Zevi Takes the Spotlight

Orca. (Orca Currents). Apr. 2024. 128p. pap. $10.95. ISBN 9781459838826.
Gr 4-7–His mom calls it a gift—but to 13-year-old Zevi, his psychic abilities are anything but. He doesn’t know how or why, but Zevi can hear people’s thoughts, communicate with the dead, and see preternatural visions. His invaluable help in a missing child case puts his abilities front and center, and he’s worried about this visibility hurting his acting aspirations. Suddenly, the opportunity of a lifetime comes to Zevi’s doorstep when his house is used in a film starring popular actor Robert Lemon. But foreboding supernatural hints are plaguing Zevi—and coming true in the form of dangerous accidents during filming, like collapsing light fixtures and poisoned drinks—making him fear for Robert’s safety. Readers will keep turning pages as Zevi and his crew attempt to find the culprit behind the on-set mishaps. Various terms and tidbits about filmmaking will appeal to movie enthusiasts. Zevi is Jewish, and this important part of his identity is skillfully woven throughout the narrative.
VERDICT This hi-lo title excels in the genre, packaging an accessible, dyslexia-friendly text with a compelling plot and likable protagonist whose journey readers will happily follow. Highly recommended.

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