BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 1, 1997

"In this affectionate, animated biography, Warner comes across as a fascinating individual; her story will enchant The Boxcar Children's legions of fans. (b&w photos and illustrations, bibliography, index) (Biography. 7-12)"
Warner was a reader and a writer from childhood on. Read full book review >
JOURNEY TO NOWHERE by Mary Jane Auch
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1997

"From Auch (Eggs Mark the Spot, 1996, etc.), good historical details and a rattling good adventure. (Fiction. 10-12)"
In 1815, Mem's father decides that the family will sell their Connecticut farm and nearly everything else they own to load up a wagon and make the long and hazardous trek to a new home in the Genesee Country of upstate New York. Read full book review >

THE BUTTERFLY LION by Michael Morpurgo
ANIMALS
Released: May 1, 1997

"This dreamlike story is suffused with a man's lifelong love for a rare, gentle animal friend. (Fiction. 9-12)"
A runaway schoolboy finds a magnificent monument to a magnificent animal in this ghost story, at once marvelous and matter-of-fact, from Morpurgo (Robin of Sherwood, 1996, etc.). Read full book review >
Released: May 1, 1997

"As usual, her story is told with grace and economy, liberally laced with humor, and brimming with serious feelings as well. (Fiction. 9-13)"
At 13, Alice thinks her life deserves a prize for "most boring"; she can't see anything special or interesting about herself. Read full book review >
THE SECRET BOX by Gayle Pearson
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1997

"Pearson hasn't forgotten the difficulty of puzzling things out, and the shock and sweetness of seminal experiences. (Short stories. 8-12)"
A handful of consistently extraordinary stories about secrets, ethics, and bewildering affections, featuring characters from Pearson's One Potato, Tu (1992). Read full book review >

ALIAS by Mary Elizabeth Ryan
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1997

A tedious tale of a teenager who finds out that his 40-something mother has been a fugitive since the era of the Vietnam War. Read full book review >
ELLIE AND THE BUNHEADS by Sally Warner
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1997

"Ellie's experiences and observations ring true, and the ways she solves her problems make for an admirable character. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Ellie, turning 13, is under pressure—a ballet audition, a milestone in her potential career, approaches. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1997

"Ultimately, it's the connection of the stories to the teller and listeners' lives that makes the book special. (Picture book/folklore. 8-12)"
The ritual of storytelling is given as much prominence as the 13 Native American tales themselves, first heard by Eagle Walking Turtle as a child. Read full book review >
ANGELA AND DIABOLA by Lynne Reid Banks
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1997

"The two approaches don't always blend: Banks often sacrifices subtlety for the broad satire of Roald Dahl's work, but the conclusion is both satisfying and novel. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Banks (The Mystery of the Cupboard, 1993, etc.) introduces readers to twin girls—one purely good, one purely evil—who make a hash of their well-intentioned parents' lives. Read full book review >
WELL WISHED by Franny Billingsley
FANTASY
Released: May 1, 1997

"For all the novelistic trimmings, Billingsley's debut is a fairy tale, elongated and embellished, but not necessarily improved. (Fiction. 9-12)"
The intersection of magic and reality is somewhat bumpy in this intriguing first novel. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 1, 1997

"Readers will sense the real tragedy, however, of lives that were led outside the mainstream, and the despair connected with being so different. (b&w photos and illustrations, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)"
A sad collection of biographies of people who were regarded during their lifetimes as freaks. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: May 1, 1997

"They may come away from this book not only with a real sense of the man and his writings, but courage enough for their present and future struggles as well. (index, not seen, b&w photos, further reading) (Biography. 10-13)"
What does it take for a person to begin a spiritual journey? 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 >