FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"Kara's boy-crazy experiment lends refreshing perspective on teen relationships, and the results point to self-enlightenment. (Fiction. 10-13)"
Looking for a boyfriend takes on a whole new meaning when 14-year-old Kara starts her research project. Read full book review >
THE LOWDOWN ON DENIM by Tanya Lloyd Kyi
HUMOR
Released: Dec. 1, 2011

"Humor and information combine in appealing nonfiction for middle-grade and middle-school readers. (further reading, bibliography, index) (Nonfiction. 9-13)"
A lighthearted look at the history of everyone's favorite pants couched as a detention report written by a couple of middle-school pranksters. Read full book review >

THE ODYSSEY by Sam Ita
ADVENTURE
Released: Dec. 1, 2011

"Homer himself would be agog. (Pop-up classic. 10-13)"
A highlight-reel version of Odysseus' journey home, framed as a graphic novel and plastered with fantastically dramatic pop-ups and other special effects. Read full book review >
MANGAMAN by Barry Lyga
Kirkus Star
by Barry Lyga, illustrated by Colleen Doran
FICTION
Released: Nov. 14, 2011

"An inventive offering, sure to please fans of both American and Japanese comics. (Graphic fiction. 13 & up)"
A daring piece of graphic-novel meta-fiction explores the tropes of manga versus Western comics. Read full book review >
STUCK by Oliver Jeffers
FICTION
Released: Nov. 10, 2011

"Floyd's stubbornness and the smorgasbord-filled tree remain funny through repeated readings, offering kids the special glee of knowing more than the protagonist. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Everything but the kitchen sink gets tossed up a tree to help Floyd retrieve his kite—oops, there goes the kitchen sink too! Read full book review >

JUSTINE MCKEEN by Sigmund Brouwer
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"While brief paperbacks for newly independent readers are too numerous to count, this one is slightly funnier and fresher than most. (Fiction. 7-9)"
Inventive and intrepid Justine McKeen, most likely a grade schooler, finds amusing ways to make classmates and community members more environmentally conscious. Read full book review >
A DAY IN THE OFFICE OF DOCTOR BUGSPIT by Elise Gravel
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Real visits to the doctor are rarely so hilarious. (Graphic picture book. 5-8)"
Expect delighted choruses of "Eeewww, gross!" at every turn from newer readers taking this tour of an outer-space clinic. Read full book review >
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"The kind of big-hearted fun that may lose its element of surprise, but not its power to please young readers. (Graphic picture book. 6-9)"
A girl with strange powers and a subversive sense of humor bedevils the epic adventures of a young knight-aspirant and his Bigfoot sidekick. Read full book review >
THE SUPER-DUPER DOG PARK by Aron Nels Steinke
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Both colorful and high spirited, this title will give new readers a good run for their money. (Graphic early reader. 6-9)"
In cartoon format and awash with voice and thought bubbles, kids and canines make a day of it at the dog park. Read full book review >
ZOMBIE MOMMY by M.T. Anderson
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 25, 2011

"Ridiculous in all the best ways. (Fantasy. 9-12)"
The latest in Anderson's madcap pastiche series takes on the undead of upstate New York. Read full book review >
IF I HAD AS MANY GRANDCHILDREN AS YOU by Lori Stewart
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 25, 2011

"A photo-rich picture book that engagingly suggests a myriad of fun activities brought to life by Stewart's bouncy, heartfelt verse."
In Stewart's debut picture book, a grandparent's dilemma about how to spend time with "a gaggle of grandchildren" is answered in rhyme by a wise old lion, backed by colorful photographs that illustrate his wide-ranging advice. Read full book review >
GINGERBREAD GIRL GOES ANIMAL CRACKERS by Lisa Campbell Ernst
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 13, 2011

"The girl heroine, large trim size, catchy rhymes and repeating refrain make this one sure to be a popular choice for group readings…just don't forget the animal-cracker snack. (Picture book. 3-6)"
The plucky Gingerbread Girl is back in her second outing, this time trying to save an animal-cracker menagerie from the wily fox (The Gingerbread Girl, 2006). 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 >