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.
As soon as I heard about this book I wanted to pick it up, so I was thrilled when I received a copy. I was so excited about the premise of this one as soon as I read it and was not disappointed at all. Amari is a character who has faced a lot of prejudice in her life, whether it be for her race or where she lives, and is excited for the possibility of being somewhere where that doesn’t matter. She’s also desperate to find out about her brother’s disappearance. Right off the bat we can tell what type of person Amari is and as the story goes on we learn about some of her insecurities and strengths. She doesn’t always make the smartest of decisions and she finds that she’s traded one set of prejudices for another as she switches environments, but she perseveres.
I so loved this story and all the important conversations and topics that were woven into it. I loved watching Amari come into her own and truly believe in herself and really enjoyed the twists and the turns of the story itself. I had a suspicion who was going to be villians and who wasn’t but I didn’t know for sure until the very end. The writing was easy to follow and flowed wonderfully and I felt there was a great balance between building the world and actual plot.
B.B. Alston started writing in middle school, entertaining his classmates with horror stories starring the whole class where not everyone survived! After several years of trying to break into publishing, he had just been accepted into a biomedical graduate program when a chance entry into a twitter pitch contest led to his signing with TBA, 20+ book deals worldwide, and even a film deal. When not writing, he can be found eating too many sweets and exploring country roads to see where they lead.
B.B. was inspired to write AMARI AND THE NIGHT BROTHERS because he couldn’t find any fantasy stories featuring Black kids when he was growing up. He hopes to show kids that though you might look different, or feel different, whatever the reason, your uniqueness needn’t only be a source of fear and insecurity. There is great strength and joy to be found in simply accepting yourself for who you are. Because once you do so, you’ll be unstoppable.
Thank you again to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book! I’m thrilled I got to experience Amari’s journey and would definitely recommend it for anyone looking for not just a fun adventure but an empowering read that tackles a number of complex and important issues.