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
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 >