Growing up in a lush green, fern-filled Pacific Northwest forest was nothing short of magical for author-illustrator Phoebe Wahl: When she left letters for fairies in her family’s backyard, the fairies wrote back. Sometimes, they left tiny gifts.
“I didn’t know it was my dad at the time,” says Wahl, who Kirkus reached by phone at home in Bellingham, Washington. “I thought they were letters from actual fairies.”
The experience inspired “Backyard Fairies,” an autobiographical zine for ...
Growing up in Connecticut, Veera Hiranandani didn’t know what to make of her father’s glancing mentions of “partition.”
“I would hear a little bit of, ‘Oh, that’s what happened when Igrew up—I had to leave my home,’ ” says Hiranandani, “and I was like, ‘What do you mean, you had to leave your home?’ ”
The 1947 Partition of India marked the end of British rule and the creation of two nations: India (majority Hindu) and Pakistan ...
No magnifying glass is needed to see that Brian Selznick and David Serlin’s Baby Monkey, Private Eye revolutionizes storytelling in pictures and words.
The seriously sidesplitting tale of a petite primate cutely cracking cases is the first book by Selznick, author of New York Times bestsellers The Invention of Hugo Cabret,Wonderstruck,andThe Marvels,and Serlin, a writer, editor, historian, and professor at the University of California, San Diego.
“Baby Monkey, Private Eye came out of the fact ...
For a couple of decades in Mississippi’s not-too-distant past, a shady medical examiner and a dishonest dentist made a handsome living off the dead as free-wheeling forensic witnesses.
“…A truly enterprising showman, one with some charisma and some bravado, might push the boundaries,” co-authors Radley Balko and Tucker Carrington write in The Cadaver King and the Country Dentist: A True Story of Injustice in the American South. “He might go beyond fudging test results or tweaking lab reports. He ...
Quips on our radar
Kwame Alexander photographed by Portia Wiggins
“My inclination is going to be to find books that other people might not view as feasible or doable. I feel like I’m the guy to do that.”—Kwame Alexander, whose new imprint, Versify, at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, seeks “risky, unconventional” children’s books, in theNew York Times. Versify’s first titles will arrive in spring 2019.
“They don’t know that I wrote them generations ago. They think I wrote them yesterday for them, for the most ...
Photo courtesy of Tsar Fedorsky
In Susan Cooper’s The Boggart Fights Back, an obnoxious American real estate developer threatens to build an outsized luxury resort on a bucolic bit of Scottish coastline.
“ ‘Hey—seals!’ the big man called out, grinning,” Cooper writes. “ ‘That’s a huge attraction, huge! We got a real live Scottish castle and real live Scottish seals! People are gonna just love that!’ ”
“You could say William Trout is clearly a satire on Donald Trump,” says the ...
Photo courtesy of Liz Edgar
In the fantastical kingdom of Gorred, sometimes women are dragons. Sometimes they’re dragooned.
“I use fantasy to write what I would call ‘emotional autobiography,’ ” says Rachel Hartman, author of the New York Times bestselling Seraphina series, “where the events are not true—nothing in the books literally happened, my mother is not actually a dragon—but the emotion is true. And that’s what readers latch onto.”
Readers went wild for the twin tales of Seraphina, the intelligent, intrepid half-dragon ...
Photo courtesy of Lesley Unruh
Everything past Page 8 of Laura Lippman’s Sunburn is a spoiler.
“It’s a tricky book to talk about,” the perennial New York Times bestselling crime novelist told Kirkus by phone from Baltimore, “but I trust you.”
That’s interesting. If there’s an essential question Sunburn poses, it’s, Who can you trust?
Set in fictional Belleville, Delaware, a nowheresville nestled between bustling beach towns and quaint hamlets, Lippman’s latest is a smoldering mystery set before smartphones. It begins one ...