THE ABC ANIMAL ORCHESTRA by Donald Saaf
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"Preschoolers may not know all of the creatures (aardvark, kiwi, ibex), but they will have fun pointing out what's happening and connecting letters with them. Isn't that what alphabet books are supposed to do? (Picture book. 2-4)"
The title says it all—kind of. Read full book review >
THE TAPPER TWINS GO TO WAR (WITH EACH OTHER) by Geoff Rodkey
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"This frothy family contretemps ends on a note of sincere reconciliation (once Reese's hair grows back out, anyway)—that's presumably upended in time for the sequel. (Fiction. 10-12)"
An escalating sibling spat delivers "a buttload of life lessons" along with tears, terrible smells, a dorky mohawk and massive numbers of video game casualties. Read full book review >

THE WHALE IN MY SWIMMING POOL by Joyce Wan
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"Both very silly and very appealing. (Picture book. 4-6)"
A little boy of pleasingly indeterminate ethnicity goes out to his little backyard inflatable pool to find a whale in it. Read full book review >
MYSTERY IN MAYAN MEXICO by Marcia Wells
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"Comical and clever in spots but overall, a sad follow-up to Mystery on Museum Mile (2014). (appendix of Mayan gods) (Mystery. 9-11)"
A free trip to the Yucatán pitches Edmund, a young artist/sleuth with a photographic memory, and his OCD pal Jonah into a new investigation involving an unsolved old crime and disappearing gold. Read full book review >
THE BLACK RECKONING by John Stephens
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"This fantasy trilogy closes with both satisfying finality and the realistic, requisite heartbreak that comes with saying goodbye. (Fantasy. 10-14)"
Kids grow up so quickly these days—at least they do when they are prophetically linked to magical relics. Read full book review >

DIARY OF A WAITRESS by Carolyn Meyer
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"A slowly paced and occasionally even tedious depiction of a small slice of American railroad history. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
Although more than a year too young for the position, almost-17-year-old Kitty takes a job as a Harvey Girl, one of the well-trained waitresses that staffed a national restaurant chain serving rail passengers from the late-19th to mid-20th centuries. Read full book review >
LIKE A RIVER by Kathy Cannon Wiechman
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"A superb Civil War tale of friendship, loyalty and what it means to be a man. (bibliography) (Historical fiction. 9-14)"
The stories of three teens intersect in the later years of the Civil War in this debut novel. Read full book review >
THE TRAP by Steven  Arntson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"An amazing blend of mystery, romance, science fiction and social commentary. (Science fiction. 9-12)"
It is 1963 in Farro, Iowa, where not much happens—at least until the school bully goes missing and four seventh-graders find a book that allows them to literally have out-of-body experiences. Read full book review >
LOOK! by Jeff Mack
by Jeff Mack, illustrated by Jeff Mack
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"Look, indeed! An energetic invitation to the joys of books. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Even an ape knows books can be better than TV. Read full book review >
EVERYBODY SLEEPS (BUT NOT FRED) by Josh Schneider
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"Ingenious. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Master staller Fred meets his match (poetry!) in this hilarious not-yet-ready-for-bed tale. Read full book review >
MABEL AND ME  by Mark Sperring
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"A pretty package but lacking in substance and storyline. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A small mouse with delusions of grandeur strolls down a vaguely Parisian street with his best friend, Mabel. Read full book review >
SNIFF! SNIFF! by Ryan Sias
by Ryan Sias, illustrated by Ryan Sias
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 7, 2015

"Young readers will sniff their ways to this one again and again. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A little brown puppy follows his nose and has an aroma-filled day. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >