Book Recommendations & Reviews, Highly, Good, Top | Kirkus Reviews

MIDNIGHT MADNESS AT THE ZOO by Sherryn Craig
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 10, 2016

"It may not be great literature, but it's a valuable STEM and Common Core tool. (Picture book. 3-7)"
Math, basketball, and a trip to the zoo. Read full book review >
THE PASSION OF MADEMOISELLE S. by Jean-Yves Berthault
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A sad history of a woman consumed by passion and despair."
Steamy sex in 1920s Paris. Read full book review >

THE REVOLVING DOOR OF LIFE by Alexander McCall Smith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"As usual, it's hard to tell from moment to moment which disturbances in Smith's universe (Bertie's Guide to Life and Mothers, 2015, etc.) will pass after a momentary frisson and which will lead to serious ethical dilemmas. A bit like life, when you think about it."
More comings and goings at 44 Scotland St. and in its charming Edinburgh environs. Read full book review >
ONE MORE TICKLE! by Sam McBratney
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"This will give readers a case of the giggles, but they won't be rolling on the floor in hysterics. (Board book. 1-3)"
The lovable hares return for a ticklefest. Read full book review >
THE WHEELS ON THE BUS by Nosy Crow
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A pleasant rendering of a classic song. (Board book. 1-3)"
Animals ride a bus through town. Read full book review >

DEEP-SEA DIVER by Nosy Crow
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A fine read for any tot that loves adventure. (Board book. 1-3)"
Bizzy Bear travels under the sea. Read full book review >
BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN by Mary McKenna Siddals
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A sweet book for any place with small children in it. (Picture book. 2-4)"
Four children of diverse ethnicity—and one small dog—cavort through the seasons, backgrounded by rhythmic verses and a simple refrain. Read full book review >
MIRACLE MAN by John Hendrix
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Brief of text but memorably illustrated. (Picture book/religion. 5-9)"
Some of Jesus' message is here, but the focus is on selected miracles and the wonder thereof. Read full book review >
PLAYING FOR THE DEVIL'S FIRE by Phillippe Diederich
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Childhood at its most hopeful and heartbreaking; readers seeking lighthearted, sanitized fare should turn away. (glossary) (Fiction. 12-15)"
In photojournalist Diederich's harrowing debut novel, 13-year-old Liberio "Boli" Flores endures the effects of narcoviolence sweeping Mexico. Read full book review >
BETTER LIVING THROUGH CRITICISM by A.O. Scott
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A zealous and well-considered work of advocacy for an art too often unappreciated and misunderstood."
An exploration of criticism, which "is not an enemy from which art must be defended, but rather another name—the proper name—for the defense of art itself." Read full book review >
Transformed: San Francisco by Suzanne Falter
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"An amusing, sexually inclusive novel about joining forces to save a metropolis.
"
Falter (How Much Joy Can You Stand?, 2014, etc.) and Harvey introduce an unlikely couple of crime fighters in this San Francisco-based thriller.Read full book review >
THE QUICKEST KID IN CLARKSVILLE by Pat Zietlow Miller
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Sweet and inspiring. (Picture book. 5-8)"
Two little girls compete to meet a local hero. 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 >