VALKYRIE by Kate O'Hearn
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An interesting premise that never comes together. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
As a Valkyrie, Freya is charged with bringing the chosen warriors to Valhalla, where they spend the afterlife drinking, feasting, and battling, but she finds violence horrifying and longs for a different life. Read full book review >
THE NINE LIVES OF JACOB TIBBS by Cylin Busby
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An absorbing historical coming-of-age adventure supported by deeper themes of grief, despair, and determination. (Historical fiction. 8-12)"
A ship's cat relates his adventures at sea in this middle-grade novel set in the 1840s. Read full book review >

CRIMINAL DESTINY by Gordon Korman
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Oddly paced with little payoff, this sequel falls victim to middle-volume slump. (Adventure. 8-12)"
After discovering that their home of Serenity, New Mexico, is really a giant science experiment to test the effects of nurturing on clones of master criminals (Masterminds, 2015), four teens escape and head out into the world in search of revenge and freedom.Read full book review >
A WEEK WITHOUT TUESDAY by Angelica Banks
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A stimulating read that validates and encourages the creative impulse—highly recommended. (Fantasy. 8-14)"
In this middle-grade sequel to Finding Serendipity (2015), Tuesday McGillycuddy, Baxterr the dog, and the fictional, winged Vivienne Small continue their adventures in the worlds of writerly imagination.Read full book review >
QUEST MAKER by Laurie McKay
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A sometimes-amusing, sometimes-thrilling, and always entertaining sequel that hints that math might be used for evil and the mystery lunch might pack a deadly surprise. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
Prince Caden, future Elite Paladin of the Greater Realm, continues to try and find a way home from the Land of Shadow (aka Asheville, North Carolina), where he and the young sorceress Brynne are trapped with some of their world's greatest villains. Read full book review >

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 >
SIMON THORN AND THE WOLF'S DEN by Aimée Carter
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A thrill from start to finish, the book will have readers eager to return to the magical world of Simon Thorn. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
Simon Thorn enters a supernatural world as the unlikely hero of Carter's middle-grade novel. 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 >
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 >