Kirkus Reviews Stars & Recommendations

IMAGINE by John Lennon
by John Lennon, illustrated by Jean Jullien
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 21, 2017

"An inviting, relevant, and timely message of tolerance, inclusiveness, unity, and peace. Just imagine. (foreword by Yoko Ono Lennon, afterword) (Picture book. 4-8)"
In this illustrated version of the lyrics of Lennon's 1971 song "Imagine," a pigeon carries its message far and wide. Read full book review >
FORTITUDE SMASHED by Taylor Brooke
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 21, 2017

"Handcuffed by fate, this cop-and-robber duo will steal hearts; a strong start to a promising series."
In the first book of the Camellia Clock Cycle series, Brooke (Legacy Strain, 2017, etc.) puts a fun twist on the proverbial biological clock with a surgical implant that counts down to the exact moment each person will fall in love. Read full book review >

A HERO DREAMS by Mark Ristau
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 21, 2017

"A sad but laudable story of a boy who endures more than he should have to bear."
In Ristau's coming-of-age debut novel, a young boy, distraught over his father's death, has trouble fitting in at summer camp, where he has unsettling visions and is comforted by a disembodied voice. Read full book review >
UNSTOPPABLE by Tariku Bogale
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 21, 2017

"A high-speed, energetic tale of a sometimes-bumpy ride from rags to riches."
An entrepreneur's debut memoir takes him from the wilds of Ethiopia to the neon lights of Hollywood. Read full book review >
AFTER THE ECLIPSE by Sarah Perry
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Despite some repetition, deft pacing and vivid portraits result in an absorbing mystery and a forthright memoir of abiding grief."
In an accomplished debut memoir, a daughter struggles to understand the life of her mother, who was murdered when the author was 12. Read full book review >

NOMADLAND by Jessica  Bruder
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Engaging, highly relevant immersion journalism."
Journalist Bruder (Burning Book: A Visual History of Burning Man, 2007) expands her remarkable cover story for Harper's into a book about low-income Americans eking out a living while driving from locale to locale for seasonal employment. Read full book review >
BEN FRANKLIN'S IN MY BATHROOM! by Candace Fleming
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"It's not the first time old Ben has paid our times a call, but it's funny and free-spirited, with an informational load that adds flavor without weight. (Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 9-11)"
Antics both instructive and embarrassing ensue after a mysterious package left on their doorstep brings a Founding Father into the lives of two modern children. Read full book review >
I'M JUST NO GOOD AT RHYMING by Chris Harris
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"The inspired and inspiring sense of play knows no bounds. (Poetry. 5-12)"
A frolicking romp through the zany world of nonsense verse. Read full book review >
I HAVE A BALLOON by Ariel Bernstein
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"With an open-ended, wordless conclusion inviting predictions and possibilities, this tightly paced narrative soars above its message-driven counterparts. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Bernstein's debut featuring an owl holding a balloon begins with a spoiler alert on the jacket flap: "This is NOT a book about sharing." Read full book review >
HENNY, PENNY, LENNY, DENNY, AND MIKE by Cynthia Rylant
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"Budding aquaculturists will enjoy this tale of friendship from a fish-eye view. (Picture book. 3-8)"
Aquarium life is anything but boring…it's "FAB!" Read full book review >
BUMPETY, DUNKETY, THUMPETY-THUMP! by K.L. Going
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"This winning read-aloud should encourage multiple recitations. (Picture book. 2-5)"
A day of blueberry picking and all it entails is experienced in a jaunty, rollicking romp. Read full book review >
THE LITTLEST TRAIN by Chris Gall
CHILDREN'S
Released: Sept. 26, 2017

"A modern-day book with a classic feel that is delicately flavored with a sweet undercurrent of everyday compassion. (Picture book. 3-6)"
A bildungsroman for the toy locomotive set. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >