LITTLE CAT'S LUCK by Marion Dane Bauer
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Excellent for young readers and all cat lovers. (Verse fiction. 7-12)"
This little cat's luck turns out to be dependent on the kindness of strangers, and that, most satisfyingly, connects back to her own unerring kindness. Read full book review >
PAX by Sara Pennypacker
Kirkus Star
by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Moving and poetic. (Animal fantasy. 9-13)"
A motherless boy is forced to abandon his domesticated fox when his father decides to join soldiers in an approaching war. Read full book review >

BEATRIX POTTER AND THE UNFORTUNATE TALE OF A BORROWED GUINEA PIG by Deborah Hopkinson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The use of invented dialogue makes this problematic as straight biography, but it is nevertheless a charming, delightful homage. (author's note, photographs, notes) (Picture book. 4-9)"
Beatrix Potter was an artist and writer whose tales of the small animals she loved have entertained generations of children; here, Hopkinson and Voake offer a story of her childhood. Read full book review >
SAMURAI RISING by Pamela S. Turner
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A well-researched narrative told with true grit. (author's notes, timeline, glossary, chapter notes, bibliography) (Biography. 10-14)"
The life of 12th-century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune unfolds in this compelling and often shocking nonfiction account. The opening warning doesn't lie: very few people die of natural causes. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Poetic and informative, a breath of fresh air in the too-often-contrived world of bilingual books. (author notes, glossaries, author's sources) (Bilingual informational picture book. 5-9)"
By means of the alphabet, this bilingual book introduces the cloud forest habitat of the olinguito, a recently discovered mammalian species from the Ecuadorean Andes. Read full book review >

SPIRIT WEEK SHOWDOWN by Crystal Allen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Nuanced depictions of friendship coupled with larger-than-life and fully three-dimensional characters make this delightful book at once thoughtful and a riot to read. (Fiction. 8-10)"
Allen deftly explores the evolving friendships of Mya Tibbs as she and her Spirit Week partner compete for VIP tickets to the Fall Festival. Read full book review >
PUGS OF THE FROZEN NORTH by Philip Reeve
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A madcap, magical blend of fluff and other good stuff. (Fantasy. 7-10)"
Two kids and their 66 pugs enter a magical dog-sled race. Read full book review >
SOME KIND OF COURAGE by Dan Gemeinhart
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Poignant and real. (Historical fiction. 8-12)"
Twelve-year-old Joseph Johnson searches the Northwest frontier for his missing horse and a new family. Read full book review >
TO CATCH A CHEAT by Varian Johnson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"A satisfying stand-alone sequel; new readers and old friends will be hoping for further adventures. (Fiction. 10-15)"
A doctored video showing Jackson Greene and his eighth-grade friends sneaking in to clog Maplewood Middle School toilets pulls the former prankster and his crew into an elaborate set of strategies to catch the perpetrator and foil a couple of would-be cheaters in the process. Read full book review >
THE CAT WHO CAME IN OFF THE ROOF by Annie M.G. Schmidt
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A charming, refreshing, and funny treat. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
A shy newspaper reporter gets a helping paw from local felines through a mysterious and "cattish" young lady. Read full book review >
SOLVING THE PUZZLE UNDER THE SEA by Robert Burleigh
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"An ideal introduction to a lesser-known scientist and an important understanding about how the Earth works. (Informational picture book. 5-9)"
Working in a time when women were still unwelcome in her field, Marie Tharp mapped the ocean floor and provided convincing evidence for the previously rejected hypothesis of continental drift. Read full book review >
SOAR by Joan Bauer
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 5, 2016

"An outstanding, tender exploration of courage and the true nature of heroism and, for good measure, a fine homage to America's game, as well. (Fiction. 9-13)"
Jeremiah has a lot of heart, which is a little ironic, since the heart that beats in his chest is a transplanted one.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >