MORIAH'S POND by Ethel Footman Smothers
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 16, 1995

"The plot may wander, the supporting cast is not well visualized, but Annie Rye's vivid, captivating voice will draw readers as a griot draws listeners. (Fiction. 9-11)"
The author of Down in the Piny Woods (1992) returns to the pre-civil-rights era of her youth and a rural family based on her own, marvelously capturing the rhythms and cadence of spoken language in the narrative of ten-year-old Annie Rye. Read full book review >
HEETUNKA'S HARVEST by Jennifer Berry Jones
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 15, 1995

"Keegan's wondrous pictures, however, with borders depicting feathers, wood, and beadwork, more than compensate. (Picture book. 6-12)"
Heetunka the Bean Mouse collects beans in her storehouse for winter. Read full book review >

BEWARE THE RAVENS by Joan Carris
FICTION
Released: Jan. 2, 1995

"The accent may be British, but Carris has concocted a solidly American mystery. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Readers who last met Todd and his great-aunt Morbelia in Aunt Morbelia and the Screaming Skulls (1990) will happily accompany them and Todd's friend Jeff on a trip to England. Read full book review >
FIGHTING TACKLE by Matt Christopher
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 2, 1995

"As usual, exciting sports scenes anchor the plot. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Terry, the fastest runner on his football team, was an ideal defensive safety. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

"The book succeeds on not one front, but two: it puts forth the history of the U.S. space program from the perspective of African-Americans, and shows how the space race can be viewed as a paradigm of the civil rights struggle. (B&W photos, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
The collaborators on a 1990 television documentary with the same title have turned that work into a book, including profiles of recent black astronauts. Read full book review >

BAR MITZVAH by Eric A. Kimmel
RELIGION
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

"Kimmel helpfully answers some of them here. (B&W photos, glossary) (Nonfiction. 11-13)"
Kimmel (The Three Princes, 1994, etc.) interviews those who have experienced bar mitzvah and intersperses their words among the rest of his history of and guide to this Jewish ceremony. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

"Hautzig's full-color photos are technically superb in further chronicling the life of contemporary Indians. (Further reading, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
Krull (Lives of the Writers, 1994, etc.) tells the story of Thirza Defoe and Shawnee Ford, two Indians (a term she says is ``increasingly preferred over'' Native American) who attend the Milwaukee Indian Community School. Read full book review >
MR. LINCOLN'S DRUMMER by G. Clifton Wisler
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

"Nevertheless, this historical novel is scrupulously researched and overflowing with evocative detail, and Willie's tale is authentic and engaging. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Willie Johnston was a real ten-year-old boy who was a drummer for the Union Army during the Civil War, serving with the Third Vermont Infantry and seeing combat before being hospitalized with the fever. Read full book review >
OUT OF THE DARK by Betty Ren Wright
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Jan. 1, 1995

"Although some of the details seem contrived, the suspenseful plot, sturdy cast and particularly threatening ghost will pull readers through this page- turner. (Fiction. 10-13)"
A premier author of reliable ghost stories offers this eerie tale, built on some tried and true elements: recurrent nightmares, a sinister old schoolhouse, family secrets, parallels between past and present, old diaries, and red herrings. Read full book review >
SHAKESPEARE'S THEATER by Jacqueline Morley
NONFICTION
Released: Dec. 31, 1994

"A sturdy addition to the Inside Story series. (Index; glossary; chronology) (Nonfiction. 10-13)"
A thumbnail history of the English theater, from its ancient and medieval predecessors to its suppression by the Puritans. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Dec. 5, 1994

"An extremely promising start for the Casecrackers. (Fiction. 9-12)"
In the first installment of this new series by Nicholson (The Truth About George, not reviewed) and Warner (Colonial American Home Life, not reviewed), the Kerry Hill Casecrackers meet and solve their first mystery. 12-year-old Hally Watkins and her little brother, Jason, are spending the summer in Newport, R.I., with their father. Read full book review >
WINTER ACROSS AMERICA by Seymour Simon
NONFICTION
Released: Dec. 5, 1994

"A book smart enough to be kept on the reference shelf, but with photos that tempt you to tear them out and frame them. (Nonfiction/Picture book. 5-10)"
Simon (Comets, Meteors, and Asteroids, p. 995, etc.) has written a lively and informative text as a companion to his Autumn Across America (1993). Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >