NIAGARA FALLS by Leonard Everett Fisher
Released: June 15, 1996

"Fisher's inclusion of the death-defying stunts (from walking a tightrope over the falls to plunging over them in barrels) by daredevils seeking fame and fortune is sure to entertain readers. (b&w photos and reproductions, map, index.) (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
In an account published in 1683, the first European to write about Niagara Falls, Father Louis Hennepin of France, called it a ``Waterfall, which has no equal.'' Fisher (William Tell, 1996, etc.) creates a readable, humorous history of the falls from the 1500s, when the Seneca tribe controlled the area around it, to the times, past and present, when it has been a popular tourist attraction (``There I stood, and humbly scanned/The miracle that sense appals,/And I watched the tourists stand/Spitting in Niagara Falls''—Morris Bishop) and a great natural source of water power. Read full book review >
POWERHOUSE by Charlotte Wilcox
Released: June 7, 1996

"On the whole, however, the book casts light on what goes on inside a building most readers will never have the chance to visit. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 5-10)"
A guided tour of a nuclear power plant, packed with color photos of futuristic machinery. Read full book review >

Released: June 1, 1996

"Nevertheless, this is entertaining reading, with whimsical black-and-white drawings, places to write for more information, a brief bibliography, and an index. (Nonfiction. 10-12)"
In this entertaining companion volume to Mistakes that Worked (1994), Jones describes more of the often humorous incidents that resulted in inventions, products, and fashions. Read full book review >
THE BEE AND THE DREAM by Jan Freeman Long
Released: June 1, 1996

"Just as meticulous and quite full of humor are the illustrations: Shin's posture when he believes his fortune is lost has the slope of the truly wretched. (Picture book. 6-9)"
A Japanese folktale that illustrates how purchasing a friend's dream can lead to profit is sandwiched between two old sayings. ``When you see a bee fly from someone's nose, good fortune will be yours'' is the promise that opens the book. Read full book review >
SOME FRIEND by Sally Warner
Released: June 1, 1996

"An enjoyable and involving book, it is somehow incomplete. (Fiction. 8-12)"
In this sequel to Dog Years (1995, not reviewed), Case Hill has a new set of problems to deal with, the most serious of which concerns his best friend, Ned. Read full book review >

Released: June 1, 1996

"The pervasive sense of sorrow, tempered by hope, may mark the book as bibliotherapy, to be shared by adults and children, rather than for young readers on their own. (Picture book. 6-10)"
When fuzzy bears hit the booze it can be just as devastating to their lives as it is for humans. Read full book review >
PANDORA by William Mayne
Released: June 1, 1996

"Poetic and satisfying. (Picture book. 5-9)"
Mayne (Hob and the Goblin, 1994, etc.) has written sympathetically of cats before in The Patchwork Cat (1981), and his description of a boggart-beset cottage cat is one of the eerie details enriching his novel, Earthfasts (1967). Read full book review >
STICKS by Joan Bauer
Released: June 1, 1996

"Characters both major and minor come to life, a recurring math theme ties things together, and Cruckston, New Jersey, emerges as a town with a lot more heart than its seedy exterior suggests. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Fifth grader Mickey Vernon has a dream—to be the winner of the nine-ball tournament for the 1013 set, held right in his own family's pool hall. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1996

A field guide, published in cooperation with the Denver Museum of Natural History, that encourages children to observe plants and animals in nature throughout the year. Read full book review >
FIRST CAME THE OWL by Judith BenÇt Richardson
Released: June 1, 1996

"Like its heroine, this story has quiet strengths and makes for thoughtful and rewarding reading. (Fiction. 9-11)"
When Mah-jah (Mom in Thai) is hospitalized for depression during a cheerless Cape Cod winter, Nita is taken in by her best friend's family, the kind, calm Stillwater clan. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1996

"Parts of this are better than the disappointing whole. (b&w illustrations, not seen) (Anthology. 10-13)"
A tantalizing but disconnected sampler that hints at the range of contributions of 20th- century Hispanic authors and artists to this country's culture. Read full book review >
DADDY'S WEDDING by Michael Willhoite
Released: June 1, 1996

"A practical title for the parenting shelves, perhaps, rather than for general picture book collections, this book is less a literary effort than a work to reassure those in similar situations. (Picture book. 4-10)"
In the sequel to Daddy's Roommate (1990, not reviewed), ten- year-old Nick is the ``best man'' at the commitment ceremony of his gay father and his partner, Frank. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
H.W. Brands
October 11, 2016

As noted historian H.W. Brands reveals in his new book The General vs. the President: MacArthur and Truman at the Brink of Nuclear War, at the height of the Korean War, President Harry S. Truman committed a gaffe that sent shock waves around the world. When asked by a reporter about the possible use of atomic weapons in response to China's entry into the war, Truman replied testily, "The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has." This suggested that General Douglas MacArthur, the willful, fearless, and highly decorated commander of the American and U.N. forces, had his finger on the nuclear trigger. A correction quickly followed, but the damage was done; two visions for America's path forward were clearly in opposition, and one man would have to make way. Truman was one of the most unpopular presidents in American history. General MacArthur, by contrast, was incredibly popular, as untouchable as any officer has ever been in America. The contest of wills between these two titanic characters unfolds against the turbulent backdrop of a faraway war and terrors conjured at home by Joseph McCarthy. “An exciting, well-written comparison study of two American leaders at loggerheads during the Korean War crisis,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. View video >