FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2010

"An extensive author's note provides detailed historical context and archival photographs at the end; there are no source notes beyond an acknowledgment to the Documentation Center of Cambodia. (map, foreword) (Picture book. 10-14)"
This fictionalized first-person account of a young boy in Cambodia during the reign of the Khmer Rouge may be perplexing in package but is very important in education. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Jan. 1, 2010

"Another solid history from National Geographic. (timeline, resource guide, index, sources) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
Not much has been written for young readers about runaway slaves who sided with the British during the American Revolution, so this fine work is a welcome addition to the field. Read full book review >

WITCH & WIZARD by James Patterson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Dec. 14, 2009

"You'll have to purchase it due to the ad campaign and author-branding, just don't invest too heavily—save your dollars for better. (Fantasy. 10-14)"
In a parallel world, a new political party, the New Order, has come to power. Read full book review >
RAIDERS’ RANSOM by Emily Diamand
ADVENTURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2009

"A well-drawn world, plot twists galore and spunky characters make this one a true page-turner—readers will be panting for the sequel. (Science fiction. 9-14)"
Set in 23rd-century post-apocalypse Britain, this captivating story is told entirely in the present tense in alternating chapters by a fisher girl, Lilly, and a young Raider, Zeph, who ultimately find themselves in an unlikely alliance. Read full book review >
IN ECSTASY by Kate McCaffrey
FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 2009

"Predictable and oddly stilted for a book that deals with drugs and contains two incidents of sexual predation, this didactic tale is unlikely to find a wide audience, particularly in a country where Ecstasy use among teens is declining. (drug-abuse resource list) (Fiction. 13-16)"
An oddly old-fashioned drug-abuse story from Australia. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: Dec. 1, 2009

"Finally, a substantial list of further reading adds to the informational value of this intriguing title. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
For more than 2,000 years travelers have been making their way through central Asia along what we now call "The Silk Road." Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Dec. 1, 2009

"The characters are thin, uninteresting vehicles for this historically accurate view of the Crusade, but the densely gruesome journey will please enthusiasts of historical wars. (Historical fiction. 12-14)"
A modern-feeling hero is our tour guide through a vicious war that devastated southern France. Read full book review >
A FARAWAY ISLAND by Annika Thor
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 11, 2009

"Straightforwardly told in the present tense and easier for tender hearts than the brutal stories of concentration camps, this still conveys the reality of war and the suffering of those displaced by it. (Historical fiction. 9-14)"
At the onset of World War II, Jewish Stephanie and her younger sister, Nellie, are sent to a Swedish island to live with separate host families while they await their parents' visas to America. Read full book review >
HAZEL by Julie Hearn
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 10, 2009

"However, while intriguing concepts and even flashes of humor abound throughout, the section set in England stretches on interminably, leaving many threads unresolved. (Historical fiction. 12-16)"
A wealthy girl in early 20th-century England is exposed to the suffragist movement and eventually shipped off to her grandparents in the Caribbean in this uneven work of historical fiction. Read full book review >
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 10, 2009

"Keaney displays some interesting if bleak ideas; it's to be hoped that next time he can do them justice. (Fantasy. 12-16)"
Coincidence, magic, angels, demons and flat characters muddle through the third and final volume of this series. Read full book review >
CLAIM TO FAME by Margaret Peterson Haddix
FICTION
Released: Nov. 10, 2009

"An intriguing and often exciting diversion for young readers. (Science fiction. 10-14)"
Sixteen-year-old Lindsay was a child star on a popular TV sitcom, but now, in this character study with a sci-fi twist, she hides in her house, terrified to go outside. Read full book review >
A BANQUET FOR HUNGRY GHOSTS by Ying Chang Compestine
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 1, 2009

"This will whet the appetites of a certain type of ghost gourmet with a sophisticated palate; those with weak stomachs should stay away. (recipes) (Short stories/horror. 12-16)"
Eight grisly horror stories are arranged to feed the hungry imaginations of readers fascinated with blood, gore, murders and ghosts, who, like their Western counterparts, want to avenge their deaths and have the things they had in life, especially their favorite foods. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Laini Taylor
March 27, 2017

In bestselling YA writer Laini Taylor’s new fantasy novel, Strange the Dreamer, the dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he's been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving? “Lovers of intricate worldbuilding and feverish romance will find this enthralling,” our critic writes. View video >