Unstoppable Octobia May, by Sharon G. Flake; Scholastic Press, $16.99, 276 pages, ages  8-12.

In 1953, most children are expected to be seen and not heard, but that’s certainly not the case with ten year old Octobia May, a plucky self-styled detective with a heart condition who is certain a vampire is rooming at her aunt’s boarding house. Coretta Scott King Honor Award winning author Sharon G. Flake (The Skin I’m in) weaves a vivid portrait of the Eisenhower era and explores topics such as racism, gender inequality, and the Holocaust.  Flake’s unique novel will attract vampire chasers and history buffs alike, while offering encouragement to young readers that it’s alright to speak out againt injustice, even when others might prefer to maintain the status quo.  

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