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Amari and the Night Brothers


Series
Supernatural Investigations

by
B. B. Alston

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
HarperCollins
Imprint
Balzer + Bray
ISBN
9780062975164

Awards and Honors
2021 Barnes & Noble Children & Young Adult Shortlist Honoree
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$20.22   $16.85
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Artemis Fowl meets Men in Black in this exhilarating debut middle grade fantasy, the first in a trilogy filled with #blackgirlmagic, about a young girl who must earn a spot at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs in order to find her missing brother—only to discover that her unprecedented levels of potential and power have marked her as a suspect in the ongoing fight against an evil magical threat. 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 discovers 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 scrutiny and doubt—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.Black-and-white illustrations.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

416

Trim Size

8 3/10" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

4.9: points 14

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

0

JLG Release

May 2021

Book Genres

Supernatural, Magic

Topics

Supernatural. Magic. Missing persons. Brothers and sisters. African Americans. 

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Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Amari Peters is a young Black girl who believes her brother Quinton is alive, even if no one else does. Everything is going wrong and she just got expelled from school, but something exciting is about to happen. Amari, as recommended by her brother, joins a summer camp at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. She starts to learn a special skill all her own, and discovers magical creatures exist (fairies, aliens, and magicians, to name a few) that the Bureau must protect from average people. Readers follow Amari as she navigates a new magical world, hones her skills, and searches for her brother who was attempting to track down the Night Brothers—a mysterious band of magical criminals. 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. VERDICT 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.–Maeve Dodds, Charlotte Mecklenburg Lib., NC

Horn Book

Quinton Peters has been missing for six months—no matter what anybody says, his sister Amari knows he’s still alive—and his top-secret job is the reason he’s been away. Sure enough, Amari discovers that Quinton has arranged an interview for her to join the same line of work, which turns out to be the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Plunged into a parallel magical world, Amari must do her best to learn and succeed in this new reality. Her journey becomes more complicated when her aptitude test reveals her to be a Magician, possessing a level of magic deemed dangerous—and illegal. Some of the scrutiny Amari faces mirrors her non-magic life (“It’s kind of like how being a Black kid from the projects makes Mr. Jensen feel the need to watch me extra close every time I come in his store. Or how surprised my scholarship interviewers were that I could speak so well”). Amari has to fight to save her brother and their world—with help from her roommate Elsie (an empathic were-dragon who will probably not eat her), an unlikely ally, and by summoning her own courage, which may be all the magic she needs. 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. EBONI NJOKU

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

Amari Peters is a young Black girl who believes her brother Quinton is alive, even if no one else does. Everything is going wrong and she just got expelled from school, but something exciting is about to happen. Amari, as recommended by her brother, joins a summer camp at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. She starts to learn a special skill all her own, and discovers magical creatures exist (fairies, aliens, and magicians, to name a few) that the Bureau must protect from average people. Readers follow Amari as she navigates a new magical world, hones her skills, and searches for her brother who was attempting to track down the Night Brothers—a mysterious band of magical criminals. 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. VERDICT 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.–Maeve Dodds, Charlotte Mecklenburg Lib., NC

Horn Book

Quinton Peters has been missing for six months—no matter what anybody says, his sister Amari knows he’s still alive—and his top-secret job is the reason he’s been away. Sure enough, Amari discovers that Quinton has arranged an interview for her to join the same line of work, which turns out to be the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Plunged into a parallel magical world, Amari must do her best to learn and succeed in this new reality. Her journey becomes more complicated when her aptitude test reveals her to be a Magician, possessing a level of magic deemed dangerous—and illegal. Some of the scrutiny Amari faces mirrors her non-magic life (“It’s kind of like how being a Black kid from the projects makes Mr. Jensen feel the need to watch me extra close every time I come in his store. Or how surprised my scholarship interviewers were that I could speak so well”). Amari has to fight to save her brother and their world—with help from her roommate Elsie (an empathic were-dragon who will probably not eat her), an unlikely ally, and by summoning her own courage, which may be all the magic she needs. 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. EBONI NJOKU

Grades 5-8
Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus
For Grades 5-8

Your middle-school readers will thrill to new futures, fantasy realms, and alternate realities. Readers will look forward to discovering a new world monthly with the 12 books in this category.

14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year
Interests
Chapter Books/Novels,Fiction,Graphic Novels,Reluctant Readers,Thriller/Horror/Mystery
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Grades 5-8
Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus
14 books per Year
$235.90 per Year

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