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
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 >