Released: Nov. 25, 2002

"11 US underscores his passionate plea to remember. (Nonfiction. 9-14)"
The author's visit to Manzanar, one of ten Japanese internment camps established during WWII, serves as the frame for this exploration of the forced evacuation of over 100,000 Japanese and Japanese-Americans and their lives in the relocation camp. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 6, 2002

"The deus ex machina conclusion is no more far-fetched than a typical Dickens dénouement. (Fiction. 12-14)"
A Dickensian novel reveals the horrors of 19th-century life in England. Read full book review >

FLYING LESSONS by Kezi Matthews
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"Readers will concur. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Although all the evidence points to a plane crash when her dancer mother fails to return from a flight with her stunt-pilot boyfriend, LaMarr refuses to believe she's dead, insisting that she has gone to Hollywood and will soon be seen in a movie musical. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"A winner. (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
A breezy, accessible collection of science projects that will appeal to both middle-grade science enthusiasts and less-motivated students. Read full book review >
MISSING by Catherine MacPhail
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"The story, with characters as palpable as this page, works on many levels: it explores the complexity of grief and love, the devastating fact of runaways living on the street, and the powerful menace of bullies, all in the guise of a good old-fashioned ghost story. (Fiction. 12-17)"
As 13-year-old Maxine assaults an arcade video game, the reader is dropped into the fray and knows that this girl is suffering from more than teen angst. Read full book review >

A DANCE OF SISTERS by Tracey Porter
Released: Nov. 1, 2002

"The references to New York companies and schools are out of date and too esoteric for most readers, though budding Delias will probably not mind. (Fiction. 12-14)"
In this story of family dysfunction, two sisters attempt in very different fashions to cope with the death of their mother. Read full book review >
SOUL MOON SOUP by Lindsay Lee Johnson
Released: Oct. 30, 2002

"The use of free verse for novels has gained sudden popularity, but this particular effort could have used a slower pace, a separation between poems, and some grit. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Phoebe Rose and her mother are homeless, abandoned by Daddy with no resources to support them, but shelters and a suitcase. Read full book review >
MESSENGER by Virginia Frances Schwartz
Released: Oct. 15, 2002

"Readers who stay the course will be rewarded with an affecting tale of hardships overcome. (Fiction. 12-15)"
Schwartz (If I Just Had Two Wings, not reviewed, etc.) draws on family history for this ponderous but lyrically written tale of a growing clan of Croatian immigrants struggling to get by in Depression-era Canada. Read full book review >
GRASSLANDS by Debra Seely
Released: Oct. 15, 2002

"An excellent coming-of-age story and a must for collections on prairies, cowboy life, and westward expansion after the Civil War. (author's note, sources) (Fiction. 10-14)"
Thomas Hunter felt constrained by the life his wealthy grandfather had laid out for him: "Academy, college, a law school. Read full book review >
HOOP GIRLZ by Lucy Jane Bledsoe
Released: Oct. 15, 2002

"Tailor-made for the high-interest, low-reading level audience, too. (Fiction. 10-14)"
An 11-year-old girl who lives to play basketball creates her own team, the Hoop Girlz, when she's not selected to be on the town's A-list squad. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 15, 2002

"A lively look at a slice of American history. (Historical fiction. 12-15)"
In 1865 orphans were given few choices in life, but 16-year-old Emeline finds the courage to make a journey that promises to change the course of hers forever. Read full book review >
QUIVER by Stephanie Spinner
Released: Oct. 8, 2002

"Brutal in spots, but lighter than the psychodramas Donna Jo Napoli and others are fond of crafting from the old tales. (afterword) (Fiction. 12-15)"
Spinner (Expiration Date: Never, 2001, etc.) hops aboard the mythological bandwagon, turning the tale of Atalanta into a teenager's coming-of-age. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >