This middle grade novel follows the life of Avalyn, an asthmatic girl who loves to spell words, read X-men comics, and spend time with friends. The bane of her existence is a group of bullies, known to her and her two friends, Nan and Dillon, as the Meanie Butt Band. Bryden, Valerie, Emma, and Carlos love to make fun of her and her friends, call them cruel names, and just be plain evil to her and the rest of the school. One regular day, a dust storm rolls in from the middle of nowhere, bringing with it a quiet boy named Adam, who may just turn out to be even bigger and scarier than he seems. The theme(s) of this book: friendship, self-acceptance, and helping people in need.
Dust by Dusti Bowling, (List Price: 16.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316414234, August 2023)
Reviewed by Eliza Fitzgerald, Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina