A GATHERING OF GARTER SNAKES by Bianca Lavies
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Lucid text and the compelling photos make this title a must for snake lovers. (Nonfiction 8-12)"
Imagine ten thousand garter snakes writhing and wriggling as they emerge from winter hibernation in the limestone caverns in Manitoba, Canada. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Source notes; appendices; bibliography; b&w photo insert and index not seen. (Biography. 11-13)"
Brimming with hero worship, the Doherty's account of ``the most well-known celebrity in the world,'' ``living proof that the American Dream [is] still alive...'' has an Algeresque flavor. Read full book review >

NO EFFECT by Daniel Hayes
FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"But Tyler's a likable guy, and kids his age will enjoy spending time with him. (Fiction. 11-14)"
In his third novel about Tyler (who lives in upstate New York with his widowed actress mom, a housekeeper, and big-brother surrogate Chuckie, ex-Marine and present ``groundskeeper''), Hayes turns from the melodrama of The Trouble with Lemons (1991) and the farce of The Eye of the Beholder (1992) to a better balanced, more realistic story about the eighth grader in love- -with his new science teacher, Miss Williams. Read full book review >
THE PAGEMASTER by David Kirschner
FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Entice readers with Anne Lindbergh's imaginative Travel Far, Pay No Fare (1992). (Fiction. 10-12)"
A phobic 10-year-old is trapped in a library of animated literary classics in this earnest, handsomely set out, but uninspired tale from Hanna-Barbera's CEO (creator of ``An American Tail'') and a staff writer. Read full book review >
AMPHIBIANS by Edward R. Ricciuti
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 1, 1993

"Glossary; further reading; index. (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
In the 14-volume Our Living World series, a colorful look at common amphibians worldwide—frogs, toads, salamanders, newts, and the legless, wormlike caecilians. Read full book review >

NONFICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Visually enticing, but not as thoughtful as Chiasson's African Journey (1987). (Nonfiction. 10-12)"
An oddly unsatisfying account of a naturalist/photographer's 16,000-mile journey through 13 African countries. Read full book review >
THE OXBOY by Anne Mazer
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"A provocative, unusually imaginative tale. (Fiction. 9-14)"
The form of Mazer's second novel—a stark fable concerning the intermarriage of people and animals—is in striking contrast to the contemporary school-and-neighborhood story in Moose Street (1992), yet its theme is the same: the effects of intolerance. Read full book review >
WHO IS EDDIE LEONARD? by Harry Mazer
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Still, entertaining; but for a deeper and more astute, look at this theme, try Alcock's taut The Cuckoo Sister (1986). (Fiction. 12-16)"
Shortly after the death of the grandmother who raised him, Eddie—who knows no other family save an uncle who once gave him a dog, then took it away, and who has since disappeared—sees a notice about Jason Diaz, missing since the age of three. Read full book review >
GEORGE BALANCHINE'S THE NUTCRACKER by Joel Meyerowitz
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"An attractive book that will be most useful as a complement to the film. (Nonfiction. 5-12)"
In the manner of Violette Verdy's step-by-step retellings (Of Swans, Sugarplums, and Satin Slippers, 1991), a scrupulously detailed narration explicating what's seen in a full performance of The Nutcracker—in this case, the new film version. Read full book review >
NIGHT TERRORS by Jim Murphy
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Compared to Gordon's The Burning Baby and Other Ghosts (p. 1273), this collection seems decidedly anemic. (Short Stories. 11-13)"
An old gravedigger embeds five mild horror stories, all featuring young people, into an account of his peregrinations. Read full book review >
MAKE BELIEVE by Susan Beth Pfeffer
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"Still, an accessible story that may give young readers some insight into the afflictions portrayed. (Fiction. 8-12)"
A readable but simplistic depiction of the effects of divorce. Read full book review >
BIG WHEEL by Marilyn Singer
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

"A surefire story from a popular author. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Big Wheel Wiggins is the undisputed leader of his gang—an affable and diverse clutch of boys and a few girls who acquired local notoriety with high-jinks like conducting a bowling tournament with plastic flamingos, toadstools, and elves on a vacationing family's lawn. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Ace Atkins
June 2, 2015

P.I. Spenser, knight-errant of the Back Bay, returns in Kickback, the latest in the iconic New York Times–bestselling series from author Ace Atkins. What started out as a joke landed 17-year-old Dillon Yates in a lockdown juvenile facility in Boston Harbor. When he set up a prank Twitter account for his vice principal, he never dreamed he could be brought up on criminal charges, but that’s exactly what happened. This is Blackburn, Massachusetts, where zero tolerance for minors is a way of life. Leading the movement is tough-as-nails Judge Joe Scali, who gives speeches about getting tough on today’s wild youth. But Dillon’s mother, who knows other Blackburn kids who are doing hard time for minor infractions, isn’t buying Scali’s line. She hires Spenser to find the truth behind the draconian sentencing. “It’s great to see Spenser tackle a social evil with its roots in real life,” our reviewer writes. View video >