Hello, Cruel Heart

Disney Pr. Apr. 2021. 336p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781368057769.
Gr 7 Up–Estella has been living on the street since her mother died under suspicious circumstances on their way to London years ago. Horace and Jasper, who took her in and taught her to survive, are the only ones she has. But Estella has big dreams and high potential as a fashion designer. She already designs trick clothes to aid the trio’s heists to keep them afloat, but a chance encounter with the elite society children of London means her dream might be closer to reality than ever before. The only problem is the voice in her head, the one her mother termed Cruella. Sometimes she can keep Cruella quiet and sometimes she can’t, especially when she needs Cruella the most. Will Estella choose the high society life she believes she’s always deserved, or the family that’s protected and cared for her? This is a tie-in with a live-action film of Cruella and teens will want to read the backstory of one of Disney’s most iconic villains. Johnson creates the swinging 1960s London of Estella’s youth in vibrant color and cements the bond between Estella, Horace, and Jasper. Characters’ ethncities aren’t stated.
VERDICT Fans of Johnson’s other books will flock to this classic tale of choosing between friends.

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