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Mondays Not Coming

by Jackson, Tiffany D.

School Library Journal Gr 9 Up-Galvanized by real-life accounts of black girls whose disappearances went unnoticed, the author depicts a young African American teen unwilling to let her best friend fall through the cracks. Claudia frets when Monday misses the first day of eighth grade, and her worries increase when weeks, and then months, go by with no sign of the girl. Both outsiders, the two have always tried to protect each other: academically gifted Monday keeps teachers from realizing that Claudia has learning disabilities, and Claudia's stable family gives Monday a respite from her often erratic home life. Monday's mother and older sister offer conflicting stories about where she is, and even sympathetic adults are little help-Claudia alone becomes Monday's champion. Just as Jackson's suspenseful debut, Allegedly, explored the corrupt justice system, this thought-provoking thriller examines issues such as abuse, gentrification, and the marginalization of people of color with nuance and sensitivity. The narrative deftly moves back and forth between past and present, building to a devastating conclusion. The Washington, DC, setting is superbly rendered, and the author presents a rich portrayal of the girls' bond, displaying an intuitive understanding of adolescent friendship. VERDICT A spellbinding, profoundly moving choice for YA collections.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list In her sophomore effort (Allegedly, 2017), Jackson offers up a suspenseful new mystery. Claudia and Monday have been friends since childhood. When Claudia returns from summer vacation, Monday isn't at school, and she's not returning calls. No one seems to know where she is. Claudia knows something is wrong, but what reason would anyone have to lie about Monday's whereabouts? Jackson hits all the right notes in this compelling mystery. Claudia has a strong voice that will resonate; she struggles with bullying, dyslexia, loss, and the pains of growing up. The plot weaves through time, slowly piecing together clues, until the painful truth is revealed. Jackson doesn't hold anything back when it comes to the pain of abuse and the ramifications of turning a blind eye. This is a powerful and emotional novel that is gripping and heartbreaking and hits upon serious topics. It's a frank, devastating read filled with real and flawed characters, and it's a story that needs to be read.--Konkel, Elizabeth Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Jackson's sophomore novel, following 2017's acclaimed Allegedly, features another ripped-from-the-headlines premise that will keep readers guessing through the final pages. After a summer in Georgia with her grandmother, Claudia returns to Washington, D.C., ready to take on eighth grade with her best friend, Monday, even though Monday didn't respond to any of Claudia's letters over the past two months. Claudia soon finds, though, that Monday is gone. Stories about where she is don't add up and no one seems concerned, but Claudia can't shake the feeling that Monday might be in real trouble. Time shifts-in chapters such as "Before the Before," "The Before," and "The After"-create a measured and intense buildup as Claudia realizes that Monday was keeping painful and potentially dangerous secrets. Claudia's mother's frequent reminder to check in at home-"Breadcrumbs, Claudia. Always good to leave breadcrumbs"-prompts both Claudia and the reader to remain vigilant. Jackson's characters and their heart-wrenching story linger long after the final page, urging readers to advocate for those who are disenfranchised and forgotten by society and the system. Ages 13-up. Agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary Agency. (June) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved