STORM ON THE DESERT by Carolyn Lesser
NATURE
Released: April 1, 1997

"The fluid watercolors are particularly evocative in displays of wind and driving rain. (Picture book/nonfiction. 6-12)"
Lesser (Dig Hole, Soft Mole, 1996, etc.) uses poetic prose and vivid language to give splendor and life to a natural event. Read full book review >
POETRY
Released: April 1, 1997

Livingston (B Is for Baby, 1996, etc.) presents poems using the traditional Japanese forms of haiku and tanka in a seasonal array, accompanied by de Kiefte's equally spare pen-and-ink drawings. ``Not wishing to stop/his chirping the whole night long,/Cricket never does'' is the piece that gives the collection a title. Read full book review >

LONE WOLF by Kristine L. Franklin
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 1997

"Readers won't soon forget Perry and his father as they rejoin the human race. (Fiction. 9-13)"
A tender tale of loss and the redeeming power of love from Franklin (Eclipse, 1995, etc.). Read full book review >
BACK TO THE WILD by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1997

"Full-color photographs of animals in and out of captivity enhance the whole. (index) (Nonfiction. 10-12)"
Patent (Biodiversity, 1996, etc.) describes some of the current conservation programs that preserve endangered animals by capturing wild specimens, breeding them in captivity, and reintroducing offspring to the wild. Read full book review >
AWAKE AND DREAMING by Kit Pearson
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: April 1, 1997

"Pearson (The Lights Go On Again, 1994, etc.) has some lovely notions about the relationship between dreams and reality, the value of friends and family (however flawed its members), and the acts of reading and writing as talismans of hope. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Theo, nine, has not had a gentle life. Read full book review >

LIFETIMES by David Rice
NATURE
Released: April 1, 1997

"Venus flytraps remind us that things are not always as good as they first seem to be'') and limit the otherwise provocative and useful facts about lifetimes. (Nonfiction. 5-12)"
Old age is relative, depending on one's life span; a mayfly whose lifetime lasts one day reaches geezerhood by the time the sun sets. Read full book review >
THE HEART IS BIG ENOUGH by Michael J. Rosen
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1997

"Rosen's message is uniformly empowering: Even in the face of disease, divorce, or disability, the human heart is truly big enough. (b&w illustrations) (Short stories. 9-12)"
Rosen (This Is Our House, 1996, etc.) has written five short stories about protagonists on the cusp of adolescence in tales that are honest, captivating, and occasionally inspiring. Read full book review >
THE VOICES OF SILENCE by Bel Mooney
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 1997

"Her sensitive and empathetic tale will keep readers in suspense until the final page. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Life is hard for Flora Popescu and her parents, living in Bucharest during Nicholas Ceauescu's cruel regime. Read full book review >
HONOR BRIGHT by Randall Beth Platt
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: April 1, 1997

"A tour de force with a tough, unforgettable protagonist. (Fiction. 12-15)"
As WW II rages overseas, domestic battles keep a Washington family simmering in this vigorously told, unconventionally cast story. Read full book review >
THE SECOND BEND IN THE RIVER by Ann Rinaldi
FICTION
Released: April 1, 1997

"Although only the dialogue and a handful of minor characters and incidents are fictional, Rinaldi never creates a clear picture of pioneer life or of Tecumseh's career, and his relationship with Rebecca is too sketchy to hold the foreground. (bibliography) (Fiction. 11-13)"
A disappointing historical offering from Rinaldi, especially in the wake of her strong novel about Phillis Wheatley, Hang A Thousand Trees with Ribbons (1996). Read full book review >
THE FROG PRINCESS OF PELHAM by Ellen Conford
ANIMALS
Released: April 1, 1997

"Cotton candy for middle-school brains. (Fiction. 9-12)"
From Conford (Get the Picture, Jenny Archer?, 1995, etc.), a lighthearted, somewhat hollow read. Read full book review >
DINOSAURS
Released: April 1, 1997

"Photos of excavators and bones provide additional intrigue. (glossary, index) (Picture book/nonfiction. 7-12)"
An essential purchase—Gillette (The Search for Seismosaurus, 1994) has written another involving book about a topic of guaranteed interest to children. 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 >