What do you do when you are faced with the impossible choice between listening to your heart or your head? Sixteen year old Lilah keeps asking herself this exact question. Newly orphaned and moving into foster care, Lilah’s one saving grace is Joey, her deceased twin brother’s childhood best friend who as luck has it, lives next door to her new foster family. The problem is, Joey harbors a secret, one Lilah must find out. When she does, she must decide, will she follow her heart and new found love, Joey, into Nolianna, a secret, mysterious carnival world run only by foster children that is recruiting new members? Or will she listen to her head and follow the clues that Nolianna may not be what is seems. When Sebastian, the future leader of Nolianna sets his sights on having her join, will she even have a choice? With time ticking away, Lilah must decide if love is enough to keep her and Joey together in Nolianna, or if she can rely on what she knows to be true and save them from disappearing for good.

Book Review

“Teen readers will discover that sixteen-year-old newly orphaned Lilah has a lot on her plate, despite her youth. She’s moving into foster care, but with the support of something familiar in the way of her deceased twin brother’s best friend Joey. She falls into a different world that provides her with revised options and some challenging choices. And she needs to learn to not only follow her heart, but sometimes overcome its impulses with logic. Kindreds is about finding family and connections in unusual places. It cultivates a secret, revealing a hidden world and a scenario in which Lilah must take into consideration her future and her impulse to change and take control of it. As Lilah follows Joey, uninvited, into a strange new world, she’s forced to not only make some special decisions about her future, but acknowledge her own heart’s different direction…something even Joey wonders about: ‘I would’ve brought you here myself if I thought it was the right thing to do. I just didn’t think this was something you’d be into,’ he said.

One of the messages B.B. Russell imparts in this powerful story is how to discern the true course of one’s own heart from its connections with others. Despite Lilah’s inclinations, she must make her own choices and accept their consequences: ‘She did love him, but she had lied. She wasn’t joining Nolianna, at least not without a fight.’

As the story progresses, Russell does an excellent job of outlining these choices, Lilah’s pressures and influences to make them, and the evolution of her own individuality in the face of both romantic and social pressures. In addition to being a fine story about new possibilities, change, and transformation, Kindreds is about self-empowerment in the face of manipulation and lies. It shows how individuals can rise above both influences and their own emotional conundrums to reach for better outcomes in their lives. Teens need such messages in this turbulent world as they enter into society and love. Kindreds outlines the process whereby Lilah embarks on an adventure that leads her not only to examine her own heart, but make the kinds of choices that sync with who she wants to be. It should be advised that Kindreds leaves the door more than ajar for more. Teens who enjoy Lilah’s life and adventure will welcome this opportunity, while collections that eschew the often-abrupt mercurial conclusions of a stated series opener will appreciate the definitive conclusions in this initial encounter.”

—Diane C. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

About the Author
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in western New York, B.B. Russell has always loved to read, write, and use her imagination. Having a keen interest in human development, she attended several colleges and eventually obtained her PhD in Education. A college professor and therapist, B.B. loves talking to and learning about others. When she’s not writing, teaching, or doing therapy, she can be found spending time with her loving husband, three children, her Bernese Mountain Dog, Doolin, and golden retriever, Paisley. Kindreds is her first young adult novel.

Visit the author’s website for more information:

336 PAGES, 5.5 X 8.25
TRADE PAPER, $15.95 (US $15.95) (CA $20.95)
ISBN:  9781733653466
Distributor: IPG / Chicago
Rights sold: All rights available.
Rights contact: Dede Cummings

Distributor: IPG; also available through Ingram, Follett/Baker & Taylor, and other wholesalers.

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