Parker Mills is the two-time winner of the Miss Divine Pecan Pageant, the chair of the 8th grade social committee, and a secret psychic empath. With her gift, Parker experiences the strong emotions of everyone around her, which is harder than it sounds. Luckily, she's finally developed better control. Even better, Parker has five awesome friends who are just as gifted as she is, each in their own unique way. It's going to be a great last few months of middle school. But when kids from Archer, the rival middle school, are forced to share Divine Middle, threats and fights explode.
Unfortunately, the Queen of Archer, Gabby Durand, has no interest in using their mutual influence to smooth out the tensions. Nor does she welcome Parker’s award-winning help. She's too busy trying to take Parker's top place in everything, as if she ever could. But with new dangers coming at the secret psychics from all sides, Parker needs to work with Gabby before their rivalry literally burns down the school.
Amy writes magical escapes for young readers and the young at heart. She is the author of the World of Aluvia series, The Secret Psychic series, and the Wish & Wander series, for ages 10-14 and up. Her latest book is The Worst Villain Ever, for ages 8-12. She is also a former reading teacher and school librarian.
As a military kid, she moved eight times before she was eighteen, so she feels especially fortunate to be married to her high school sweetheart. Together they’re raising two daughters in San Antonio. You can find her online at amybearce.com.
It was so fun to check back in with Parker and the gang! And this time, instead of having to welcome a new girl to the school, they're having to welcome the entirety of their rival school, which had recently suffered damage in a fire. The rival Queen Bee, Gabby, is after Parker's leading role in the school play. In fact, she seems to be trying to take over Parker's role in literally everything. Soon, Parker realizes that she and her pals might not be the only psychics in town, and she and Gabby must set aside petty jealousies in order to work together to protect their shared secret, and more importantly, their friends.
This book is perfect for younger YA readers (and anybody who loves a story with quirky and intriguing characters). The psychic element is super fun, and this book will be a hit with X-Men fans. Bearce does an amazing job with character development and the story is fast-paced, entertaining, and has the same fun voice of Shortcuts, the first book in the Secret Psychics series.
DETOURS is a fun sequel for SHORTCUTS, similar in tone but with the addition of some great new characters who up the tension and the stakes. It moves fast and maintains Parker's humor and style, staying in her point of view. I like that the plot doesn't rehash the same character problem from Book 1, but instead naturally flows with another conflict that highlights their secret psychic powers. But really the story is about so much more than that.
This is a contemporary lower YA/upper middle grade story about a happy, self-confident 8th grader (who happens to be a psychic empath) who finally meets her match, with someone who as gifted, confident, and popular as she is. As with SHORTCUTS, this book, at its heart, is about relationships and emotions. And also, it's just a lot of fun.