Teen Book Reviews (page 563)

FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"A tragic tale, beautifully written and researched. (Fiction. 12+)"
The short and not very happy life of America's first black poet, brought to vibrant life by Rinaldi (The Blue Door, p. 1241, etc.). Read full book review >
PICTURES IN THE DARK by Gillian Cross
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 1, 1996

"Persuasive and resonant. (Fiction. 12+)"
Cross (New World, 1995, etc.) tautly combines a mystery with a compassionate novel about the healing power of friendship and love. Read full book review >

GIRL GODDESS #9 by Francesca Lia Block
FICTION
Released: Sept. 30, 1996

"As with Block's novels, these small dazzlers explore enduring values and provide a diverting take on facets of contemporary teen culture. (Short stories. 12+)"
Nine short stories from an author (Baby Be-Bop, 1995, etc.) with a gift for creating warmly human characters with wildly unconventional exteriors. Read full book review >
THE WHISTLING TOILETS by Randy Powell
FICTION
Released: Sept. 25, 1996

"The book may be most reminiscent of Chris Crutcher's early, edgy work—no faint praise—but it has a unique feature that is surely all Powell's own: whistling toilets. (Fiction. 12+)"
At 16, Stan Claxton doesn't think very highly of himself. Read full book review >
THE CASE OF ROE V. WADE by Leonard A. Stevens
NONFICTION
Released: Sept. 10, 1996

"In fact, Stevens quotes the decision instead of explaining it, leaving out crucial legal reasoning in a topic that arouses strong feelings in so many people. (index, not seen, bibliography, glossary, appendices) (Nonfiction. 13+)"
A good discussion of the abortion controversy and the 1973 US Supreme Court case, Roe v. Read full book review >

ZEL by Donna Jo Napoli
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"This rich, complex reading may require an adult's sensibility and level of experience to absorb fully, but it powerfully renders the tale's inherent terror and tragedy. (Folklore. 12+)"
A passionate, painful elaboration of the story of Rapunzel, from the author who did the same for Hansel and Gretel in The Magic Circle (1993). Read full book review >
FREE FALL by Joyce Sweeney
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"More confessional fiction than a survival story, this is likely to disappoint readers expecting another riveter like Sweeney's Shadow (1994). (Fiction. 12+)"
Four teenagers lost in a Florida cave for 24 hours spill their souls in this wordy, unevenly paced adventure. Read full book review >
THE ABRACADABRA KID by Sid Fleischman
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Fleischman offers a gold mine of interesting reflections of writing, and a vivid representation of a life lived adventurously and thoughtfully. (Autobiography. 12+)"
Subtitled "A Writer's Life," this is a lively self-portrait of the writer as a young magician turned conjurer of "literary magic tricks." Read full book review >
LIVE A LITTLE by Colin Neenan
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Zany, yes, but true. (Fiction. 12+)"
Hale O'Reilly is about to graduate from high school, but only if he doesn't flunk physics. Read full book review >
THE ORPHAN'S TENT by Tom De Haven
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Bing's few black-and-white illustrations add a sense of menace to the story, an incredible and entertaining adventure that never falters in its realistic portrayal of young people, with all their flaws and strengths in focus. (Fiction. 12+)"
De Haven (for adults, Derby Dugan's Depression Funnies, p. 549, etc.) makes a quirky gang of New Jersey rock and rollers the unlikely heroes of this hilarious adventure. Read full book review >
GIRL GIVES BIRTH TO OWN PROM DATE by Todd Strasser
FICTION
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Best of all, the high humor doesn't detract at all from Strasser's serious but understated message about nonconformity and self-acceptance; it's there, behind all the goofy plot twists and effervescent dialogue. (Fiction. 14+)"
The prolific Strasser strikes again with a companion novel to his very funny first look at Time Zone High, How I Changed My Life (1995), and this one's even more fresh and irreverently funny than its predecessor. Read full book review >
THE BLUE DOOR by Ann Rinaldi
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Sept. 1, 1996

"Whether they've covered the previous books or not, readers will enjoy this rip-roaring tale of adventure and suspense; Amanda and all the other characters inhabit a revealing and credible historical milieu. (bibliography) (Fiction. 12+)"
Readers of the first two volumes of The Quilt Trilogy (A Stitch in Time, 1994, etc.) will delight in how Rinaldi (Keep Smiling Through, p. 535, etc.) brings all the pieces of her multigenerational saga together in this final work. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Bill Browder
author of RED NOTICE
March 24, 2015

Bill Browder’s Red Notice is a nonfiction political thriller about an American financier in the Wild East of Russia, the murder of his principled young tax attorney, and his mission to expose the Kremlin’s corruption. In 2007, a group of Russian law enforcement officers raided Browder’s offices in Moscow and stole $230 million of taxes that his fund’s companies had paid to the Russian government. Browder’s attorney Sergei Magnitsky investigated the incident and uncovered a sprawling criminal enterprise. A month after Sergei testified against the officials involved, he was arrested and thrown into pre-trial detention, where he was tortured for a year. On November 16, 2009, he was led to an isolation chamber, handcuffed to a bedrail, and beaten to death by eight guards in full riot gear. “It may be that ‘Russian stories never have happy endings,’ ” our reviewer writes about Red Notice, “but Browder’s account more than compensates by ferociously unmasking Putin’s thugocracy.” View video >