The following titles have been reviewed in the
January issue of School Library Journal (circ: 30,000)
STEIN, Tammar. Spoils. 272p. Knopf. 2013. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780375870620; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780307974310. LC 2012044759.
Gr 7 Up–In this stand-alone companion to Kindred (Knopf, 2011), Leni’s family is in trouble. Several years ago they won 22 million dollars in the lottery, but now it has all been spent, except for the million dollar trust fund that Leni will receive when she turns 18 in a few days. She can tell that her parents expect her to give them the money, but as she watches how they spend in anticipation of the windfall, she worries that she really can’t solve their problems. Her deeply troubled older sister blames herself for all that is wrong with the family and warns Leni to get rid of the money. An angel named Michael appears and tells Leni to “Fix it.” She must figure out what “it” is that she’s supposed to fix. Stein’s strong writing and well-drawn characters make this titles one of those novels that seem to have it all: a little romance, intrigue, both an angel and a devil, family disaster and love, a strong female character, and a fast -moving, smooth plot. Subtlely infused themes of being careful what you wish for and that money can’t buy happiness give the novel an added intensity. The thoughts of characters not directly related to the main plot who dream of how an infusion of money would solve their problems add depth to the story. A satisfying read.–Janet Hilbun, Texas Women’s University, Denton, TX