Teen Book Reviews (page 5)

SWORD AND VERSE by Kathy MacMillan
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Kudos for a fresh take on a fraught topic but not for derailing slavery into a vehicle for romantic angst. (Fantasy. 12-18)"
Literacy becomes the key to liberation in a thoughtful debut fantasy. Read full book review >
THE RADIANT ROAD by Katherine Catmull
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Fewer words would have made a better story. (Fantasy. 12-16)"
A 15-year-old American girl and a half-fairy Irish boy fight to save the gate to the fairies' world. Read full book review >

THE ISLE by Jordana Frankel
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Narrative distractions are overcome by action and character development in this duology closer. (Dystopian adventure. 12-16)"
After The Ward (2013), Ren must save her adopted sister, Aven, from Gov. Voss while keeping the newly discovered magical spring from him and his plans.Read full book review >
UP TO THIS POINTE by Jennifer Longo
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A moving love letter to dance, dreams, and San Francisco, and a look at how embracing personal passion leads to fulfillment (even if it wasn't part of the plan). (Fiction. 12-18)"
Six months in an isolated Antarctic research station give Harper, a recent high school graduate, time to reflect and heal after the painful end of her ballet aspirations. Read full book review >
MY SECOND LIFE by Faye Bird
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"A page-turning mystery with a spot-on emotional core. (author's note) (Mystery. 14 & up)"
A teen living her second life is haunted by having killed someone in her first. Read full book review >

SANCTUARY BAY by Laura J. Burns
Released: Jan. 19, 2016

"Fun enough, till the formula sets in. (Suspense. 14-18)"
An impoverished serial foster child finds herself enrolled in the world's most exclusive preparatory school. Read full book review >
UP FROM THE SEA by Leza Lowitz
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"It's the haunting details of those around Kai that readers will remember. (author preface, afterword) (Verse fiction. 12-14)"
Kai's life is upended when his coastal village is devastated in Japan's 2011 earthquake and tsunami in this verse novel from an author who experienced them firsthand. Read full book review >
ZERO DAY by Jan Gangsei
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Skip it. (Thriller. 12-16)"
At age 8, Adele Webster disappeared from her home without a trace. Read full book review >
THE ASSASSIN'S MASQUE by Sarah Zettel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"Like its heroine, Zettel's tale is still smarter and wittier than its rivals. (Historical mystery. 12 & up)"
In which our nimble heroine's loyalties and espionage skills are extravagantly tested. Read full book review >
THE BORDEN MURDERS by Sarah Miller
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"The high-appeal topic will attract many readers, and the suspenseful account will have them trying to solve this still unresolved murder mystery. (author's note, endnotes, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 11-15)"
This true-crime narrative examines the question that mesmerized the nation in 1892: did Lizzie Borden kill her father and stepmother? Read full book review >
UNDERWATER by Marisa Reichardt
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A moving, reflective exploration of grief, trauma, and how individuals find their paths toward resilience. (Fiction. 14-18)"
Confined to her apartment for four months by crippling panic attacks, Morgan tries to recuperate from the school shooting she witnessed, but her fear of the world's unpredictable dangers hampers her efforts. Read full book review >
THE BLUE WOODS by Nicole Maggi
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Jan. 12, 2016

"A satisfying finale. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
This final installment of the Twin Willows Trilogy finds the battle between the Benandanti and the Malandanti at a head. 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 >