Young Adult Book Reviews (page 1294)

THE ORIGINAL FREDDIE ACKERMAN by Hadley Irwin
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 30, 1992

"A grandly unassuming story, strewn with eccentric personalities, all with their hearts in the right places. (Fiction. 10-14)"
Already adrift because of his parents' many divorces and marriages, Trevor ``Freddie'' Ackerman feels stranded by a summer with two elderly aunts on an island in Maine, without TV or other electronic entertainment. Read full book review >
THE MAN WHO LOVED CLOWNS by June Rae Wood
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 21, 1992

"A perceptive look at some of the possibilities presented by life—and death. (Fiction. 10-14)"
When Delrita Jensen moves to Tangle Nook and finds kids laughing at 35-year-old Uncle Punky (who has Down's syndrome), singing and swinging in the backyard, her worst fears are confirmed. Read full book review >

THE CRY OF THE WOLF by Melvin Burgess
ANIMALS
Released: Oct. 21, 1992

"There's more food for confusion than for thought in this savage hunt and its ambiguous outcome. (Fiction. 11-13)"
A boy lets slip to a stranger known as ``The Hunter'' that there are wolves near his family's Surrey farm. Read full book review >
DREAM SPINNER by Joanne Hoppe
BEDTIME BOOK
Released: Oct. 19, 1992

"Unfortunately, though, it's undermined by Mary's overblown unhappiness: she may have problems, but readers won't be convinced of her need to escape, and she sounds unduly whiny from the start. (Fiction. 11-13)"
Unable to accustom herself to a batch of changes—a new stepmother-to-be and her son; new home; new school—Mary begins to time-travel through her dreams. Read full book review >
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 19, 1992

"Brief bibliography. (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
The author of 11 lively books that bring a delightfully light touch to such subjects as idioms, homographs, and wordplay provides a joke book-cum-manual subtitled How to Make Up Jokes and Riddles with Wordplay. Read full book review >

TRAIL FEVER by D.J. Lightfoot
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Oct. 16, 1992

"Bibliography. (Biography. 10-12)"
George Saunders participated in many great cattle drives from 1871 to 1886; later, he spent years collecting and setting down his aging comrades' reminiscences. Read full book review >
ARCTIC HUNTER by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 15, 1992

"Glossary; index. (Nonfiction. 8-12)"
Hoyt-Goldsmith (Totem Pole, 1990) focuses on another group of Native Americans, the Inupiat, returning to their traditions for a summer of fishing, seal hunting, and preparing food for the winter. Read full book review >
THE WALL by Elizabeth Lutzeier
FAMILY AND GROWING UP
Released: Oct. 15, 1992

"The author (whose The Coldest Winter, 1991, effectively dramatized Ireland's potato famine) treats her characters, and the German people, with respect, opening a window to a once-hidden society. (Fiction. 12-14)"
Trying to cross to the West, Hannah's mother has been shot to death at the Berlin Wall; for fear she'll be sent to a children's home, Hannah hides her feelings beneath conformity. Read full book review >
OUT OF STEP by Mary Jane Auch
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 15, 1992

"Jeremy may have some value as a negative role-model, but this heavy-handed story offers little insight into a common domestic situation. (Fiction. 10-13)"
Jeremy, 12, makes himself and his stepfamily miserable until he realizes that other people have feelings too. Read full book review >
WILDFLOWER GIRL by Marita Conlon-McKenna
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 15, 1992

"Still, Peggy is likable, other characters are concisely but effectively drawn, and the picture of a young girl making her way in a new land is authentic. (Fiction. 10-15)"
Peggy, who found refuge with her great-aunts during the Irish Potato Famine (Under the Hawthorn Tree, 1990), sets out on her own for America: her sister is to be married, and her brother has found a job, so only 13-year-old Peggy accepts the subsidized passage to Boston. Read full book review >
THE WORLD IN 1492 by Jean Fritz
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 12, 1992

"But, still, there's a great deal to ponder in this attractive overview—which may be most valuable for such unexpected depictions as the Aztecs supplanting a previous civilization, or the Maori hunting a species to extinction. (Nonfiction. 11-14)"
An ambitious undertaking: a survey with contributions by six eminent authors, plus fine reproductions of artifacts, photos of architecture, and contemporary maps. Read full book review >
GULLIVER'S TRAVELS by Jonathan Swift
ADVENTURE
Released: Oct. 10, 1992

"Swift's ax-grinding can be indigestible in large doses; like other abridged classics from this publisher and illustrator, a palatable, well-blended appetizer. (Fiction. 12-14)"
Swift's account of Gulliver's captivity in Lilliput and Brobdingnag is considerably shortened and rephrased here, but Riordan expertly preserves the flavor of the original: upon reaching the temple where he is to stay, the intrepid traveler shamefacedly relieves himself before the tiny multitudes (though the more famous scene where he similarly puts out a palace fire is absent); later, he survives plenty of harrowing adventures, admiringly describing the societies in which he's stranded while taking subtle pokes (and not-so-subtle—``Englishmen are the nastiest race of odious little vermin that Nature ever suffered to crawl upon the surface of the earth,'' says the king of Brobdingnag) at his own, and at fashion and politics in general. 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 >