Levine Querido. Oct. 2023. 248p. Tr $24.99. ISBN 9781646142675.
Gr 6 Up–In a magical 1930s Mississippi, a group of queer broom racers of color struggle to survive systemic oppression. To avoid her young cousins getting forcibly taken to a residential magic academy, Luella (who is Choctaw) suggests twins Mattie and Emma join the world of underground broom racing, where they could earn money to pay for exemption. Billie Mae, Luella’s sweetheart and captain of the Night Storms, has racing in her blood, but Black folks are banned from using magic in most states. Billie Mae wants to lead the team to victory and raise enough money to head out west, hopefully to more tolerance and racing opportunities. Between best friend Loretta (who is also Black), Chinese closeted transmasculine Cheng-Kwan, and the twins, these teammates have a lot at stake just by existing as their authentic selves. As law enforcement closes in and the biggest race yet looms near, the Night Storms must rely on their community more than ever to hit the big score that could save them all. This graphic novel offers a rich world and endearing characters. Flashbacks set up existing interpersonal dynamics, though they are occasionally tough to distinguish from presentday plot lines. DuVall’s palette is warm and dynamic; traditional line work and paneling shape a compelling plot. Characters are depicted with a range of skin tones and abilities that Walls expands on in a creator’s note; Loretta uses an assistive device, and one of the twins communicates using sign language.
VERDICT A sweet, entertaining found-family story that weaves magic with historical injustice; recommended for teen graphic novel shelves.

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