UNDER THE SHADOW OF WINGS by Sara Harrell Banks
FICTION
Released: May 1, 1997

"In this quiet but atmospheric entry, the story's strengths are its subtle evocation of wartime Alabama and characters so real they seem to appear on a screen rather than in the pages of a book. (Fiction. 9-13)"
In 1944, the small, sleepy town of Pinella, Alabama, is swept by the winds of WW II. Read full book review >
SPLIT JUST RIGHT by Adele Griffin
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: May 1, 1997

"Some comic twists also lighten the load, as does an upbeat ending and Danny and Susan's emergence from the crisis even closer than they were before. (Fiction. 11-13)"
A teenager learns some unpleasant truths about her parents in this deceptively light-toned portrait of a two-member family. Read full book review >

JOHNNY CHESTHAIR by Chris Lynch
FICTION
Released: April 30, 1997

"Lynch, fresh from the Blue-Eyed Son trilogy (Mick, 1996, etc.), sets out some distinctly non-PC characters and their beliefs; readers who like to feel superior to people they meet in books will—unfortunately—lap this up. (Fiction. 10-12)"
Still reeling from classmate Monica's knockout punch five years ago, eighth-grader Steven gathers three other nerdy misfits into the He-Man Women Haters Club, also the name of the series of which this unsubtle satire is the first entry. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: April 14, 1997

"Pamela Harriman in London), but sincere in his belief that this broadcast visionary is a hero; readers will be convinced. (b&w photos, bibliography, notes, index) (Biography. 10-13)"
An adulation of Murrow, ``the founding saint of broadcast news and the best-ever practitioner of it, [who] also set standards for excellence and courage that remain the standards the world over.'' Born into a hardworking family, Murrow took a speech course from Ida Lou Anderson that changed his life, drilling into him all the ``skills he would need to become a confident and effective speaker.'' Murrow found his way to CBS after college and for seven years, via his London-based radio show, broadcast to the US ``what it was like to live in a country at war,'' emphasizing British resolve and resilience. Read full book review >
SPIDER BOY by Ralph Fletcher
ANIMALS
Released: April 14, 1997

"Creating and guiding a winning cast with a light, sure hand, Fletcher puts a fine, fresh spin on a familiar premise. (Fiction. 10-13)"
In a story every bit as engaging as Fletcher's Fig Pudding (1995), and less of an emotional rollercoaster to boot, a seventh- grade arachnophile and his beloved tarantula take some time adjusting to a family move. Read full book review >

ANIMALS
Released: April 7, 1997

"The incidents are all true, recast from Fabre's books for adults and arranged in short, easy-to-absorb chapters; young naturalists charmed by these glimpses into a lilliputian world will want to sample Fabre's own accounts. (b&w illustrations, index, not seen, map, glossary) (Fiction. 10-12)"
A fictionalized look at the work of entomologist Jean Henri Fabre, as seen through the eyes of his 10-year-old son, Paul. Read full book review >
LOSERS, INC. by Claudia Mills
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 3, 1997

"Ethan's thoughtful struggle to grow up while hanging on to his basic decency makes for an involving, often poignant, always satisfying story. (Fiction. 8-12)"
An unusual look at a good kid trying to stay good in the face of the pressures of early adolescence. Read full book review >
EMILY IN LOVE by Susan Goldman Rubin
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 1997

"A surprisingly sweet, unusual story of first love. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Emily, 14, last seen in Rubin's Emily Good as Gold (1993), has fallen in love with a ``regular'' boy named Hunt, and is afraid that he'll find out she's ``different''—retarded. Read full book review >
GHOST CANOE by Will Hobbs
ADVENTURE
Released: April 1, 1997

"A robust adventure in an intriguing setting. (map) (Fiction. 11-13)"
Hobbs (Beardream, p. 462, etc.), setting his novel on Washington's Cape Flattery in 1874, presents a hero who not only has the intelligence to solve a murder, but the resources to help bring a killer to justice. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1997

"He does provide a detailed schematic, with the ship's various features numbered, making this an ice-breaker suitable for a wide range of audiences in history classrooms. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Weitzman (Thrashin' Time, 1991, etc.) combines historic facts, captivating black-and-white line drawings, and a fictional eyewitness to tell the story of the first frigate in the American Navy, the U.S.S. Constitution, nicknamed ``Old Ironsides.'' The tale opens in the late-18th century, when the US finds its ships overrun by the piracy of the high seas and Congress earmarks $688,888.52 for six new American warships. Read full book review >
SHOES by Charlotte Yue
NONFICTION
Released: April 1, 1997

"EWSLUGp1996. (bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
A smartly designed, profusely illustrated history of shoes, their lore and styles. Read full book review >
WHERE YOU BELONG by Mary Ann McGuigan
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1997

"The strong point of the novel is that there are no easy answers: Yolanda and Liam's drug-running is catastrophic but unresolved, and, realistically, readers never know whether Fiona's father will be able to reform or if her mother can keep the family together. (Fiction. 10-14)"
This second novel from McGuigan (Cloud Dancer, 1994, not reviewed) is set in the Bronx of 1963. 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 >