MANGO DELIGHT is my first Middle Grade novel and it will be released in June by Sterling Publishing. Mango is a twelve year old girl who loses her best friend and finds her destiny. After her devastating loss of her BFF, Mango must make hard choices about the kind of friend she wants to have and the kind of friend she wants to be. Dripping in middle school drama, you’ll laugh with and at Mango, you’ll cry with and for Mango and sometimes you may want to yell some harsh truths at Mango, but all in all, Mango Delight Fuller is a girl you’ll want as a friend.
MANGO DELIGHT Reviews
Review of MANGO DELIGHT
Hyman, Fracaswell (Author)
Jun 2017. 224 p. Sterling, hardcover, $14.95. (9781454923329). Sterling, e-book, $9.99.
Twelve-year-old Mango Delight Fuller upsets her BFF Brook when she wins a race during their Girls on Track club meeting, and it all goes downhill from there. Brook becomes both distant and mean, and while it might seem like this novel will be all about how their friendship is rebuilt and becomes stronger than ever, that would be incorrect. Instead, Brook disappears from the story, and Mango discovers a new resilient side of herself independent of her sometimes-domineering friend, thanks in part to a role in the school play and some new friends, including popular Hailey Joanne, who used to bully Mango and Brook.
Along the way, Mango discovers that Hailey Joanne is nice, funny, and generous, but she’s also insecure, and after some missteps, Mango is the one who needs to make things right.
Hyman marries traditional tween elements with a fresh and original plot, and his multicultural cast sparkles with individuality and authenticity. Hailey Joanne is much more complex than she originally seems, and Hyman’s supporting characters, both kids and adults, are vivid and dynamic. Mango is as delightful as her middle name indicates, and middle-grade readers will easily recognize their own experiences in her friendship struggles. This is Hyman’s first novel; here’s hoping it’s not his last.
by Fracaswell Hyman
Age Range: 8 – 12
The unexpected loss of a dear friendship leads to anxiety and ultimately resilience in television writer and producer Hyman’s first middle-grade novel.
Mango is a thoughtful 12-year-old black girl at Trueheart Middle School when her BFF gets a new cellphone, and suddenly they are on different planes of existence. When Mango accidentally drowns the phone in the bathroom sink, the fallout includes a lost job for her dad, a lost friend, and, above all, a lost sense of self and trust in others. “From then on, I was going to be uber-careful about who I got close to and who I let get close to me.” Fortunately, despite her mounting anxiety, Mango learns that not everyone is as mercurial as her ex–BFF. Izzy, an exuberant Mexican-American classmate and former preschool play date that she had lost touch with, is the first of many to show Mango what a true friendship based on honesty and trust can look like. From cast mates in the school play to mentors and parents, a diverse community surrounds Mango as she learns to believe in herself and others again. Even former enemies can turn out to be friends when one learns to be real. Though this book clearly helps fill the need for minority female leads, the universal themes it addresses give it broad appeal across ages, genders, and cultural backgrounds.
A short and sweet story that will encourage deeper conversations around shame, honesty, and courage. (Fiction. 8-12)
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL
Review of MANGO DELIGHT
HYMAN, Fracaswell. Mango Delight. 224p. Sterling. Jun. 2017. Tr $14.95. ISBN 9781454923329.
Gr 4-7–Mango and her BFF Brooklyn have many things in common: they love to run, they are on the track team together, neither girl is allowed to have a cell phone until she turns 13, and they have a shared dislike for the mean and shallow “Cell-Belles,” led by Hailey Joanne. This all changes in the span of a day—as middle school life is apt to do—when Mango beats both Brooklyn and Hailey Joanne in a race and Brooklyn gets her cell phone before her 13th birthday. Brooklyn is immediately enfolded into the Cell-Belles, leaving Mango feeling a little left out. There is further drama when Mango intercepts a hurtful text Brooklyn has sent about Mango’s mother, and she accidentally breaks Brooklyn’s new phone. The rest of the story plays out in a rather predictable way: Mango must broaden her circle of friends and try new things. The writing is accessible without being trite, and Mango’s inner struggle to be a better person is presented in an interesting and relatable fashion.VERDICT An appealing addition, featuring an African American protagonist, for all middle grade collections; hand to readers who enjoy friendship drama and gentle realism.–Patricia Feriano, ¬Montgomery County Public Schools, MD
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books review of Mango Delight will appear in their June 2017 issue.
Twelve-year-old Mango wishes she could channel the confidence of her hero Beyoncé when Brook, her BFF, dumps her for the popular crowd, but really, she just wants to hide in the bathroom during lunch now. When Brook sneakily signs Mango up for musical auditions—she knows about Mango’s serious stage fright, after all—Mango decides to throw caution to the wind and try out anyway, stunning herself, Brook, and everyone else with her rendition of “Halo.” Soon she’s the star of the school play and a minor YouTube sensation, and her school’s coolest of cool girls is looking at her as a new best friend. The outcast-turned-star premise might be generic, but the characters (with the exception of Brook) are deftly crafted, and their relationships play out in ways that carefully avoid cliché. Queen bee Hailey Joanne, for instance, is often undeniably obnoxious but she’s also a kid trying to figure out whether or not classmates are using her for her wealth and status, and Mango realizes that she too is using Hailey Joanne in her own way and wonders if, in middle school and beyond, everyone’s using somebody as they try to figure out the nuances of relationships. Mango’s supportive family is also well drawn, particularly her comforting Jamaican immigrant father and her no-nonsense, former athlete African-American mom, who’s a loving but demanding figure. Kids who’d settle for making it through middle school unscathed but still dream of shining in it will find a kindred spirit in Mango.
Pub Date: June 6th, 2017
Page count: 224pp
Review Posted Online: March 29th, 2017
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2017
Photo of my editorial team, led by (at far right) Brett Duquette.
The entrance to STERLING PUBLISHING, I was geeked when I first entered these hallowed halls!