Things that Go Book Reviews

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 >
I'M FAST! by Kate McMullan
FICTION
Released: Jan. 1, 2012

"Preschoolers will most likely warm to the good-natured competition between car and train, and parents and teachers will appreciate the friendly conclusion. But for those looking for a standout title in the multitude of things-that-go stories, there is little here that would warrant a repeat journey. (Picture book. 3-5)"
The usually dynamic McMullan duo (I Stink!, 2002) stalls with their sixth title, which stars an uber-confident train that accepts a challenge to race an equally self-assured sports car. Read full book review >

FRENCH DUCKS IN VENICE by Garret Freymann-Weyr
ANIMALS
Released: Dec. 1, 2011

"A splendidly illustrated but somewhat awkwardly spun tale of inner strength found when love is lost. (Illustrated fiction. 9-14)"
Preteens weaned on Disney princesses may swoon for this melancholy modern fairy tale starring the lovely Russian dressmaker Polina Panova who is neither a French duck nor from Venice, Italy, as the title suggests. Read full book review >
<i>TITANIC</i> SINKS! by Barry Denenberg
THINGS THAT GO
Released: Nov. 10, 2011

"This is history at its best, an original and appealing way to mark the centennial of this familiar disaster. (author's note, source notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction.10-14)"
A memorial edition of an imagined magazine covers the construction and fateful voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic, Queen of the Ocean, which sank in April 1912. 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 >

THINGS THAT GO
Released: Nov. 1, 2011

"An attractive, solid entry on a disaster that continues to fascinate. (Nonfiction. 11-15)"
With the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy coming up in April 2012, this engaging overview retells the powerful story and its aftermath. Read full book review >
SECRETS AT SEA by Richard Peck
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 13, 2011

"Sheer delight. (final art not seen) (Animal fantasy. 8-12)"
Problem novels, ghost stories, historical fiction—is there anything Newbery Medalist Peck cannot do? Apparently not. Read full book review >
SUBWAY STORY by Julia Sarcone-Roach
FICTION
Released: Oct. 11, 2011

"Immensely readable and surprisingly touching, this large heft of metal totes a lot of charm. (author's note, bibliography, further reading) (Picture book. 3-6)"
Jessie weighs 75,122 pounds and is a beautiful, brand-new subway car. Read full book review >
IT HAPPENED ON A TRAIN by Mac Barnett
FICTION
Released: Oct. 4, 2011

"Mention of the next adventure at mystery's close will make Brixton fans smile. (Humorous mystery. 10-14)"
The Brixton Brothers Detective Agency is no more. Read full book review >
UNDER THE HOOD by Christophe  Merlin
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"A droll visit to a garage that's anything but five-star. (Lift-the-flap picture book. 5-7)"
In this witty, flap-happy episode, a crew of lazy mechanics fix Mr. Bear's car—but only temporarily. Read full book review >
LEGENDARY JOURNEYS:  SHIPS by Brian Lavery
NONFICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"Light on nautical lore and jargon, but like its companion, Legendary Journeys: Trains (2010), the art will fascinate casual browsers. (Pop-up nonfiction. 8-13)"
A handsome, if scattershot, nautical history from ancient Egyptian reed boats to today's nearly half-mile-long container ships. Read full book review >
LITTLE POLAR BEAR AND THE SUBMARINE by Hans de Beer
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 2011

"As a rudimentary introduction to friendship and environmental issues, if not geography, Lars can still create the mood. (Picture book. 3-6)"
De Beer's little polar bear, who debuted some 25 years ago, returns in a tale that combines familiar friendship problems with up-to-date concerns. 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 >