Kirkus Stars & Recommendations

THE AWESOME by Eva Darrows
Released: May 21, 2015

"Maggie's adventurous baptism-by-undead provides enough complications to set up a sequel—readers will not want to wait long for it. (Fantasy. 14-18)"
An apprentice monster hunter will never be promoted if she doesn't get her freak on. Read full book review >
SPLIT SEASON by Jeff Katz
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 19, 2015

"A superior addition to the venerable genre of baseball season accounts."
Most books on a baseball year concentrate on a single legendary team (1927 Yankees, 1954 Giants). Katz, mayor of Cooperstown, New York (The Kansas City A's and the Wrong Half of the Yankees: How the Yankees Controlled Two of the Eight American League Franchises During the 1950s, 2007), gives multiple teams equal time while devoting half of this delightful, opinionated history to the strike that upset everyone but enshrined the free agent system that has produced spectacular salaries for even mediocre players.Read full book review >

WHEN THE HEAVENS FALL by Marc Turner
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: May 19, 2015

"A splendid launch. Turner's unquestionably a newcomer to watch."
Gods, zombies, kings, wizards, and death-magic battle to the, well, death in a story that's sparked more by its denizens and their deeds than its standard fantasy backdrop. Read full book review >
SCARLETT UNDERCOVER by Jennifer Latham
Released: May 19, 2015

"This whip-smart, determined, black Muslim heroine brings a fresh hard-boiled tone to the field of teen mysteries. (Mystery. 12-15)"
A 16-year-old gumshoe's new case reveals ancient—perhaps magical—family secrets. Read full book review >
THE ORPHAN ARMY by Jonathan Maberry
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 19, 2015

"This first book in an explosive new series is the perfect mix of science fiction and magic. (Fantasy/science fiction. 8-12)"
Ever since the alien invasion, 11-year-old Milo has suffered from nightmares, but when a voice in his dreams tells him the world needs a hero, he has a hard time believing it could be him. Read full book review >

WAR OF THE ENCYCLOPAEDISTS by Christopher Robinson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 19, 2015

"That two different writers are at work is sometimes apparent but not bothersome given that two distinctive characters are in play, and the overall narrative's smart and entertaining."
Two "twentysomethings of early-millennium Seattle" take different paths to maturity in this likable, highly readable, double-bylined coming-of-age first novel. Read full book review >
FORT by Cynthia DeFelice
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: May 19, 2015

"Upbeat, engaging and satisfying; altogether a very fine book, especially for boys looking for a bit of believable, achievable adventure. (Fiction. 9-14)"
What preteen boy wouldn't love to build a fort in the woods? Read full book review >
HEAD CASE by Cole Cohen
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"A beautifully wrenching memoir as piercing as smelling salts."
The story of a woman with a hole in her brain the size of a lemon. Read full book review >
LEAVING ORBIT by Margaret Lazarus Dean
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"One of those books you can't put down, don't want to finish, and won't soon forget."
Beguiled at an early age by the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Dean (English/Univ. of Tennessee; The Time It Takes to Fall, 2007) deftly chronicles the history of American spaceflight and what the end of the space program means for American culture.Read full book review >
ENGLAND AND OTHER STORIES by Graham Swift
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 19, 2015

"The stories recall different eras stylistically as well, bearing echoes of Cheever, touches of O. Henry, and, in one chilling case, of Shirley Jackson's 'The Lottery.' With few weak spots and more than a few killers, it's a potent gathering."
The British author of Waterland crams enough life into these vignettes and full-blown stories to be justified in slyly giving his third collection a country's name.Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: May 19, 2015

"Sehat ably shows how the exploitation of the founders debases political debate and neglects policy evaluation—required reading for those desperate for sane, intelligent political arguments."
Sehat (History/Georgia State Univ.; The Myth of American Religious Freedom, 2011) indicts the political ploy of invoking the Constitution to support projects from the sublime to the absurd.Read full book review >
CONVICTION by Kelly Loy Gilbert
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 19, 2015

"Both hopeful and devastatingly real. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
When 16-year-old Braden Raynor's father is arrested for a hit-and-run accident that leaves a police officer dead, every hidden secret is dragged into the light. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Jodi Picoult and Samantha van Leer
authors of OFF THE PAGE
May 19, 2015

Meet Oliver, a prince literally taken from the pages of a fairy tale and transported into the real world. Meet Delilah, the girl who wished Oliver into being. In bestseller Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer’s new young adult novel, Off the Page, it’s a miracle that seems perfect at first—but there are complications. To exist in Delilah’s world, Oliver must take the place of a regular boy. Enter Edgar, who agrees to play Oliver’s role in the pages of Delilah’s favorite book. But just when it seems that the plan will work, everything gets turned upside down. We talk to the mother-daughter team on Kirkus TV. View video >