A SAMURAI CASTLE by Fiona Macdonald
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 15, 1995

"Overall, this is too bland and general to have more than passing appeal. (appendix, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)"
In the Inside Story series, a sedate view of traditional samurai culture, with slight emphasis on the great castles built in Japan during the 16th and 17th centuries. Read full book review >
A JAR OF TINY STARS by Bernice E. Cullinan
POETRY
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"There are editorial mishaps as well: Esbensen's first name is misspelled in the table of contents, and Adoff's birth date is off by 20 years. (index) (Poetry. 5-12)"
A lively collection of 50 contemporary poems culled from the works of poets who have won the prestigious National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Read full book review >

THE FAROLITOS OF CHRISTMAS by Rudolfo Anaya
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Newcomer Gonzales provides accomplished landscapes and the carefully sculpted faces of Luz and her family glow in the light of the farolitos. (glossary) (Picture book. 5-9)"
The details of life in a New Mexico village ring with authenticity but Anaya's first picture book reads more like an anthropological exercise than a holiday tale. Read full book review >
THE BEGINNING OF THE ARMADILLOS by Rudyard Kipling
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"A terrific, sophisticated introduction to Kipling. (Picture book/folklore. 6-9)"
Invite readers again to visit the High and Far-Off Times in this piece culled from the Just So Stories. Read full book review >
FREEDOM'S FRUIT by William H. Hooks
FANTASY
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Thoughtful readers will see the connection. (Picture book. 9-13)"
Hooks (Where's Lulu?, 1991, etc.) offers another conjure tale set in the days of slavery. Read full book review >

IAN PENNEY'S BOOK OF FAIRY TALES by Ian Penney
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Some of the appeal will be wasted on American children, but travelers, even of the armchair variety, might give it a go. (Picture book/folklore. 7-9)"
The Billy-Goats-Gruff, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty and more of the usual suspects play out their tales on some of Great Britain's historic sites and estates: Stowe, the Giant's Causeway, Kedleston in Derby, the ``Bear's Hut'' on the grounds of Killeston, the garden tower at Cornwall's Trelissick, and Chirk Castle. Read full book review >
THE SKY OF NOW by Chaim  Potok
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Auth's watercolor paintings are flat, cartoonish, and pale, and add little zest to a painfully awkward story, contorted by wise- cracking dialogue and a heavily philosophical denoument. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Potok (The Tree of Here, 1993, etc.) makes a ponderous foray into bibilotherapy in this longish picture book. Read full book review >
MY DREAM OF MARTIN LUTHER KING by Faith Ringgold
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"This is her most accessible work since Tar Beach (1991), much less moiled and private than Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky (1992). (chronology) (Picture book/biography. 7-10)"
Ringgold embroiders her vision of King's life and message with scenes from a dream the narrator has had: Young Martin is turned away from a white school, gets caught up in a civil rights demonstration and is jailed, and marches with his parents in front of a huge crowd, all carrying bags of ``prejudice, ignorance, hate, violence and fear, which they intended to trade for hope, freedom, peace, awareness and love.'' She notes that ``some people had bigger bags than others, but everybody had something to trade.'' Her dream ends at King's funeral, with those bags in a huge pyre. Read full book review >
LUCRETIA MOTT by Jennifer Bryant
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Useful. (b&w photos, not seen, bibliography) (Biography. 10-14)"
Mott may be best known as one of the founders of the women's movement, but she really spent most of her life fighting for the abolition of slavery. Read full book review >
TOMBS AND TREASURES by Catherine Charley
ADVENTURE
Released: Dec. 1, 1995

"Nevertheless, this is filled with intriguing—and gruesome—nuggets on archeology, burial customs, art, architecture, and more. (clear acetate overlays, not seen, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
The latest installment in the See Through History series is a fascinating compendium of sites of buried treasure all over the world, including tombs from Tutankhamen and Philip II of Macedonia to the Lords of Sip†n in Peru and China's terracotta army. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Nov. 30, 1995

"865, etc.) has penned an unusually vapid tale, with attempts at comedy that come nowhere near the mark. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Kim arrives for her first day of eighth grade only to find that the Welcome Day program has been canceled because the student body officers have been sent home roaring drunk. Read full book review >
YOUNG CLAUS by J. Michael Sims
FICTION
Released: Nov. 15, 1995

"Sure to please young readers and listeners. (Fiction. 4-12)"
An imaginative tale of Santa's boyhood. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Nancy Isenberg
author of WHITE TRASH
July 19, 2016

Poor Americans have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlement. They were alternately known as “waste people,” “offals,” “rubbish,” “lazy lubbers,” and “crackers.” By the 1850s, the downtrodden included so-called “clay eaters” and “sandhillers,” known for prematurely aged children distinguished by their yellowish skin, ragged clothing, and listless minds. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over 400 years, in White Trash: The 400-Year Untold History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society––where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility. Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century, and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. “A riveting thesis supported by staggering research,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >