NONFICTION
Released: Jan. 15, 1997

"Nevertheless, the book is intriguing, as much fun to browse as it is to sink into for research. (maps, diagrams, chronology, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)"
A concise history of Chinese thought and creativity, covering not only scientific ideas and inventions, but religion and philosophy, government, trade, farming, and more. Read full book review >
BETWEEN THE DRAGON AND THE EAGLE by Mical Schneider
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 15, 1997

"In short, this is history brought joyfully to life. (Fiction. 11-14)"
The fictionalized backbone of this engaging and informative first novel in the Adventures in Time series is the journey, 2,000 years ago, of a single bolt of blue silk from China to Rome. Read full book review >

HISTORY
Released: Jan. 15, 1997

"Macdonald (A Samurai Castle, 1995, etc.) offers much to intrigue readers, but they will have to work harder to extract the facts than they would in other, better designed books on the subject. (glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 7-10)"
In the First Facts series, a look at life in ancient Rome, presented in double-page spreads, each of which is centered on one fact, such as ``Rich Romans Ate Flamingos and Peacocks'' and ``Many Roman Soldiers Couldn't Speak Latin.'' Each spread contains a few paragraphs of information, numerous small captioned pictures, and a box of additional facts. Read full book review >
WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT SIKHISM? by Beryl Dhanjal
RELIGION
Released: Jan. 15, 1997

"For patient, scrupulous readers, some sense of Sikhism will emerge, but this is by no means a standard text on the religion. (maps, chronology, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
An entry in the What Do We Know About series that intends to enlighten but here only confuses. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Jan. 6, 1997

"For children making the transition to chapter books, this is readable fare, nothing more. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Zack, a boy with a propensity for supernatural experiences, and his friend Spencer, learn from a '60s-era book how to have an out-of-body experience. Read full book review >

THE STORY OF WRITING AND PRINTING by Anita Ganeri
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"In the Signs of the Times series, this is an engaging look at a revolutionary process that continues to unfold. (chronology, glossary, index) (Nonfiction. 8-11)"
Anyone who has ever reveled in drawing with Magic Markers or has cherished a particular pen should enjoy this quick and upbeat introduction to the history of written text by Ganeri (Bizarre Beasts, p. 1532, etc.). Read full book review >
HARP SEAL PUPS by Downs Matthews
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"Matthews names walruses, killer whales, and sharks as the seals' enemies, but it's a glaring omission not to include humans on the list. (map) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-10)"
An Arctic ice slab seems an especially cold delivery table, but for baby harp seals, it's also their crib and their nursery. Read full book review >
ON GUARD by Donna Jo Napoli
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"The author writes authoritatively of this unusual martial art, and lays on lessons with a light hand. (Fiction. 9-11)"
Having overcome his fear of drowning in When the Water Closes Over My Head (1994), Mikey advances further down the road of self-discovery when he witnesses a fencing demonstration and catches the fever. Read full book review >
BILL PICKETT by William R. Sanford
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"Pickett's stunt will draw readers in initially, but his life story is inspiring enough to keep them. (Nonfiction. 9-15)"
With the superfluous subtitle ``African-American Rodeo Cowboy,'' this entry in the Legendary Heroes of the Wild West series should prove interesting not only to its targeted audience of less-able readers, but to others as well. Read full book review >
LOS VAQUEROS by Sammye Munson
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"While the Mexican influence on the origins of the cowboy is neglected, this book doesn't tend to the oversight. (b&w photos, not seen, glossary, bibliography) (Fiction. 7-10)"
A fictional narrator, Francisco, tells about life on his Texas ranch, and passes along the stories his grandfather told him about the vaqueros, the Mexican cowboys. Read full book review >
THE GOOCH MACHINE by Brod Bagert
POETRY
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"Jean Marzollo's Pretend You're A Cat (1990), the acting-out potential seems indirect at best. (Poetry. 7-9)"
In these ``Poems for Children to Perform,'' young readers may first elect to scratch their heads: ``Alien Eyes?'' is about looking into another planet's sky; ``The Homework Guarantee'' covers procrastination; and ``Butterfly Fire'' trumpets something about ``the flame of poet-fire/When it burns in children's eyes.'' Budding dramatists can take hints from the chubby-face children who cavort through Ellis's sprawling cartoon scenes; these are usually light in mood, although the image of a man sweating over his taxes is a dismal take on ``Dad's Greatest Fear''—``that someday/I'll grow up just like him.'' Bagert's occasional proficiency, as in ``The Food Cheer''—``Carnivores! Read full book review >
PROMISE ME THE MOON by Joyce Annette Barnes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 1, 1997

"However, readers will care about this aspiring astronaut, who finds a joyous fate at book's end and cares as much about her bright future in school as she does about her new romance. (Fiction. 10-14)"
In this sequel to The Baby Grand, the Moon in July, and Me (1994), Annie Armstrong is in eighth grade, and everything is going wrong. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Yoojin Grace Wuertz
February 27, 2017

In Yoojin Grace Wuertz’s debut novel Everything Belongs to Us, the setting is Seoul in 1978. At South Korea’s top university, the nation’s best and brightest compete to join the professional elite of an authoritarian regime. Success could lead to a life of rarefied privilege and wealth; failure means being left irrevocably behind. For childhood friends Jisun and Namin, the stakes couldn’t be more different. Jisun, the daughter of a powerful business mogul, grew up on a mountainside estate with lush gardens and a dedicated chauffeur. Namin’s parents run a tented food cart from dawn to curfew; her sister works in a shoe factory. Now Jisun wants as little to do with her father’s world as possible, abandoning her schoolwork in favor of the underground activist movement, while Namin studies tirelessly in the service of one goal: to launch herself and her family out of poverty. But everything changes when Jisun and Namin meet an ambitious, charming student named Sunam, whose need to please his family has led him to a prestigious club: the Circle. Under the influence of his mentor, Juno, a manipulative social climber, Sunam becomes entangled with both women, as they all make choices that will change their lives forever. “Engrossing,” our reviewer writes in a starred review. “Wuertz is an important new voice in American fiction.” View video >