Teen Book Reviews (page 563)

THE BOOK OF DEAD DAYS by Marcus Sedgwick
FANTASY
Released: Oct. 12, 2004

"Much is left untold in this fascinatingly brooding tale, but Boy discovers in a final burst of warmth that Willow will be with him whatever his future holds. (author's note) (Fantasy. YA)"
In an 18th-century European city that's grand but decaying, a desperate and mysterious quest occurs during the year's "Dead Days." Read full book review >
KISSING VANESSA by Simon Cheshire
FICTION
Released: Oct. 12, 2004

"It's flat-out uproarious. (Fiction. YA)"
Fifteen-year-old Kevin falls in love at first sight and does everything wrong in this sidesplitting romp through adolescent love. Read full book review >

ROB&SARA.COM by P.J. Peterson
FICTION
Released: Oct. 12, 2004

"The e-mail format may attract plugged-in young readers. (Fiction. YA)"
Sara, a sheltered 16-year-old, becomes involved in an e-mail relationship with "Rob," a disturbed boy who says he's an inmate in a private school for wealthy juvenile offenders. Read full book review >
BAMBERT’S BOOK OF MISSING STORIES by Reinhardt Jung
FICTION
Released: Oct. 12, 2004

"The audience for this meditation on what stories are, and do, is likely to be deep but not wide. (Fiction. 12-15)"
Jung explores the power of stories to free writers'—and by extension, their readers'—imaginations from physical limitations in this brief, introspective import. Read full book review >
FINDING MIRACLES by Julia Alvarez
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 12, 2004

"Written with immediacy and charm, there is accessibility to the very American Milly's attitudes and ideas that will help readers accompany her on her journey of discovery and growth. (Fiction. YA)"
Ninth-grader Milly struggles to deny her adopted status in a loving family until she begins to understand her origins through a friendship with Pablo, a new arrival from her country of birth. Read full book review >

DANIEL HALF HUMAN: AND THE GOOD NAZI by David Chotjewitz
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"There are many Holocaust books for children, but this one stands out in its careful dissection of one family's experience before the war, and in its nuanced approach to the complexity of emotions and relationships under stress. (glossary) (Fiction. 12+)"
A young American army officer drives through the ruins of Hamburg in 1945, remembering his childhood there, from his celebration with his best friend of the rise of the Nazi party until his flight with his family after Kristallnacht. Read full book review >
A STERKARM KISS by Susan Price
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"The cliffhanger ending promises a sequel—but one that cannot come quickly enough. (Fiction. YA)"
Andrea Mitchell has found contentment, if not joy, in the 21st century, her sojourn in the 16th century just memories of intense joy and terror (The Sterkarm Handshake, 2000). Read full book review >
UNDER THE WOLF, UNDER THE DOG by Adam Rapp
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"A certain grim humor sometimes relieves the heavy narrative, which does end with a gleam of hope for readers who have stuck with the long, disturbing story. (Fiction. YA)"
Like so many teen protagonists, Steve Nugent is struggling with his mother's death from cancer. Read full book review >
JUDE by Kate Morgenroth
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Although Jude is the only character fully developed here, his generous nature and longing for a family will win readers' sympathy, as they grow increasingly outraged at the villainous acts of those around him. (Fiction. YA)"
Jude, a likable, well-meaning teenager, endures multiple betrayals in this absorbing thriller. Read full book review >
BURYING THE SUN by Gloria Whelan
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"All in all, a vivid portrait of a country and a family under siege, and a testimony to human resilience. (Fiction. YA)"
In this somber companion to The Impossible Journey (2003) and Angel on the Square (2001), Whelan brings the horrific, 880-day Siege of Leningrad to life for young readers. Read full book review >
THE BOY FROM THE BASEMENT by Susan Shaw
FICTION
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"This affecting, ultimately uplifting examination of a boy's recovery from extreme child abuse is a stunner and certain to attract readers. (Fiction. 12+)"
Charlie, 12, can't read and doesn't even know his last name. Read full book review >
COUNTRY GIRL, CITY GIRL by Lisa Jahn-Clough
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 1, 2004

"Phoebe's lesbian feelings are not resolved by the end, leaving her simply as a growing girl with more confidence, better able to make friends and join the world. (Fiction. YA)"
A story with feminist and lesbian overtones follows 13-year-old Phoebe, raised on an isolated Maine farm, in her developing friendship with Melita, the 14-year-old daughter of an unstable actress from New York City. 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 >