MY EVIL TWIN by Thomas McKean
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"Although this tale never actually lives up to the intrigue of its title, cartoonish characters don't slow the pace, and it may find readers among those who suspect that behind their own nerdy exteriors are miscreants yearning to get out. (Fiction. 11-13)"
A mildly amusing, extremely far-fetched take on the perennial adolescent desire to transform oneself. Read full book review >
SNOWBOARD MAVERICK by Matt Christopher
FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"A final contest between Dennis and the town snowboarding hotdog leads to a tie and some celebrity for both boys, in an affable but indulgent suburban fantasy. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Dennis O'Malley, 13, learns to conquer his fear in this palatable but sugar-coated sports adventure from the late Christopher. Read full book review >

BIOGRAPHY
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"Tricky Dick,'' the significance of the Checkers speech, or the full impact of Watergate will find it here. (index, b&w photos, not seen, bibliography) (Biography. 10-14)"
In the Makers of America series, Goldman (Nat Turner, 1992) does not flinch from the facts in this straightforward biography of a controversial US president. Read full book review >
KEEPER OF THE LIGHT by Patricia Curtis Pfitsch
FICTION
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

Following in the footsteps of the lighthouse keepers found in Peter and Connie Roop's Keep the Lights Burning, Abbie (1985, not reviewed) and Deborah Hopkinson's Birdie's Lighthouse (p. 722), Faith keeps the oil burning on the shores of Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in a story set more than 100 years ago. Read full book review >
USA FROM SPACE by Anne-Catherine Fallen
MUSIC AND THE ARTS
Released: Dec. 1, 1997

"Regardless of such minor flaws, this better-than-a-bird's-eye-view can't be beat. (Nonfiction. 7-13)"
Satellites provide amazing real ``maps'' of the US— photographs taken from outer space—and readers will be intrigued by the awesome views this book provides. Read full book review >

SO WHAT DO YOU DO? by Douglas Evans
FICTION
Released: Nov. 28, 1997

"Still, there are several characters and subplots undeveloped, and in Charlie's example is a potentially dangerous course of action. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Two sixth graders find their third-grade teacher living in a cardboard box in the park and give him a fresh start in this contrived, misguided tale from Evans (The Classroom at the End of the Hall, 1995). Read full book review >
ADOPTED BY INDIANS by Thomas Jefferson Mayfield
FICTION
Released: Nov. 15, 1997

"Amateurish and inadequate, the illustrations are badly drawn, whether showing equipment, people, or animals, and the compositions are clichÇd, with strategically placed items to cover women's breasts. (maps, glossary) (Nonfiction. 10-13)"
Margolin (Native Ways, 1996, etc.) adapts for children some of the material in Indian Summer (1993, not reviewed), but does not make it accessible to a younger audience. Read full book review >
REVOLUTIONARY POET by Maryann Weidt
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Nov. 8, 1997

"Young's black-and-white illustrations enhance the text, showing many telling details of colonial life. (bibliography, index) (Biography. 8-12)"
Subtitled 'A Story About Phillis Wheatley,' this is a clear, straightforward account of the poet's life. Read full book review >
DROUGHTS by Michael Allaby
NATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"As with the previous book, it may not interest general readers, but it will make research a breeze and may inspire further inquiries into the subject of droughts and water conservation. (b&w photos, drawings, illustrations, charts, graphs, index, not seen) (Nonfiction. 12-14)"
This technical, comprehensive entry in the Dangerous Weather series explores the mystery of rain and what happens when it does not come. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"This is still an honest, sturdy collection; it poses complicated questions and allows readers to search for the answers in some very good company. (Short stories. 11-14)"
A collection of stories grouped under headings like ``It Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time'' and ``What Do I Do Now?'' with situations teens will certainly recognize. Read full book review >
THE FAT MAN by Maurice Gee
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

"Sobering and scary. (Fiction. 12-15)"
In an ugly, menacing psycho-thriller set in Depression-era New Zealand, a man returns to his small town to repay the bullies who sent him fleeing 13 years before. Read full book review >
NONFICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 1997

A lightweight but kind-hearted guide full of cheery and self-affirming advice for young girls. 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 >