaginative -- a big adventure filled with magic and heart.” — Jessica Townsend, New York Times bestselling author of the Nevermoor series
"Clever, imaginative, and filled with heart. I loved every magical page." — J.C. Cervantes, New York Times bestselling author of THE STORM RUNNER
“Amari and the Night Brothers gives an electrifying jolt to middle-grade fantasy, that takes the ingredients we know and love--strong-willed, relatable protagonist, a worthy quest, and a thrilling magical portal--and makes them fresh and new. From the first pages, Amari is at once self-possessed and an underdog, battling racism, bias and poverty, all later mirrored in her efforts to find her brother inside the fantastical labyrinth of the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Funny, fast-paced, and ultimately moving, B.B. Alston's debut is a rousing success and kicks off a series that will truly stand out from the rest!” — Soman Chainani, author of the bestselling The School for Good and Evil series
"The surprises and story never slow down for a minute in this magical, astonishing world, with a heroine who’s like Buffy meets Meg Murry multiplied by Shuri to the power of awesome. I want to live in Amari’s world and watch her save it (or have her come here and save ours!)!" — Tui Sutherland, bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series