Tobyn: The It Girl #4 by Ashley Woodfolk. Penguin Workshop, 2021. 9780593096109
Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 3
Genre: Realistic fiction
What did you like about the book? This is the last book in the Flyy Girls series by Ashley Woodfolk; each book focuses on a different senior girl in the friend group, who all attend a public performance high school. In this story, Tobyn embraces her passion for singing, even though it means being truthful with her mom about pursuing music next year instead of attending college. Other drama in the story includes potential trouble with Tobyn’s older sister, Devyn, another talented musician who’s recently been AWOL, and acknowledging a crush on Micah, one of the other Flyy Girls and an accomplished cellist. There’s lots of fast-paced excitement and racing around as Tobyn auditions for an up and coming band and practices with her all-girl high school a capella group. This slim (133 pages, slightly larger type, widely spaced sentences, and frequent use of texting talk bubbles), plot-driven novel with its attractive colorful cover would be a good option for hi-low readers. All the characters in the book are Black.
Anything you didn’t like about it? I haven’t read the other books in the series, so I felt a bit at sea until I figured out who everyone was and how they meshed together. I would say that reading the other books (in order) would be a prerequisite. The language, character development, and setting are not in the same league as Woodfolk’s other novels, but may be appealing to readers not ready for the longer books.
To whom would you recommend this book? Tweens and teens looking for a short, easy read with lots of action and plot.
Who should buy this book? Middle, high school, and public libraries
Where would you shelve it? YA fiction
Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No
Reviewer: Susan Harari, Keefe Library, Boston Latin School, Boston, MA
Date of review: October 14, 2021