Martha Brockenbrough. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-545-38213-7
Heroes don’t get much more unlikely than Jerome Hancock, who met an early demise courtesy of an arrow to the head. In the 16 years since, Jerome, frozen at age 17, has been laboring through afterlife rehab, trying to make it into heaven. He’s not promising material, but he’s game, sticking close to Heidi Devine, the soul he’s been assigned for guardian angel duty. “How much work could a baby be?” he says. “Also, her mom was hot, so I didn’t mind hanging around one bit.” Heidi grows up to be an awkward, self-conscious teen, who thinks motormouth Jerome is just the voice inside her head until she accidentally falls through pond ice and drowns, discovering that there is a soul that goes along with that voice. But is Heidi really dead? Jerome’s bumbling logic and wickedly funny observations are what make Brockenbrough’s first book for teens so much fun. Underneath the occasionally risqué humor and unexpected plot twists (including the possession of multiple animals’ bodies) is an insightful story about seizing life for all it’s worth while you have the chance. Ages 12–up. Agent: Jill Corcoran, the Herman Agency. (June)
JILL CORCORAN is a children’s book agent with Herman Agency. Her current interests include: high concept Young Adult and Middle Grade Thrillers, Mystery, Romance, Romantic Comedies, and Adventure manuscripts.