RaveThe New York Times Book Review...it is the personal encounters that form the gorgeous center of this intense, moving novel ... Woodson brings the reader so close to her young characters that you can smell the bubble gum on their breath and feel their lips as they brush against your ear. This is both the triumph and challenge of this powerfully insightful novel.
RaveThe New York Times Book Review...with the collection Five-Carat Soul, McBride demonstrates a new aspect of his talent. These brilliant miniatures display all of the rambunctious fearlessness of his deeply empathetic imagination ... The result is a pinball machine zinging with sharp dialogue, breathtaking plot twists and naughty humor. This makes Five-Carat Soul a delight. At the same time McBride also plumbs the vast emotional terrain underneath performances of masculinity, questioning what it is to be a man rather than a woman rather than a boy rather than a beast ... Nearly all of the stories hum with sweet nostalgia, and some even dispatch the kind of moral one would expect from a fable or a fairy tale. When this works, it feels as if McBride has happened upon a new genre ... we see McBride at his brave and joyous best, building worlds of dizzying variety and range.