Science Fiction Book Reviews

HAVOC by Jeff Sampson
FAIRY TALES, FOLKTALES AND MYTHS
Released: Jan. 24, 2012

"Plenty of thrilling action, clearly with more to come. (Paranormal thriller. 12 & up)"
The second exciting installment in the continuing saga of a dorky daytime girl who morphs into a savvy, hot chick and/or werewolf at night. Read full book review >
THE MAD MASK by Barry Lyga
ADVENTURE
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"A fizzy mix of multilayered comedy and awesomely destructive battles, presented from an unusual narrative angle. (Adventure. 10-13)"
Continuing to plead that he's not the Archvillain (2010) everyone makes him out to be, a teenager with super powers complicates his case by falling in with a hilariously crazed megalomaniac bent on world conquest. Read full book review >

BESWITCHED by Kate Saunders
FANTASY
Released: Dec. 13, 2011

"A ripping English boarding-school story with a perceptive heroine and time-travel twist guaranteed to appeal to modern schoolgirls. (Fantasy. 10-13)"
A spoiled, contemporary English schoolgirl travels back in time to 1935, where she must adjust to a different life style, make new friends and complete a mysterious task. Read full book review >
THE ALWAYS WAR by Margaret Peterson Haddix
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 15, 2011

"If hoping to grab a heartfelt connection, readers may feel sidelined, but plot turns will certainly keep them entranced. (Dystopia. 10-14)"
For the past 75 years, Tessa's nation has been at war—a war that has no end in sight. Read full book review >
CIRCUS GALACTICUS by Deva Fagan
FICTION
Released: Nov. 14, 2011

"A book that reaches for the stars and provides a thrilling ride. (Science fiction. 12 & up)"
A plucky orphan runs away to join an intergalactic circus in this frenetic science-fiction/adventure tale. Read full book review >

UNISON SPARK by Andy Marino
FICTION
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Readers will often find themselves vacillating between like and dislike. (Science fiction. 12-15)"
What if the ultimate social network tried to take over the world? Read full book review >
LITTLE WOMEN AND ME by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Set churlish quibbles aside, though, and what remains is a consistently entertaining read that delivers a genuinely original heroine and frequently hilarious satire. (Fantasy. 12 & up)"
This latest venture in literary repurposing—19th-century classic to teen chicklit—features an overlooked middle sister whose freshman English assignment propels her into Alcott's novel, where, as sister to Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy, she's overlooked again. Read full book review >
PRIZED by Caragh M. O'Brien
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Faintly feminist soft science fiction for preteens and teens. (Dystopia. 12-16)"
Once again, spunky teen-midwife Gaia takes down a dystopia. 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 >
JUSTIN THYME by Panama Oxridge
FANTASY
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"From dust jacket (which purportedly contains clues to the pseudonymous author's identity) to closing page of disguised notes, a pleaser for fans of reading that requires decoding. (map, cast list) (Fantasy. 11-13)"
Hidden messages, ambiguous clues, cryptic hints and double entendres crowd chockablock into this puzzle mystery. Read full book review >
DARK INSIDE by Jeyn Roberts
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Well-balanced, realistic suspense. (Post-apocalyptic suspense. 12 & up)"
After an apocalypse of devastating earthquakes and murderous mobs, four teenagers struggle to survive. Read full book review >
iBOY by Kevin Brooks
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"This classic superhero plot, at once cutting-edge science fiction and moral fable, is guaranteed to keep even fiction-averse, reluctant readers on the edge of their seats. (Science fiction. 14 & up)"
Tom Harvey's world is upended after he's hit by a smartphone thrown from 30 stories up. 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 >