THE SURVIVORS by Will Weaver
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 31, 2012

"Sobering, thoroughly credible and, ultimately, optimistic about the chances of our better natures triumphing when the going gets rough. (Science fiction. 10-13)"
A family fleeing rapidly degenerating social order caused by world-changing volcanic eruptions finds respite and new heart in this well-crafted sequel to Memory Boy (2001). Read full book review >
NEVER SAY GENIUS by Dan Gutman
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 24, 2012

"Nothing spices up a boring road trip like moments of extreme terror. (Adventure. 10-12)"
Twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald squeak through numerous murder attempts at roadside attractions across the Midwest and on eastward. Read full book review >

THE BOOK OF WONDERS by Jasmine Richards
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 17, 2012

"A sprightly, accessible series opener recommended for those ready for a change of venue from standard-issue, middle-grade fantasy. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
Dipping into the deep plot well of Middle Eastern fairy and folk tales, this buoyant debut offers a fresh plot, brisk pacing and engaging characters. Read full book review >
ICE ISLAND by Sherry Shahan
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 10, 2012

"As a race for survival, this is also an exhilarating sprint through the pages. (author's note, glossary) (Adventure. 9-13)"
Riveting and atmospheric, this is a tale of teenage Tatum, who becomes lost and separated from her friend on an Alaskan island with only a team of dogs, a few supplies and her instincts to keep her alive. Read full book review >
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"A rip-roaring tale with a satisfying conclusion. (author's note, historical note) (Historical fiction. 9-14)"
A not-so-shy Angeline is a force for justice in a Wild West town that is out of control. Read full book review >

THE MAD MASK by Barry Lyga
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"A fizzy mix of multilayered comedy and awesomely destructive battles, presented from an unusual narrative angle. (Adventure. 10-13)"
Continuing to plead that he's not the Archvillain (2010) everyone makes him out to be, a teenager with super powers complicates his case by falling in with a hilariously crazed megalomaniac bent on world conquest. Read full book review >
THE INVISIBLE TOWER by Nils Johnson-Shelton
ADVENTURE
Released: Dec. 27, 2011

"Gives new life to Arthurian legends and may just send readers back to more traditional tellings. (Adventure. 10-14)"
In his first novel for middle-grade readers, Johnson-Shelton serves up the first installment of an Arthurian trilogy starring 12-year-old video-gamer Artie Kingfisher. Read full book review >
EVERY OTHER DAY by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
ADVENTURE
Released: Dec. 27, 2011

"Some good thrills. (Science fiction. 12 & up)"
Dial up the suspense in this series opener about a girl superhero who battles monsters. Read full book review >
BLOOD SUN by David Gilman
ADVENTURE
Released: Dec. 27, 2011

"While not as believable or as enjoyable as Max's last adventure, this is still a solid read from start to breathless finish. (Thriller. 11-15)"
The third installment in the adventures of British teen Max Gordon, who continues his quest to learn more about his family's past. Read full book review >
THE ODYSSEY by Sam Ita
ADVENTURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2011

"Homer himself would be agog. (Pop-up classic. 10-13)"
A highlight-reel version of Odysseus' journey home, framed as a graphic novel and plastered with fantastically dramatic pop-ups and other special effects. Read full book review >
THE ALWAYS WAR by Margaret Peterson Haddix
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 15, 2011

"If hoping to grab a heartfelt connection, readers may feel sidelined, but plot turns will certainly keep them entranced. (Dystopia. 10-14)"
For the past 75 years, Tessa's nation has been at war—a war that has no end in sight. Read full book review >
SHATTER ME by Tahereh Mafi
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 15, 2011

"Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who aren't yet sick of the genre. (Science fiction. 12 & up)"
A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesn't distinguish itself. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >