ASSASSIN'S HEART by Sarah Ahiers
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"It's a nifty premise, but the execution doesn't live up to it. (Fantasy. 12-16)"
A betrayed teenage assassin seeks revenge against her family's murderers. Read full book review >
BURNING MIDNIGHT by Will McIntosh
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"This fast-paced urban quest wears its agenda on its sleeve, but it's conveyed with verve and an endearing sense of justice. (Science fiction. 12-14)"
A 17-year-old boy and his friends just want enough to survive on in a world where the rich and powerful greedily take everything. Read full book review >

STARFLIGHT by Melissa Landers
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The less-imaginative end of outer-space adventure romance. (Science fiction/romance. 12-16)"
A penniless girl and a wealthy boy, enemies, are stuck together on an outer-space journey. Read full book review >
VALKYRIE by Kate O'Hearn
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An interesting premise that never comes together. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
As a Valkyrie, Freya is charged with bringing the chosen warriors to Valhalla, where they spend the afterlife drinking, feasting, and battling, but she finds violence horrifying and longs for a different life. Read full book review >
THE NINE LIVES OF JACOB TIBBS by Cylin Busby
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An absorbing historical coming-of-age adventure supported by deeper themes of grief, despair, and determination. (Historical fiction. 8-12)"
A ship's cat relates his adventures at sea in this middle-grade novel set in the 1840s. Read full book review >

CRIMINAL DESTINY by Gordon Korman
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Oddly paced with little payoff, this sequel falls victim to middle-volume slump. (Adventure. 8-12)"
After discovering that their home of Serenity, New Mexico, is really a giant science experiment to test the effects of nurturing on clones of master criminals (Masterminds, 2015), four teens escape and head out into the world in search of revenge and freedom.Read full book review >
A WEEK WITHOUT TUESDAY by Angelica Banks
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A stimulating read that validates and encourages the creative impulse—highly recommended. (Fantasy. 8-14)"
In this middle-grade sequel to Finding Serendipity (2015), Tuesday McGillycuddy, Baxterr the dog, and the fictional, winged Vivienne Small continue their adventures in the worlds of writerly imagination.Read full book review >
BANISHED by Kimberley Griffiths Little
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Readers won't learn history from this anachronistic and sometimes-inconsistent adventure, but they might enjoy some angst-ridden passionate yearning. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 12-16)"
A Bronze Age desert adventure continues in this second trilogy entry, spicing its inspirational romance with the sybaritic wickedness of pagan sex worshippers. Read full book review >
SYMPTOMS OF BEING HUMAN by Jeff Garvin
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Overall, a welcome mirror for gender-fluid teens and a helpful introduction for others. (Fiction. 12-18)"
Riley Cavanaugh, whose father is a prominent politician in a conservative Southern California county, navigates being gender fluid and experiencing panic attacks. Read full book review >
QUEST MAKER by Laurie McKay
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A sometimes-amusing, sometimes-thrilling, and always entertaining sequel that hints that math might be used for evil and the mystery lunch might pack a deadly surprise. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
Prince Caden, future Elite Paladin of the Greater Realm, continues to try and find a way home from the Land of Shadow (aka Asheville, North Carolina), where he and the young sorceress Brynne are trapped with some of their world's greatest villains. Read full book review >
SAMURAI RISING by Pamela S. Turner
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
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 >
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 >