Family and Growing Up Book Reviews

KING OF THE MOUND by Wes Tooke
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Feb. 21, 2012

"Nourishing fare for Matt Christopher graduates. (Sports fiction. 10-12)"
A boy takes first steps on the road to physical and emotional recovery from a bout with polio, thanks to help from a solid new friend and a baseball hero. Read full book review >
PRINCESS OF THE WILD SWANS by Diane Zahler
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Jan. 31, 2012

"A pleasant magical outing. (Fairy tale/fantasy. 8-12)"
In her third fairy-tale novelization, Zahler (The Thirteenth Princess, 2010, and A True Princess, 2011) dips into Hans Christian Andersen's "The Wild Swans" and mixes in a bit of Celtic folklore. Read full book review >

THE SURVIVORS by Will Weaver
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 31, 2012

"Sobering, thoroughly credible and, ultimately, optimistic about the chances of our better natures triumphing when the going gets rough. (Science fiction. 10-13)"
A family fleeing rapidly degenerating social order caused by world-changing volcanic eruptions finds respite and new heart in this well-crafted sequel to Memory Boy (2001). Read full book review >
ANOTHER BROTHER by Matthew Cordell
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 31, 2012

"This is not just another new-baby book: Cordell's humorous text and mischievously silly, expressive cartoon art will have readers bleating to read it again and again. (Picture book. 4-8)"
Davy, a little sheep, has trouble adjusting to the arrival of not one but 12 baby brothers in this humorous twist on the tried and true new sibling theme. Read full book review >
NEVER SAY GENIUS by Dan Gutman
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 24, 2012

"Nothing spices up a boring road trip like moments of extreme terror. (Adventure. 10-12)"
Twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald squeak through numerous murder attempts at roadside attractions across the Midwest and on eastward. Read full book review >

PINK SMOG by Francesca Lia Block
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 24, 2012

"A dreamlike tale of bullying and coping that owes slightly too much to nostalgia to work. (Fiction. 12-15)"
Does this failed prequel to the Phoenix Award-winning Weetzie Bat (1989) at least succeed as a standalone novel? Read full book review >
CROW by Barbara Wright
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 10, 2012

"An intensely moving, first-person narrative of a disturbing historical footnote told from the perspective of a very likable, credible young hero. (historical note) (Historical fiction. 10-12)"
Growing up in Wilmington, N.C., in 1898, a naive black boy and his family are devastated by a racist uprising in this fictionalized account of a little-known historical event. Read full book review >
THE CABINET OF EARTHS by Anne Nesbet
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 3, 2012

"A charmingly creepy European vacation for fans of chillers and thrillers. (Suspense. 12-15)"
DUMPLING DAYS by Grace Lin
by Grace Lin, illustrated by Grace Lin
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 2, 2012

"Deftly weaving together historical anecdotes and simple line illustrations, Lin once again touches the heart of growing up in a multicultural family. (Fiction. 8-12)"
Pacy and her family travel to Taiwan for one month to celebrate her grandmother's 60th birthday, giving this Chinese-American girl another lens through which she can examine her identity. Read full book review >
KISS CRUSH COLLIDE by Christina Meredith
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"Although the most intriguing thread of the book is familial, this tame G-rated story will appeal largely to girls who enjoy romances. (Fiction. 13 & up)"
The summer before her senior year of high school, a girl who seemingly has it all—money, looks, smarts and social position—falls for a dazzlingly handsome but mildly unsuitable boy. Read full book review >
TICK TOCK CLOCK by Margery Cuyler
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"Any new reader lucky enough to spend a day with Grandma will want to read this to her. (Early reader. 3-5)"
Grandma spends a busy day with her twin granddaughters in a day filled with action, rhythm and rhyme. Read full book review >
ANIMALS
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"This yippy, yappy Yorkie is just another tired puppy in search of a plot. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Macomber and Carney team up for their second entry in the Blossom Street Kids series, this time focusing on an unwanted move to a new neighborhood for a girl named Ellen and her Yorkshire terrier named Baxter. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
authors of OFF THE PAGE
May 19, 2015

Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. In bestseller Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer’s new young adult novel, Off the Page, it’s a miracle that seems perfect at first—but there are complications. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver’s role in the pages of Delilah’s favorite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down. We talk to the mother-daughter team on Kirkus TV. View video >