Kirkus Reviews Stars & Recommendations

PAX by Sara Pennypacker
Kirkus Star
by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Jon Klassen
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Moving and poetic. (Animal fantasy. 9-13)"
A motherless boy is forced to abandon his domesticated fox when his father decides to join soldiers in an approaching war. Read full book review >
DOG RUN MOON by Callan Wink
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Wink doesn't deal in the romance of the Old West or dwell on the frontier past, yet both myth and history color these highly satisfying fictions about the way men and women struggle to shape their lives."
A collection of stories set mostly in Montana, where life tends to be hard, money short, the land gorgeous, and relations between lovers and kin troubled. Read full book review >

OPENING BELLE by Maureen Sherry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"So much fun, and educational too."
Corporate sexism and the mortgage crisis are a laugh a minute...in this delightful comic novel, at least. Read full book review >
THE FLOOD GIRLS by Richard Fifield
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The Wild West earns its name all over again in this lovable chronicle of small-town insanity."
A prodigal daughter returns to her hometown in Montana to make amends; mayhem and hilarity ensue. Read full book review >
THE ICEBERG by Marion Coutts
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A poetic and moving chronicle of loss."
A debut memoir about losing a husband to cancer. Read full book review >

THE CELLAR by Minette Walters
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Sly pacing and a detached narrative voice give this horror story exceptional punch."
This short work reads like a recipe for evil and may well induce a nightmare or two. Read full book review >
A CANCER IN THE FAMILY by Theodora Ross
HEALTH & MEDICINE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Highly recommended: an exceptionally well-organized, authoritative, and readable resource book."
A valuable resource for those wondering whether there is a chance that cancer runs in their family. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A fresh look at Eleanor Roosevelt and a fascinating exploration of a cherished, mutually beneficial friendship."
A significant new exploration of the enormously important friendship between two activist crusaders in advancing the cause of civil rights for blacks and women. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A delightful book that is just plain fun to read, packed with all kinds of curious facts and oddities."
Gordon (An Empire of Wealth: The Epic History of American Economic Power, 2004) uses a history of the Washington Monument to present an enjoyable tale of Egypt's obelisks, the nations who appropriated them, and how they moved them.Read full book review >
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An academic yet concise, fresh, and deeply informed look at how we read."
How does the study of disability help us to understand stories? Read full book review >
GINNY GALL by Charlie Smith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A riveting protagonist moves through unbearable racial carnage into a kind of legend."
A violent and sorrowful Jim Crow South brims in this brutal novel. Read full book review >
THE BIG REWIND by Libby Cudmore
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A mystery that will inspire more than one playlist and, hopefully, a sequel."
The clues to a Brooklyn murder unspool on a mixtape in what might be a new mystery subgenre—the hipster cozy. 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 >