SAMURAI RISING by Pamela S. Turner
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A well-researched narrative told with true grit. (author's notes, timeline, glossary, chapter notes, bibliography) (Biography. 10-14)"
The life of 12th-century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune unfolds in this compelling and often shocking nonfiction account. The opening warning doesn't lie: very few people die of natural causes. Read full book review >
PINK IS FOR BLOBFISH by Jess Keating
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An intriguing approach for animal-fact enthusiasts. (Informational picture book. 7-11)"
Seventeen of the world's oddest creatures share a single characteristic: their pink coloration. Read full book review >

BEATRIX POTTER AND THE UNFORTUNATE TALE OF A BORROWED GUINEA PIG by Deborah Hopkinson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The use of invented dialogue makes this problematic as straight biography, but it is nevertheless a charming, delightful homage. (author's note, photographs, notes) (Picture book. 4-9)"
Beatrix Potter was an artist and writer whose tales of the small animals she loved have entertained generations of children; here, Hopkinson and Voake offer a story of her childhood. Read full book review >
VASILISA THE BEAUTIFUL by Anthea Bell
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Older children and art students will respond warmly. (Picture book/folk tale. 8-12)"
The Russian tale of Vasilisa and Baba Yaga, reillustrated for a new generation. Read full book review >
BAKER'S MAGIC by Diane Zahler
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A sweet, magical, environmentally conscious adventure. (Fantasy. 8-11)"
A young orphan will need all the magic she can muster if she is to help her friends, defeat an evil mage, and figure out how to save the kingdom from destruction. Read full book review >

A PLACE FOR ELIJAH by Kelly Easton Ruben
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A sweet Pesach indeed. (afterword) (Picture book. 5-9)"
Everyone is welcome at the Seder table, but will there be a seat for the Prophet Elijah? Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Poetic and informative, a breath of fresh air in the too-often-contrived world of bilingual books. (author notes, glossaries, author's sources) (Bilingual informational picture book. 5-9)"
By means of the alphabet, this bilingual book introduces the cloud forest habitat of the olinguito, a recently discovered mammalian species from the Ecuadorean Andes. Read full book review >
STARS OF THE ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGHWAY by Victoria Micklish Pasmore
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Still, Pasmore gives recognition to other influential and deserving figures whose names have dropped off the music radar. (sources) (Collective biography. 9-12)"
Vest-pocket profiles of rock-'n'-roll pioneers who first planted their roots along Arkansas' Highway 67. Read full book review >
WHEN THE SUN SHINES ON ANTARCTICA by Irene Latham
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A tender, lively, and mostly thoughtful tour through summer on the frozen continent. (glossary, further reading) (Informational picture book/poetry. 7-12)"
For six months straight, the sun shines in Antarctica, and the ice and oceans are alive with activity. Read full book review >
TIMO'S GARDEN by Victoria Allenby
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A fine title for growing readers. (Early reader. 7-9)"
Timo the rabbit is eager to make his garden "great." Read full book review >
APOLLO by George O'Connor
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Apollo's darker tendencies overshadow his divine radiance here but, as usual, make better tales. (Olympian family tree) (Graphic mythology. 8-14)"
O'Connor makes out his latest Olympian as a tragic hero "who has had many loves, but whose loves seldom prosper." To say the least. Read full book review >
THE ONLY GIRL IN SCHOOL by Natalie Standiford
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"An engaging first-person voice and convincing characters make this epistolary novel of friendship and girl power a success. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Claire, the only girl in her small Maryland island school, recounts her fifth-grade year in a series of humorous yet poignant letters to her best friend who moved away. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >