Indie Book Reviews

Zoe's Sidewalk by Tiffany Robinson
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 13, 2013

"Cheerful art and an encouraging story of one girl's hard work leading to real change."
A little girl realizes she can't help her grandmother until she helps her community in this moving debut by Robinson, featuring Matsuoka's fantastic illustrations of a modern African-American family. Read full book review >
Help Your Dog Fight Cancer by Laurie Kaplan
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"An invaluable resource for providing top-notch care for man's best friend."
This comprehensive guide to canine cancer delivers standard veterinary information and advice in language that average dog owners will understand. Read full book review >

Walker The Goose by Susanne Blumer
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Nov. 25, 2015

"An appealing tale of good things coming to geese who wait."
A goose longs for a place to belong in this rhyming, based-on-a-true-story picture book from Blumer (Wooly Meets the Chickens, 2015). Read full book review >
Tuesday's Child by Damian Smith
FICTION & LITERATURE

"A novel that methodically works its way to the end, ensuring a well-whetted appetite for mystery."
An Oregon lawyer learns that he has a 5-year-old daughter but soon finds himself a murder suspect when the girl's mother turns up dead in Smith's debut thriller. Read full book review >
Melting the Blues by Tracy McGhee
FICTION & LITERATURE

"A brave, musical story rich with Southern history."
In McGhee's debut novel, an African-American musician learns that there are many ways to get the blues. Read full book review >

Forbidden Fruit by Gail Pellett
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Nov. 12, 2015

"An often engaging story of a Chinese journey that's worth telling."
A Canadian-born radical leftist and freelance broadcast journalist offers a debut memoir of her year in Communist China, where she edited English-language propaganda for Radio Beijing. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 20, 2015

"A remarkable examination of the Mexican Revolution that should be regarded as a watershed contribution to the field."
A debut book provides the first comprehensive account of military operations during the Mexican Revolution to appear in English. Read full book review >
Hyenas by Michael Sellars
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 20, 2015

"The start of an exhilarating new series and a stirring addition to the zombie canon."
Sellars evokes both classic literature and classic horror in this post-apocalyptic debut novel. Read full book review >
Lord Souffle by Vaughan Wiles
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 8, 2015

"A wistful, brightly imagined tale of a young man on the make."
A young graduate moves from South Africa to England to kick-start his career in Wiles' debut novel. Read full book review >
DARK SKY by Joel Canfield
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 15, 2015

"A detective story whose imperfect protagonist boasts endearing qualities just below his rakish exterior."
A former CIA agent tries to prove a dead war hero isn't actually dead and runs afoul of a private security company that may want to silence him in this thriller. Read full book review >
Nomadin by Shawn Cormier
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Aug. 27, 2010

"This novel casts a fresh spell for fans of the boy-wizard genre."
In this YA fantasy debut, a wizard's apprentice must help stop a Necromancer from escaping his prison within a book. Read full book review >
The King of Average by Gary Schwartz
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 6, 2015

"A skilled and witty tale about a boy who would be king that should appeal to children and adults."
A supposedly average boy realizes that he's not so mediocre after all in this debut middle-grade novel. 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 >