DREAD LOCKS by Neal Shusterman
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2005

"Though there's nothing appealing about the thoroughly flat characters, the tension-filled climax puts a fascinating twist on the traditional way to defeat a gorgon. (Fantasy. 11-14)"
Goldilocks and the Three Bears doesn't blend well with the story of Medusa, but suspense keeps this thriller going until the end. Read full book review >
BY THESE TEN BONES by Clare B. Dunkle
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: May 1, 2005

"The carver, less fawningly described than the heroes of Dunkle's previous books, is correspondingly a richer and more compelling character, and Maddie's initiative is endearing. (Fantasy. 12-14)"
Just as in the old ballads, true love defeats horror when magic strikes a Scottish village. Read full book review >

FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2005

"Strictly additional. (Short stories. 11-15)"
Opening with the opinion that a separate literature for teens is superfluous, but heigh-ho, here's an addition to it, Yolen proceeds to offer, with Hayden, 11 tales written by a mix of veterans and rising stars. Read full book review >
WING NUT by MJ Auch
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2005

"Young readers may not become as enamored with the details of purple martin life as Grady and Charlie, but the story of a boy who finally finds a place to call home should resonate deeply. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Thirteen-year-old Grady Flood and his drop-dead gorgeous mother Lila have been on the move ever since he was six and his father, a mechanic, was crushed under a car. Read full book review >
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2005

"Very much a midseries book, this entry isn't a great standalone, but an exciting continuation that further develops the uncomplicated utter evil of the villains. (Fantasy. 10-14)"
As the Shamer series continues, great evil nearly destroys all the world's hope. Read full book review >

THE SLEDDING HILL by Chris Crutcher
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2005

"Crutcher ever pack light? (Fiction. 12-16)"
Eddie's "high-speed randomness" and habit of blurting outlandish questions at school and church are unappreciated. Read full book review >
NATURE
Released: May 1, 2005

"Good fun and good science. (glossary of scientific terms, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
Science lovers and would-be magicians will have a great time with this compendium of tricks based on scientific principles. Read full book review >
HELP WANTED by Gary Soto
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2005

"Readers, Latino or not, have a good chance of seeing themselves and their feelings in these compelling stories. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Ten perceptive short stories give glimpses of everyday life and emotions among a variety of adolescent Latinos. Read full book review >
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 2005

"But the conclusion, including the apprentice's disturbing end and Thorston's cinematic comeuppance, seems thin and foregone—what seemed at first like gold is more like sand. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Avi's fable (as the subtitle and an author's note would have it) is an uneasy amalgam of medieval alchemy, Northumbrian magic and saint lore from the early northern Church that never quite achieves solidity. Read full book review >
THE LAST CODFISH by J.D. McNeill
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 2005

"McNeill sensitively explores the difficulty of change in this impressive debut, whether it's the increasing scarcity of good fishing, or a father and son needing to move on with their lives. (Fiction. 10-15)"
A thoughtful and at times riveting story of a 15-year-old boy who hasn't spoken since his mother died in a boating accident seven years earlier. Read full book review >
FOREST OF THE PYGMIES by Isabel Allende
ADVENTURE
Released: May 1, 2005

"A rich but ultimately disappointing travelogue. (Fiction. 12-15)"
Allende takes her readers into the wilds of Africa in the final installment of her fantasy adventure trilogy that follows City of the Beasts (2002) and Kingdom of the Golden Dragon (2004). Read full book review >
THE MANNY by Sarah L. Thomson
FICTION
Released: May 1, 2005

"First class. (Fiction. 13-15)"
What's a great way for a high school boy to meet girls and make good money over the summer? 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 >