SAMURAI RISING by Pamela S. Turner
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A well-researched narrative told with true grit. (author's notes, timeline, glossary, chapter notes, bibliography) (Biography. 10-14)"
The life of 12th-century samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune unfolds in this compelling and often shocking nonfiction account. The opening warning doesn't lie: very few people die of natural causes. Read full book review >
OF BETTER BLOOD by Susan Moger
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Sure to spark difficult but necessary discussions. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 13-16)"
Moger's debut novel tackles a little-studied chapter of American history. Read full book review >

Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Older children and art students will respond warmly. (Picture book/folk tale. 8-12)"
The Russian tale of Vasilisa and Baba Yaga, reillustrated for a new generation. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A valuable and entertaining resource for both budding historians and those seeking biographical information on a few of the many nearly forgotten women of that time. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 12-18)"
A collection of brief yet informative biographies of American women of the Colonial era. Read full book review >
STARS OF THE ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGHWAY by Victoria Micklish Pasmore
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Still, Pasmore gives recognition to other influential and deserving figures whose names have dropped off the music radar. (sources) (Collective biography. 9-12)"
Vest-pocket profiles of rock-'n'-roll pioneers who first planted their roots along Arkansas' Highway 67. Read full book review >

THE EBOLA EPIDEMIC by Connie Goldsmith
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"An arresting, illuminating, and unlikely-to-be-forgotten story. (Nonfiction. 12-18)"
Welcome to the you-better-be-Brave New World of emergent viruses. Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A serviceable exploration of the role of personality in science and pop culture. (source notes, glossary, bibliography, for further information, websites) (Nonfiction. 12-18)"
A guided tour through the ages demonstrates how philosophers, scientists, and doctors have tried to understand "the workings of human personality." Read full book review >
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A tender, lively, and mostly thoughtful tour through summer on the frozen continent. (glossary, further reading) (Informational picture book/poetry. 7-12)"
For six months straight, the sun shines in Antarctica, and the ice and oceans are alive with activity. Read full book review >
STAY IN THE GAME by Megan Atwood
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Highly engaging, with more to come. (Thriller. 12-18)"
This first in a series of five novellas that follow a single storyline introduces the first participant in a contest that seems too good to be true. Read full book review >
RAISE THE STAKES by Megan Atwood
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Pages will turn right up to the cliffhanger. (Thriller. 12-18)"
This third in a series of five novellas that follow one storyline adds white teen Colin to the list of reluctant participants in the Contest. Read full book review >
BEAT THE ODDS by Megan Atwood
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Compelling suspense delivered in a small dose. (Thriller. 12-18)"
This second in a series of five novellas following a single storyline focuses on Latina Ana, who is trying to escape her abusive foster father. Read full book review >
APOLLO by George O'Connor
Released: Jan. 26, 2016

"Apollo's darker tendencies overshadow his divine radiance here but, as usual, make better tales. (Olympian family tree) (Graphic mythology. 8-14)"
O'Connor makes out his latest Olympian as a tragic hero "who has had many loves, but whose loves seldom prosper." To say the least. 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 >