THE WITCH'S VACUUM CLEANER  by Terry Pratchett
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Bravery shows up almost as often as buffoonery in these satiric bits and bobs. (Fantasy/short stories. 10-12)"
More free-range juvenilia from the much-missed creator of Discworld. Read full book review >
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"An exceptionally well-written and -researched chronicle of a crucial civil rights turning point. (photos, bibliography, source notes) (Nonfiction. 12-18)"
Bausum, the author of two other excellent books about the civil rights movement (Freedom Riders, 2005; Marching to the Mountaintop, 2012), chronicles a largely overlooked but consequential event in the history of the movement. Read full book review >

SIREN SISTERS by Dana Langer
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Touching on family relationships, grieving, growing up, first romance, and Norse mythology, this is an exciting fantasy with a heart-stopping ending by an author to watch. (Fantasy. 10-14)"
On the cusp of her 13th birthday, reluctant siren-in-training Lorelei Salt, who soon will be joining her sisters in luring ships to their dooms with their glorious singing, finds herself responsible for destroying the Sea Witch's curse and saving her sisters' lives in this debut novel set in present-day Maine. Read full book review >
A KIDS' GUIDE TO AMERICA'S FIRST LADIES by Kathleen Krull
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"An inspirational lot, overall, of women who have 'enhanced our country in many resplendent ways.' (selected sources, index) (Collective biography. 10-14)"
Frank profiles of 45 women who, for the most part, made the best of a "weird job." Read full book review >
JAY VERSUS THE SAXOPHONE OF DOOM by Kara Kootstra
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Orr's afterword has the final words—on passion, struggle, respect—qualities Kootstra has spun into her story with understated dexterity. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Kootstra manages to breed a saxophone to a hockey stick and produce one sweet boy. Read full book review >

REVENGE OF THE GREEN BANANA by Jim Murphy
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Wry commentary and schoolboy machinations lighten but don't mask the sour tone, and Sister Angelica's free pass will likely leave readers feeling cheated. (Historical fiction. 11-13)"
An underachieving sixth-grader plots to "murderlate" a bullying nun in this darkly comic semiautobiographical novel. Read full book review >
LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT by Josh Sundquist
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Thought-provoking and insightful. (author's note) (Romance. 13-18)"
Sundquist (We Should Hang Out Sometime, 2014) explores blindness and sight in his first novel. Read full book review >
BAD KITTY TAKES THE TEST by Nick Bruel
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Standardized-test companies may want to hurl hairballs, but the loopy humor and silly kitty cast will have fans purring with laughter. (Graphic/fiction hybrid. 7-12)"
How good is Bad Kitty at actually being a cat? Read full book review >
MIDNIGHT WITHOUT A MOON by Linda Williams Jackson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"The bird's-eye view into this pivotal moment provides a powerful story, one that adults will applaud—but between the avalanche of old-South homilies and Rose Lee's relentlessly hopeless struggle, it may be a hard sell for younger readers. (Historical fiction. 10-12)"
The ugly brutality of the Jim Crow South is recounted in dulcet, poetic tones, creating a harsh and fascinating blend. Read full book review >
FLYING LESSONS & OTHER STORIES by Ellen Oh
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"A natural for middle school classrooms and libraries, this strong collection should find eager readers. (Anthology. 8-12)"
Edited by We Need Diverse Books co-founder Oh, a collection of short stories that embraces a wide cultural spectrum of authorship. Read full book review >
THE HOMEWORK STRIKE by Greg Pincus
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Readers will be drawn to the anti-homework cause and, while they may well find the realistic resolution disappointingly tame, will enjoy the high jinks along the way. (Fiction. 9-12)"
In this humorous sequel to The 14 Fibs of Gregory K. (2013), the white seventh-grader realizes that his monstrous amount of homework gobbles all his after-school time, interfering with his writing and the other things he loves to do. Read full book review >
THE SWEETEST SOUND by Sherri Winston
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Jan. 3, 2017

"Readers will be rooting for both Cadence as she claims her gift and the community who supports her. (Fiction. 8-12)"
What if, in not keeping a promise to God, you make a deal with the devil? Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Clinton Kelly
January 9, 2017

Bestselling author and television host Clinton Kelly’s memoir I Hate Everyone Except You is a candid, deliciously snarky collection of essays about his journey from awkward kid to slightly-less-awkward adult. Clinton Kelly is probably best known for teaching women how to make their butts look smaller. But in I Hate Everyone, Except You, he reveals some heretofore-unknown secrets about himself, like that he’s a finicky connoisseur of 1980s pornography, a disillusioned critic of New Jersey’s premier water parks, and perhaps the world’s least enthused high-school commencement speaker. Whether he’s throwing his baby sister in the air to jumpstart her cheerleading career or heroically rescuing his best friend from death by mud bath, Clinton leaps life’s social hurdles with aplomb. With his signature wit, he shares his unique ability to navigate the stickiest of situations, like deciding whether it’s acceptable to eat chicken wings with a fork on live television (spoiler: it’s not). “A thoroughly light and entertaining memoir,” our critic writes. View video >