Kirkus Stars & Recommendations

TO HELL AND BACK by Charles Pellegrino
Released: Aug. 6, 2015

"This is horrifying, painful, and necessary reading."
On the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Pellegrino's (Farewell, Titanic: Her Final Legacy, 2012, etc.) account of the survivors—a book recalled and pulped in 2010 by its original publisher after doubts about the authenticity of the claims made by one of the author's sources—now appears in a revised edition. Read full book review >
Snapshots from my Uneventful Life by David I. Aboulafia
Released: Aug. 7, 2015

"The funny bits in this Everyman's true-life stories will remind readers to look on the bright side of life."
Debut author Aboulafia highlights absurd and memorable events from his life in humorous autobiographical essays. Read full book review >

THE LONG FIRE by Meghan Tifft
Released: Aug. 8, 2015

"An unusual, strikingly written novel about a young woman's desire for understanding and love and how that longing remains familiar in even the most eccentric of circumstances."
A debut novel about a strangely appealing heroine whose lonely search for understanding plunges her into the dark weirdness of her family history. Read full book review >
FUR, FINS, AND FEATHERS by Cassandre Maxwell
Released: Aug. 10, 2015

"Sure to spark the interest of animal-loving children, this engaging portrait will also please history buffs and Anglophiles. (timeline, author's note, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 5-8)"
Maxwell presents a brief biography of Abraham Dee Bartlett, the self-taught animal expert who became superintendent of the London Zoo in 1859 and subsequently made significant improvements in the understanding, care, and treatment of animals in captivity. Read full book review >
THE SCAMP by Jennifer Pashley
Released: Aug. 10, 2015

"An intense, riveting saga of the multiplying casualties of one family's secrets and a girl's determination to take control after a childhood 'that rips you apart so your insides are one big scar.'"
A chance meeting at a bar draws a young woman into an investigation that unexpectedly brings her answers about her long-lost cousin. Read full book review >

THE FISH LADDER by Katharine Norbury
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A beautifully written book about a journey through wild places in the landscape and the heart."
British writer Norbury's debut memoir takes readers on vigorous walks through lochs, rivers, and soggy marshes in Scotland, England, and Wales. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"An important, thoughtfully balanced book aimed at shifting thinking and providing concrete steps toward encouraging positive—and realistic—self-image development."
Reflections on the benefits of giving children the chance to experience failure—and how to go about doing it. Read full book review >
BROWN-EYED GIRL by Lisa Kleypas
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Fans have been waiting a long time for Joe Travis' story, and they will celebrate this book."
Wedding planner Avery Crosslin meets Joe Travis—of the Houston Travises—at a society event and convinces herself that he's good for business but a bad romantic bet; rebel Joe has other plans, however, and he usually gets what he wants. Read full book review >
BASE NATION by David Vine
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A frank, significant look at how the proliferation of foreign military bases has 'helped lock us inside a permanently militarized society that in many ways has made all of us less safe and less secure.'"
America's seldom thought of, and largely misunderstood, military outposts around the globe are brought into sharp relief. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Though they may not shine in the robotics department, Luke and his team succeed in other ways in this likable comedy. (Fiction. 9-13)"
Robotics and friendship come together for one ordinary seventh-grader. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"Given the competing noise about parenting, this book should be required reading for parents."
A guide to stopping the helicoptering, lawn-mowing, and overindulging that can lead to entitled, self-centered thinking in children. Read full book review >
THE ACCIDENT SEASON by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Released: Aug. 11, 2015

"A powerful novel from an exciting new talent. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Ghosts, secrets, and magic collide in this Irish author's astonishing debut. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sabaa Tahir
August 4, 2015

Sabaa Tahir’s novel An Ember in the Ashes reveals a world inspired by ancient Rome and defined by brutality. Seventeen-year-old Laia has grown up with one rule for survival: Never challenge the Empire. But when Laia’s brother Darin is arrested for treason, she leaves behind everything she knows, risking her life to try and save him. She enlists help from the rebels whose extensive underground network may lead to Darin. Their help comes with a price, though. Laia must infiltrate the Empire’s greatest military academy as a spy. Elias is the Empire’s finest soldier—and its most unwilling one. Thrown together by chance and united by their hatred of the Empire, Laia and Elias will soon discover that their fates are intertwined—and that their choices may change the destiny of the entire Empire. We talk to An Ember in the Ashes author Sabaa Tahir this week on Kirkus TV. View video >