SCRIBBLE by Richard W. Jennings
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"The narrative moves back and forth from the present to Lawson's days with the terminally ill Jip, his matter-of-fact narration by turns funny and achingly sad, the arbitrary nature of life and death—and life after death—mining the surreal for truth. (Fiction. 10-14)"
"That's the thing about missing somebody who's not coming back. . . . It's like trying to live without food." Read full book review >
NORTH OF EVERYTHING by Craig Crist-Evans
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Gentle and contemplative. (Fiction. 10-14)"
A spare, poignant piece about a quiet farming family's loss, sorrow, and recovery. Read full book review >

COBWEBS by Karen Romano Young
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Young draws readers into the story, thread by thread, until clues are woven together into a convoluted yet predictable conclusion. (Fiction. 12-14)"
Nancy lives with her mother in gentrified Brooklyn in the downstairs apartment of her grandparents' brownstone. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

This clear-eyed account of the civil-rights movement's most vicious years should be required reading for anyone who thinks that it all began and ended with Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. Read full book review >
PERFECT by Natasha Friend
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Clearly and simply written with a nice balance of humor and drama, with insight into the mind of 13-year-olds and how families suffer from trauma, this story can speak to girls coping with their own transitions into adolescence. (Fiction. 10-16)"
Thirteen-year-old Isabelle has a gaping hole in her life: her father died several years ago, and she has never expressed her emotions about the tragedy. Read full book review >

KING OF THE MIDDLE MARCH by Kevin Crossley-Holland
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Superb writing, prodigious research, a wealth of detail, and fine bookmaking make these the best tales of the Middle Ages for young readers, an epic they will hate to see end. (cast of characters, author's note, word list, calendar) (Fiction. 9-14)"
Concluding a trilogy that began with The Seeing Stone (2001) and continued with At the Crossing-Places (2002), this handsome, beautifully written volume weaves several threads into a magnificent whole. Read full book review >
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Even readers who don't know of Bonaparte will be caught up in the interplay between girl and emperor and the surrounding drama of the world's history—and their own. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
The bare bones of this inventive historical fiction is the unique friendship between Napoleon Bonaparte and 14-year-old Betsy Balcome, whose English family lived on St. Read full book review >
WALT WHITMAN by Barbara Kerley
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"A cultural force rendered with power and immediacy for a new generation. (notes, sources, poetry excerpts) (Nonfiction. 9-14)"
A visual and textual portrait of America's most revolutionary and celebrated poet. Read full book review >
THE BIG EMPTY by J.B. Stephens
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Add in a couple of interesting twists at the climax that wrap up the plot nicely, but leave room for a possible sequel, and you have a fun sci-fi read that will appeal to fans of Alison Goodman's Singing the Dogstar Blues (2003) and Garth Nix's Shade's Children (1997). (Science fiction. 12-14)"
In a near future, post-apocalyptic US (population cut in half, military dictatorship in Washington), seven teens meet in a small Missouri town, forced to work together for survival. Read full book review >
TAKEDOWN by Joyce Sweeney
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Engaging, witty, sometimes insightful, and always full of suspense, Sweeney hits her target. (Fiction. 9-14)"
In this corker of a hostage drama laced with humor, 13-year-old Joe watches professional wrestling with his buddies when Charlie Dorn, a murderer on a rampage, bluffs his way into Joe's house. Read full book review >
NO SHAME, NO FEAR by Anna Turnbull
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"A tender, involving story, beautifully told. (Fiction. 12-15)"
When 15-year-old Susanna offers to become a servant in town to help pay for her family's keep, she knows she isn't being self-sacrificing—her father's in jail for his Quaker beliefs, and Susanna, fearing that she lacks her parents' courage, longs for the company of Quakers her age. Read full book review >
TRICKSTER’S QUEEN by Tamora Pierce
Released: Sept. 28, 2004

"Thrilling fun, despite its flaws. (Fantasy. 12-16)"
A mix of best and worst in this exciting but oddly paced conclusion to the Trickster duet. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jason Gay
November 17, 2015

In the 1990s, copies of Richard Carlson’s Don't Sweat the Small Stuff (and its many sequels) were seemingly everywhere, giving readers either the confidence to prioritize their stresses or despondence over the slender volume’s not addressing their particular set of problems. While not the first book of its kind, it kicked open the door for an industry of self-help, worry-reduction advice guides. In his first book, Little Victories, Wall Street Journal sports columnist Gay takes less of a guru approach, though he has drawn an audience of readers appreciative of reportage that balances insights with a droll, self-deprecating outlook. He occasionally focuses his columns on “the Rules” (of Thanksgiving family touch football, the gym, the office holiday party, etc.), which started as a genial poke in the eye at the proliferation of self-help books and, over time, came to explore actual advice “both practical and ridiculous” and “neither perfect nor universal.” The author admirably combines those elements in every piece in the book. View video >