Science & Technology Book Reviews

BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 19, 2012

"Wonderfully simple, sweet and engaging. (author's note, source notes) (Picture book. 7-10)"
Theodore Roosevelt's 1903 trip to the western parks included a backcountry camping trip—complete with snowstorm—with John Muir in the Yosemite Wilderness and informed the president's subsequent advocacy for national parks and monuments. Read full book review >
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 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 >
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 >
THE CONSTRUCTION CREW by Lynn Meltzer
FICTION
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Bulldoze a spot on the shelf for this one. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A rollicking, rhyming salute to a construction crew and the equipment they use to demolish an old building and construct a family home in its stead. 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 >
MOUSENET by Prudence Breitrose
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"Genuine goodwill, humor and impressive believability will have readers longing for mice as friends—not to mention political allies. (Animal fantasy. 8-12)"
What if computer mice meant something more exciting than tech accessories—something that could change the world? Read full book review >
A HOUSE IN THE WOODS by Inga Moore
ANIMALS
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Modest and nicely quirky. (Picture book. 3-6)"
Everybody needs a house that's just right. Read full book review >
THE FUTURE OF US by Jay Asher
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Without question a page-turner, it's nevertheless unlikely to linger long in readers' minds. (Fantasy. 13 & up)"
If you had the chance to see what your life would be like 15 years in the future, would you take it? Read full book review >
BEN THE INVENTOR by Robin Stevenson
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"This easy read only lightly deals with a common childhood issue, and its winsome attitude makes it fun. (Fiction. 6-9)"
Ben and his best friend Jack face a crisis: Jack is moving away. Perhaps the wily pair can invent some way to prevent that? Read full book review >
KILLER STRANGELETS by C.T.  Furlong
ADVENTURE
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Lots of fun for the right audience. (Comic suspense. 9-13)"
Six British kids save the world in this suspenseful, comic romp through Switzerland's famed CERN laboratories. Read full book review >
THE ORPHAN OF AWKWARD FALLS by Keith Graves
FICTION
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"Unfortunate Events galore, served with relish. (finished illustrations not seen) (Melodrama. 11-13)"
The creator of such picture books as Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance (1999) and Three Nasty Gnarlies (2003) dishes up a first novel seasoned with the same delightfully twisted, ghoulish sensibility. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Luis Alberto Urrea
April 21, 2015

Examining the borders between one nation and another, between one person and another, Luis Alberto Urrea’s latest story collection, The Water Museum, reveals his mastery of the short form. This collection includes the Edgar-award winning "Amapola" and his now-classic "Bid Farewell to Her Many Horses," which had the honor of being chosen for NPR's "Selected Shorts" not once but twice. Urrea has also recently published a poetry collection, Tijuana Book of the Dead, mixing lyricism and colloquial voices, mysticism and the daily grind. We talk to Urrea about both of his new books this week on Kirkus TV. View video >