Young Adult Book Reviews (page 1285)

Released: March 1, 1986

"This fantasy provides food for introspection as well as flights of imagination into a magical kingdom. (Fantasy. 10-14)"
Courage, skill, and magic are qualities that characterize 18-year-old Alanna in this third volume of the Song of the Lioness series. Read full book review >
WAR HORSE by Michael Morpurgo
Released: Aug. 22, 1983

"Despite relentless English and German anti-war rumination, and Joey's own supra-equine understandings: some distinct glimpses of how it was to be a war-horse—in addition to that thundering melodrama. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
In effect, a horse's eye view of the First World War—heart-rending in Black Beauty tradition, anti-war like All Quiet..., certainly unusual and dramatic. Read full book review >

SKINNYBONES by Barbara Park
Released: Sept. 1, 1982

"It's a neat enough outcome for this sort of easy walk."
This opens with sixth-grader Alex sending off a smart-alec entry to a Kitty Fritters commercial contest, but it soon settles into his problem as the smallest, poorest, most humiliated player in the local Little League—as he puts it, referring to his repeated winning of the "most improved player" award, "the only one to go from stinko to smelly six years in a row." Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 8, 1981

"It's a question of sensibility."
Unquestionably a labor of love, this is set in an inn presided over by William Blake. Read full book review >
Released: April 1, 1980

Robert Linnly and Elizabeth Mawes, the boy and girl runaways aided by orphan Peter York in Night Journeys (1979), continue their flight in this crisp chronicle, which is presented as testimony by a number of those involved in the story. Read full book review >

HOW TO EAT FRIED WORMS by Thomas Rockwell
Released: Sept. 1, 1973

"The person who comes off best here is Billy's mother, who after a quick call to the doctor accepts the plan with perfect equanimity, but Rockwell's sensibilities (if that's the word) are so uncannily close to those of the average ten year-old boy that one begins to admire Billy as a really sharp operator."
Even fried with ketchup, mustard and horseradish sauce or baked as "Alsatian Smothered Worm" with onions and sour cream by Billy's supportive Mother, fifteen nightcrawlers are still a lot of worms to eat. Read full book review >
A TASTE OF BLACKBERRIES by Doris Buchanan Smith
Released: May 21, 1973

"Tailormade to support the current emphasis by child psychologists and psychiatrists on preparing children to deal with death. (Fiction. 8-12)"
As in Mann's My Dad Lives in a Downtown Hotel, above, the purpose here is more therapeutic than aesthetic, but (also like My Dad...) this is an honest and understanding first-person reconstruction of the thoughts and feelings any child might have in the situation. Read full book review >
THE GREAT BRAIN by John D. Fitzgerald
Released: Oct. 18, 1967

"A funny, fast-moving, endearing book that adults will appreciate and boys will lap up."
According to J.D., Tom the Great Brain's younger brother, Adenville, Utah in 1896, is full of opportunities for an enterprising boy—Papa installs the first water closet in town (and Tom charges to see the cess pool dug, the chain pulled); J.D. catches the mumps first on purpose, has a chance to gloat over his still-swollen brothers (but Tom exacts a price for calling off his punishment); a Greek immigrant boy is badgered and bullied (and Tom earns a dollar for training him to outfight his chief tormentor); the new teacher turns out to be a tyrant (but Tom first has him fired, then rehired chastened). Read full book review >
HARRIET THE SPY by Louise Fitzhugh
Released: Oct. 21, 1964

"Whether some adults will find this morally unregenerative, still it's a thoroughly realistic story with lost of very funny scenes and commentaries, and it features one of the hardest to handle, easiest to like heroines in a long time. Illustrations by the author not seen."
Harriet is an 11-year-old snub-nosed gamin with an elephant child curiosity and, let's face it, a noticing eye that runs to nastiness. Read full book review >
Released: Sept. 1, 1954

"Unhackneyed, this is as colorful as it sounds and much glitters besides the gold."
In a setting that could be the South, Florida or Georgia maybe, here is a fantasy that shimmers like its own sunny surroundings. Read full book review >
KINGS AND QUEENS by Eleanor Farjeon
Released: Feb. 20, 1952

"Limited—I should think."
This is a reissue, with addition of verses devoted to Edward VIII and George VI. Read full book review >
THE ABANDONED by Paul Gallico
Released: Sept. 11, 1950

"A deep knowledge of cat lore and legend, feline psychology and behavior aims this toward a cat-loving audience, while its message of loneliness and love will find a reception among those who have a feeling for sentiment. (Fantasy. 8-12)"
The story of Peter, 8, who in delirium after an accident, lived the life of a cat, offers a challenge to the storyteller's art—a challenge which is met with a certain amount of success. 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 >