PLAYING FOR THE DEVIL'S FIRE by Phillippe Diederich
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Childhood at its most hopeful and heartbreaking; readers seeking lighthearted, sanitized fare should turn away. (glossary) (Fiction. 12-15)"
In photojournalist Diederich's harrowing debut novel, 13-year-old Liberio "Boli" Flores endures the effects of narcoviolence sweeping Mexico. Read full book review >
BAD LUCK by Pseudonymous Bosch
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"For readers who like (or at least don't mind) continual authorial asides, a sturdy middle volume. ('backmatter'; map and illustrations, not seen) (Fantasy. 12-14)"
Still struggling to keep up with his wizardly fellow campers, Clay finally discovers his particular talent when the arrival of a large cruise ship touches off a round of assaults and rescues on remote Price Island. Read full book review >

LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE by Helaine Becker
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"With a smart balance of humor and heart, this is a winning sequel. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Dirk Daring, Secret Agent (2014) returns for another spy romp. Read full book review >
THE MAGE OF TRELIAN by Michelle Knudsen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A solid, satisfying genre performance; it may not invent any new tricks, but it executes each component in a grand fashion. (Fantasy. 11-16)"
An exemplary middle-grade fantasy trilogy concludes with a blast. Lots of blasts. Read full book review >
LITTLE CAT'S LUCK by Marion Dane Bauer
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Excellent for young readers and all cat lovers. (Verse fiction. 7-12)"
This little cat's luck turns out to be dependent on the kindness of strangers, and that, most satisfyingly, connects back to her own unerring kindness. Read full book review >

PEAS AND CARROTS by Tanita S.  Davis
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A worthy read for teens looking to expand their worldviews. (Fiction. 12-16)"
Unwillingly brought together, two girls rely on snap judgements to guide their encounters with each other, and as a result, tempers flare. Read full book review >
SARA LOST AND FOUND by Virginia Castleman
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Written from debut novelist Castleman's childhood experience of adoption from an orphanage, this title offers much fodder for discussion. (Fiction. 9-12)"
Placed in foster care, 10-year-old Sara wrestles with the meaning of family, loyalty, and love. Read full book review >
THE PAGES BETWEEN US by Lindsey Leavitt
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Leavitt and Mellom's humorous and perceptive tale deftly explores the quandary of how to sustain a cherished friendship while nurturing individual growth. (Fiction. 9-13)"
Sixth-grade friends chronicle their transition to middle school in a shared journal. Read full book review >
RAVENOUS by MarcyKate Connolly
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A fantastical adventure fortified by its flawed heroine. (Fantasy. 8-14)"
Greta—one of the girls sold to Belladoma as fodder for the sea monster who threatens monthly floods in Monstrous (2015)—makes a dangerous deal with a witch to save her brother.Read full book review >
A WEIRD AND WILD BEAUTY by Erin Peabody
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A lively, richly detailed account of exploration, conservation, and natural history. (photos, maps, endnotes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 12-18)"
If Peabody's impassioned, vividly written chronicle of how Yellowstone became a national park does not make readers want to visit, nothing will. Read full book review >
DINOSAUR BOY SAVES MARS by Cory Putman Oakes
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Deft stimulus for both brains and funny bones. (appendix of scientific references) (Science fiction. 10-12)"
Sawyer Bronson's spiky stegosaurus tail provides both help and hindrance in a rescue flight to the red planet that takes on solar system-wide significance. Read full book review >
ON EDGE by Gin Price
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Intriguing characters, a different take on an urban landscape, and the element of mystery will captivate readers. (Mystery. 12-18)"
The closing of two high schools results in strife between rival gangs. 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 >