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Amari and the Great Game
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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

Reviews

Praise for Amari and the Night Brothers, the first book in this smash-hit series:
'Sharp, funny and brightly imaginative - a big adventure filled with magic and heart.' - Jessica Townsend, New York Times bestselling author of the Nevermoor series

'An enchanting fantasy adventure filled with heart and soul. Amari is magical!' - Angie Thomas, 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, New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

'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 T. Sutherland, bestselling author of the Wings of Fire series

'Clever, imaginative, and filled with heart. I loved every magical page.' - J.C. Cervantes, New York Times bestselling author of The Storm Runner

'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.' -Booklist, starred review'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. There are a lot of diverse characters who will be relatable to all kids. Amari is tough, smart, kind, and very likeable. The plot doesn't shy away from depictions of racism and discrimination, which may provide necessary, thoughtful discussion topics for classrooms and families ... This story is action-packed with no fluff; a magical world readers will want to visit, blended with contemporary themes. An excellent middle-grade fantasy that will attract an immediate fan base and leave kids eager for more.' -School Library Journal, starred review'Alston's middle-grade debut is 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. ... Her feelings of inadequacy from living in her brilliant brother's shadow will ring true for any younger sibling or legacy kid, making later realizations of her own worth and abilities all the sweeter. While the book concludes with a satisfyingly unknotted denouement, there's a wealth of material for possible sequels, and readers will no doubt cross their fingers for more of Amari's adventures.' -Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

'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, humour, and adventure, making this a sure-to-please winner.' - Publishers Weekly, starred review'Plunged into a parallel magical world, Amari must do her best to learn and succeed in this new reality ... The story introduces a world of enchantment, danger, excitement, and humour ... Readers will root for Amari's own unique determination and wit.' - The Horn Book'Exhilarating ... The definitive hook of this narrative is Alston's exceptional skill for world-building ... Fans of the Harry Potter series will likely find much to enjoy in Alston's imaginary Bureau, which features significantly more authentic diversity than Rowling's Hogwarts. Amari stumbles into one capricious adventure after another en route to a stunning conclusion that also lays the track for a sequel to this breakout debut.' - Shelf Awareness'"Book of the fair" at the Bologna Children's Book Fair in 2019, Alston's debut has so far garnered 25 publishing deals, and film rights have been optioned by Universal. Happily, it more than lives up to the hype. The vibe is Men in Black meets Nevermoor, a brilliantly realised magical world of supernatural creatures, magical gadgets, rip-roaring action and humour. Alston says he never read a fantasy book with a black protagonist when he was growing up, and Amari is a triumphant riposte to that: a smart, courageous heroine whose identity as a poor black girl is integral to the narrative.' - Fiona Noble, The Bookseller, Book of the Month


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