Released: June 2, 1999

"Readers will be irresistibly drawn into Harry's world by GrandPre's comic illustrations and Rowling's expert combination of broad boarding school farce and high fantasy. (Fiction. 11-14)"
This sequel to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (1998) brings back the doughty young wizard-in-training to face suspicious adults, hostile classmates, fretful ghosts, rambunctious spells, giant spiders, and even an avatar of Lord Voldemort, the evil sorcerer who killed his parents, while saving the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from a deadly, mysterious menace. Read full book review >
Released: June 1, 1999

"Sail on, Alice. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Still alertly navigating the shoals of early adolescence, Alice turns 14 in the 11th installment of her often hilarious, always perceptive odyssey. Read full book review >

Released: May 1, 1999

Avi (see review, above) elaborates on the "city mouse, country mouse" theme in this rousing prequel to Poppy (1995), starring Poppy's ill-fated beau. Read full book review >
CONDITIONS OF LOVE by Ruth Pennebaker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 1999

"Although the story offers no real surprises, the author's amusing first-person account and eye for detail keep the narrative consistently engaging; setting Pennebaker's novel apart from the pack is the very specific behaviors and warty humanness of the adroitly drawn characters. (Fiction. 11-14)"
Sarah's hard-drinking, charismatic father has been dead for close to a year when this aptly titled novel from Pennebaker (Don't Think Twice, 1996, etc.) opens. Read full book review >
SKELLIG by David Almond
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 13, 1999

"As in Berlie Doherty's Snake-Stone (1996) or many of Janet Taylor Lisle's novels, the marvelous and the everyday mix in haunting, memorable ways. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Almond pens a powerful, atmospheric story: A pall of anxiety hangs over Michael (and his parents) as his prematurely born baby sister fights for her life. Read full book review >

PLANNING THE IMPOSSIBLE by Mavis Jukes
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 1999

A little—very little—information about male sexual organs and plenty of classroom intrigue keep sixth grader River embarrassed, confused, and angry in this airy sequel to Expecting the Unexpected (1996). Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1999

"Visually arresting and inspiring. (Picture book. 8-12)"
A breathtaking picture-book account of a climb to the top of Mount Everest. Read full book review >
LENA by Jacqueline Woodson
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1999

"This does bring a sense of closure to its open-ended predecessor, but the severely unbalanced structure and a resolution that can best be described as shrink-wrapped, make it a weak sequel. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Woodson's quietly harrowing I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This (1994) left teenager Lena Bright and her gifted sister Dion on the run from their abusive father; here, after hitching their way from Ohio to Kentucky, they find the safety they seek, back where their flight began. Read full book review >
GYPSY RIZKA by Lloyd Alexander
Released: April 1, 1999

"Alexander has a flair for finding the comedic in his pageant of characters, while his chain of absurdities reveals a truth or two about the human condition along the way. (Fiction. 10-14)"
This tome from Alexander (The Iron Ring, 1997, etc.) showcases all the elements of a farce as mayors and councilmen, gypsies and ragamuffins supplant kings and princes, warriors and magic cats. Read full book review >
DINOSAURS
Released: March 31, 1999

"This well-documented book is packed full of information about a man, his work, and an exciting, expanding period in natural history. (index, not seen, b&w photos & reproductions, bibliography, notes) (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
PLB 0-06-027494-8 An enthralling step-by-step account of Charles Willson Peale's 1801 excavation of two near-complete mastodon skeletons. Read full book review >
EXTREME ELVIN by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: March 31, 1999

"Lynch opts to end on a downswing, with Elvin miserably hiding out in the garage licking his wounds, but readers will be breathless—not only from laughter and the story's headlong pace, but from the author's audacity in his choice of topics for comic inquiry. (Fiction. 12-15)"
PLB 0-06-028210-X Pudgy, frantic Elvin, introduced in Slot Machine (1995), takes a hilarious, roller-coaster plunge into Young Adulthood. Read full book review >
COWBOY GHOST by Robert Newton Peck
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: March 31, 1999

A disastrous cattle drive turns a boy into a man in this ripsnorter, set in Florida where, Peck (Soup Ahoy, 1994, etc.) avers, "the American cowboy originated." Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Fernanda Santos
author of THE FIRE LINE
May 17, 2016

When a bolt of lightning ignited a hilltop in the sleepy town of Yarnell, Arizona, in June 2013, setting off a blaze that would grow into one of the deadliest fires in American history, the 20 men who made up the Granite Mountain Hotshots sprang into action. New York Times writer Fernanda Santos’ debut book The Fire Line is the story of the fire and the Hotshots’ attempts to extinguish it. An elite crew trained to combat the most challenging wildfires, the Hotshots were a ragtag family, crisscrossing the American West and wherever else the fires took them. There's Eric Marsh, their devoted and demanding superintendent who turned his own personal demons into lessons he used to mold, train and guide his crew; Jesse Steed, their captain, a former Marine, a beast on the fire line and a family man who wasn’t afraid to say “I love you” to the firemen he led; Andrew Ashcraft, a team leader still in his 20s who struggled to balance his love for his beautiful wife and four children and his passion for fighting wildfires. We see this band of brothers at work, at play and at home, until a fire that burned in their own backyards leads to a national tragedy. View video >