- Mya’s Strategy to Save the World by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-735-26525-7 $15.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-0-735-26527-1 $9.99
Reviewed from galleys R Gr. 4-7
Mya Parsons is clear-eyed about her path from middle school to adulthood. She will be a U.N. diplomat, and until she reaches her ultimate goal, she will put her skills to use by pricking the social consciences of her classmates in the Kids for Social Justice club she founds. As the news keeps presenting an unending litany of proof that the world needs saving (child labor, environmental threats, etc.), Mya’s energy to address them seems bottomless and bake sales gather in donations for worthy causes. When Mom has to travel to Myanmar to care for her sick mother, though, leaving an overworked husband stretched to his domestic limit, Mya has to attend to looming disasters closer at hand. Mya’s passionate—and often clueless—narration is a thoroughly entertaining rant by an overwrought tween with a big heart, a best-friendship on the wane, embarrassed adults who mistakenly believe she is in need of “the talk,” a class project with a despised boy for a partner, current events clamoring for attention, and worst of all, no cell phone. Kyi keeps the humor bubbling while deeply respecting the good intentions that impel her heroine, particularly when Mya discovers that cobalt used in electronics manufacture contributes to the very human rights abuses she so publicly decries, boxing her into an ethical corner. With a slim page count, brisk delivery, and trove of discussable topics, this bodes well for classroom as well as independent reading.