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a d u lt r e v i e w s
The Kirkus Star A star is awarded to books of remarkable merit, as determined by the impartial editors of Kirkus. .LUNXV2QOLQHTrust the toughest critics in the book industry to recommend the next great read. Visit KirkusReviews.com to discover exciting new books, authors, blogs and other dynamic content.
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Chairman H E R B E RT S I M O N # President M A RC W I N K E L M A N Vice President & Publisher B O B C A R LT O N EFDUOWRQ#NLUNXVUHYLHZVFRP Editor E L A I N E S Z E WC Z Y K HV]HZF]\N#NLUNXVUHYLHZVFRP 0DQDJLQJ1RQÂżFWLRQ(GLWRU E R I C L I E B E T R AU HOLHEHWUDX#NLUNXVUHYLHZVFRP
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Itâ€™s that time again. Once a year, publishers, authors and book lovers make their pilgrimage to Book Expo America â€“ the largest book trade fair in the United States. By all indications it will be yet another exceptional experience. Celebrity headliners will offer keynote addresses, there will be breakout sessions and networking opportunities, and, of course, thereâ€™s the enormous exhibit hall, where rows and rows of publishers await to show you their latest releases. Itâ€™s exciting to encounter the new trends, ideas and products that will define publishing over the next 12 months. It may also be overwhelming. Much like the burgeoning digital landscape, there is more at BEA than any one person can take in. How can you make the most of this extraordinary environment? Put simply, how will you find what youâ€™re looking for? Whether itâ€™s online, in a bookstore, or at a conference or event, discovery seems to be a recurring theme. At Kirkus, virtually all of our efforts over the last several months have been directed toward that end. So when we started thinking about our involvement at BEA, we naturally went back to the concept of discovery. In this issue, weâ€™ve included reviews of many of the galleys youâ€™ll find throughout the fair (many of which wonâ€™t be published until fall). And weâ€™ve also provided an exhibit hall map that shows where to find the books weâ€™ve recommended or starred. (In case youâ€™re unfamiliar with it, the Kirkus star is awarded only to those books deemed to have remarkable merit.) Finally, be sure to check out the publisherâ€™s index, complete with information on other featured books. With so many galleys to choose from, we hope this detailed map/guide will lead you to exactly what youâ€™re looking for. Stay tuned to kirkusreviews.com for more information on BEA, as updates and breaking news continue to pour in as we go to press. And keep an eye out for innovative new discovery tools that will debut in the near future. Weâ€™re forging ahead in our commitment to lead the industry in book discovery, which starts with serving you, our readers. â€”%RE&DUOWRQ
Childrenâ€™s & YA Books VICKY SMITH YLFN\VPLWK#NLUNXVUHYLHZVFRP Kirkus Indie Editor P E R RY C RO W E SHUU\FURZH#NLUNXVUHYLHZVFRP Mysteries Editor THOMAS LEITCH Editorial Coordinator REBECCA CRAMER UHEHFFDFUDPHU#NLUNXVUHYLHZVFRP Contributing Editor G REG ORY Mc NAME E # for customer service or subscription questions, SOHDVHFDOOÄĽÄĽ Kirkus Reviews Online www.kirkusreviews.com Print indexes: www.kirkusreviews.com/ ERRNÄĽUHYLHZVSULQWÄĽLQGH[HV Kirkus Blog: www.kirkusreviews.com/blog Advertising Opportunities: www.kirkusreviews.com/about/ DGYHUWLVLQJÄĽRSSRUWXQLWLHV Submission Guidelines: www.kirkusreviews.com/about/ VXEPLVVLRQÄĽJXLGOLQHV Subscriptions: www.kirkusreviews.com/ subscription Newsletters: www.kirkusreviews.com/ subscription/newsletter/add
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adult THE END OF EVERYTHING
SONGS OF BLOOD AND SWORD: A Daughterâ€™s Memoir
$EERWW0HJDQ Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown (256 pp.) $23.99 | July 7, 2011 978-0-316-09779-6 Booth # 3627-3631; signing 5/24, 11-11:30 in autographing area
A memoir/political history of Pakistanâ€™s famous feuding political dynasty, penned by a young family member whose father, grandfather, uncle and aunt all met violent deaths. Afghan-born Pakistani poet and writer Bhutto begins with the career of her grandfather, Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who was assassinated in 1979. The focus of the book, however, is on the life and career of her father, Mir Murtaza Bhutto, a Western-educated political exile determined to avenge the death of his father, and whose return to Pakistan in 1993 challenged the regime of his sister Benazir Bhutto, then prime minister. The authorâ€™s early memories of her aunt are tender, but over time her views altered sharply and she now places moral responsibility for her fatherâ€™s deathâ€”he was shot by Pakistani police in 1996â€”on her aunt and Benazirâ€™s husband, current Pakistan president Asif Zardari. To gather information and photographs, the author searched through family diaries and letters, official documents and newspaper reports, and interviewed old friends, family, acquaintances and political associates, not only in Pakistan but in Europe and across Asia. She includes excerpts from her grandfatherâ€™s and her fatherâ€™s letters to their children, and a more-thangenerous number of family photos, both formal and candid. If Bhutto is tough on certain family members, she is equally so on her country, â€œa nuclear-armed state that cannot run refrigerators,â€? and on its largest city, Karachi, â€œovercrowded, underdeveloped, and poor,â€? with a police force â€œperpetually violent and corrupt.â€? According to the author, the United States has long interfered in Pakistani politics, sending billions of dollars to support criminal regimes for its own political and economic advantage, and currently sending drones that kill innocent schoolchildren in the name of the fight against terrorists. Bhutto is sure she knows who the bad guys are, and she does not hesitate to name them. She provides vivid portraits of life in an extended upper-class family and of enduring bloody feuds, brutality and death, but fair-andbalanced reporting is not on offer in this highly personal account by a journalist on a mission. A bleak, disturbing picture of a country of strategic importance to American foreign policy. ÄŤ(GLWRUÂˇV 1RWH7KLV WH[WUHIHUVWRWKHKDUGFRYHUHGLWLRQÄŹ |
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KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Edgar Awardâ€“winning crime writer Abbottâ€™s sixth novel (%XU\ 0H 'HHS, 2009, etc.) is a change of pace: a delicate skein of fantasies and obsessions, shared by two adolescent girls and shadowed by an abduction. Lizzie and Evie are thick as thieves. Next-door neighbors, they are tomboys who think nothing of getting banged up in a hockey game. The 13-year-olds are on the cusp of puberty, and all the revelations it will bring. Lizzie, the narrator, is fascinated by the Ververs. Aside from Evie, there is her older sister Dusty, impossibly beautiful and glamorous, and Mr. Verver, the most fun dad you could imagine. Lizzieâ€™s own dad has split after an ugly divorce. She has the feeling something momentous is coming, and then it does: Evie disappears. Lizzie recalls that Evie had a secret admirer, an older man who would watch her at night, standing in the yard. It doesnâ€™t take long to figure out that itâ€™s Mr. Shaw, a married middle-aged insurance agent, who has driven Evie away. (The location is Anyplace, U.S.A.) The crime element is handled perfunctorily. Abbottâ€™s spin on the situation is whatâ€™s important: the possibility that Evie, a willing conspirator, wanted this attention from an older man. After all, thinks Lizzie, doesnâ€™t she have her own huge crush on Mr. Verver? And maybe Mr. Shaw was driven â€œby the purest, most painful loveâ€?? Abbott guides us skillfully through Lizzieâ€™s hothouse fantasies, but at the expense of action. Thereâ€™s a long wait for a break in the case. It comes awkwardly, casting Shawâ€™s wife in an especially strange light. But itâ€™s engineered by Lizzie, who resorts to fibs as she dramatizes her role (â€œI feel so powerful, like a godâ€?). The real drama, though, is next door at the Ververs. Right at the end, Dusty reveals a furious sibling rivalry, under the nose of the oblivious Mr. Verver. What do adults know? A tangled tale that is more provocative than illuminating. ÄŤ5HDGLQJJURXSJXLGHRQOLQHÄŹ
%KXWWR)DWLPD Nation Books (496 pp.) $16.99 paperback original September 6, 2011 978-1-56858-676-2 Booth #4106
YOU ONLY ROCK ONCE: My Life in Music %ODYDW-HUU\ Running Press (352 pp.) $23.00 | August 23, 2011 978-0-7624-4215-7 Booth #4106; galley giveaway A longtime disk jockey spins a stack of memories about rock, the mob and surviving the music business. Blavat spent the â€™60s crafting a fasttalking, larger-than-life radio persona that attracted hordes of teens to the record hops he hosted around Philadelphia. A sworn enemy of bubblegum and pop, he nicknamed himself the â€œGeatorâ€?â€”a portmanteau of â€œalligatorâ€? and â€œheaterâ€?â€”and assembled playlists stuffed with pugnacious rock â€™nâ€™ roll. (He once played the Beatles on air just to field angry phone calls, showing a friend how much heâ€™d encouraged his fans to dislike them.) Experienced, successful and now apparently eager to boast a little, Blavat spends the early chapters of his debut memoir tracking his rise from hardscrabble Jewish-Italian stock and how music provided a way out. He became a star dancer on the $PHULFDQ%DQGVWDQG, a local program before Dick Clark took it national; before he was out of his teens, heâ€™d road-managed Danny and the Juniors and launched his DJ career. Fame got him plenty of attention, both in the music industry and with womenâ€”Blavatâ€™s not shy about cataloging his sexual conquests. The authorâ€™s equally interested in paying homage to the A-listers he hung out with, and the book is larded with genial remembrances of Frank Sinatra, Joan Crawford and Sammy Davis Jr. In the â€™80s and â€™90s, Blavatâ€™s acquaintances with mob types attracted the scrutiny of investigators; he was never charged with a crime, but he is compelled to clear his name regardless. That candor is admirable, but his narcissism, combined with his generally plodding prose style, saps much of the youthful energy of the early chapters. Blavat has an excellent perspective on four decades of the music industry, though his remembrances too often drift into self-hagiography.
HOT WATER %URNRYLFK(ULQZLWK &-/\RQV Vanguard/Perseus (288 pp.) $25.99 | September 13, 2011 978-1-5931-5684-8 Booth #4106; galley giveaway Famed consumer advocate and environmental activist AJ Palladino goes over to the other side by taking big money to promote a nuclear power plant in South Carolina. Meanwhile, back home in West Virginia, the evil father of her deceased lover Cole conducts a murderous campaign to gain custody of her disabled 9-year-old son David. Brockovich, subject of the Julia Roberts movie about a contaminated water case that led to a record $333 million settlement, made 4
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her debut as a novelist with 5RFN%RWWRP (2010), which focused on coal mining. AJ, now teamed with lawyer Elizabeth Hardy, agrees to work for the Colleton Landing plant because itâ€™s designed to be super-safe (boasting â€œan outer concrete chamber strong enough to withstand a direct hit by a 747â€?)â€”and because $1 million will enable her to care for David, who has cerebral palsy. David, whom she had when she was 17 and single, also is dealing with his fatherâ€™s untimely death. An attempt on his blind grandmotherâ€™s life doesnâ€™t help his state of mind. Though recent events in Japan give +RW:DWHU a buzzworthy timeliness, the controversy over nuclear power is writ rather small in these pages. The alternating plots, which at one point have AJ contending with a nasty hurricane at the nuclear plant and David and his sheriff buddy Ty speeding after a hit man, are given equal weight. And the pedestrian writing drags the novel down further. Brockovich, who wrote this book and its predecessor with Lyons, surrounds her chatty, syntax-challenged heroine (â€œAfter nearly drowning after a car accident ten years ago, water and I havenâ€™t exactly been on speaking termsâ€?) with cardboard characters. The narrator is right in saying coal baron Kyle Masterson isnâ€™t complicated like a movie villain. A little of that complication would have gone a long way. A flat thriller that succeeds in draining the drama from its endangered nuclear plant plot.
EMORYâ€™S GIFT &DPHURQ:%UXFH Forge (352 pp.) $22.99 | August 30, 2011 978-0-7653-2781-9 Booth #3352; galley giveaway A tall tale about a semi-tame grizzly from Cameron ($'RJÂˇV3XUSRVH, 2010). Life for Charlie Hall could scarcely be more miserable. An only child, he has lost his mother to leukemia. Since her death, his father George has shut down emotionally, just when Charlie needs him the most. And now the 13-year-old, still a runt, is facing the manhood tests of eighth grade at his school in the Idaho panhandle; Dan, once his best friend, wants to fight him, a dumb rite of passage. (The time is 1974.) Relief comes from an unexpected quarter. Out fishing, Charlie is surprised by a grizzly with a â€œsereneâ€? expression. He offers him his catch; the bear accepts it; a friendship is born. Charlie writes his name in the dirt; the bear follows suit; itâ€™s Emory. The kid takes the bear up to their barn where Emory, unobserved, writes on the wall that heâ€™s a Civil War soldier with a message. Reincarnated, is the implication. Cameron is big on reincarnation; in his debut novel, a dog was reborn three times. But here he just lets the idea hover, not knowing what to do with it; the message, at the end, is banal. There is action, though, as father and son, now on the same wavelength, unite to prevent law enforcementâ€™s attempts to euthanize Emory who, holed up in the barn, has attracted rubberneckers and a TV crew. Charlie is a celebrity, with more than the bear on his mind as he experiences first love, intense but chaste, for seventh grader Beth. His embarrassments at the school dance stand in jarring contrast to Emoryâ€™s increasingly perilous situation at the barn. Not to worry; Cameron
READY PLAYER ONE
believes in happy endings. There will be hugs (yes, bearhugs) in a finale designed to leave you misty-eyed but glowing. A second novel with enough faux-cute appeal to keep the fans happy.
&OLQH(UQHVW Crown (384 pp.) $24.00 | CD: $40.00 e-book: $24.00 | August 16, 2011 978-0-307-88743-6 | CD: 978-0-307-91314-2 e-book: 978-0-307-88745-0 Booth #4420
WHAT I HATE From A to Z &KDVW5R] ,OOXVWUDWRU&KDVW5R] Bloomsbury (64 pp.) $15.00 | October 11, 2011 978-1-60819-689-0 Booth # 3358
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Beloved 1HZ<RUNHU cartoonist shares an alphabetized listing of lifeâ€™s little irritants. Veteran illustrator and humorist Chast (7RR %XV\ 0DUFR, 2010, etc.) has crafted a colorful career from parodying unsavory situations and maladies alongside the happenstances of the human condition. To truly enjoy her nimble pen and watercolor sketches, readers must be willing to laugh at their own harmless foibles. In the charming introduction, the author admits to being a life-long â€œanxious person,â€? a chronic insomniac who is â€œgenetically inclined to worry,â€? and she brilliantly plays this personal shortcoming to maximum comical effect with the jagged line-drawing style and ironical wit that have become her trademarks. From the unsettling possibility of waking up during general anesthesia to the offbeat catastrophes of â€œJell-O 1-23â€? and spontaneous human combustion, the author presents an A-to-Z catalog of distressing concerns and her unique take on â€œwhat might funny about them.â€? Chast prefaces each pictorial with a short, personal preamble describing what it is about each subject that has become so bothersome for the apprehensive author. She lightheartedly exposes the inconvenient nuisance of nightmares and beach undertows, the unknown consequences of Ouija boards and the wincing â€œimminent explosionâ€? of annoying balloons. Chast doesnâ€™t have much use for assumptive doctors, quicksand or carnivals, either (theyâ€™re â€œparticularly awful at nightâ€?). Her takes on vision loss (â€œthe girl who sat too close to the TVâ€?), â€œmysteriousâ€? dental tools and the dark sides of the color yellow are sure to elicit knowing chuckles. With realistic, tongue-in-cheek foresight, the author spotlights a selection of the most commonplace, phobia-inducing situations (elevators, air travel, heights, etc.) and defuses them with brilliantly dry, flippant humor. A hilarious, collectively appealing index of words and pictures drawn with wry exuberance and a head-nodding relevancy.
Video-game players embrace the quest of a lifetime in a virtual world; screenwriter Clineâ€™s first novel is old wine in new bottles. The real world, in 2045, is the usual dystopian horror story. So who can blame Wade, our narrator, if he spends most of his time in a virtual world? The 18-year-old, orphaned at 11, has no friends in his vertical trailer park in Oklahoma City, while the OASIS has captivating bells and whistles, and itâ€™s free. Its creator, the legendary billionaire James Halliday, left a curious will. He had devised an elaborate online game, a hunt for a hidden Easter egg. The finder would inherit his estate. Old-fashioned riddles lead to three keys and three gates. Wade, or rather his avatar Parzival, is the first gunter (egg-hunter) to win the Copper Key, first of three. Halliday was obsessed with the pop culture of the 1980s, primarily the arcade games, so the novel is as much retro as futurist. Parzivalâ€™s great strength is that he has absorbed all Hallidayâ€™s obsessions; he knows by heart three essential movies, crossing the line from geek to freak. His most formidable competitors are the Sixers, contract gunters working for the evil conglomerate IOI, whose goal is to acquire the OASIS. Clineâ€™s narrative is straightforward but loaded with exposition. It takes a while to reach a scene that crackles with excitement: the meeting between Parzival (now world famous as the lead contender) and Sorrento, the head of IOI. The latter tries to recruit Parzival; when he fails, he issues and executes a death threat. Wadeâ€™s trailer is demolished, his relatives killed; luckily Wade was not at home. Too bad this is the dramatic high point. Parzival threads his way between more â€™80s games and movies to gain the other keys; itâ€™s clever but not exciting. Even a romance with another avatar and the ultimate â€œepic throwdownâ€? fail to stir the blood. Too much puzzle-solving, not enough suspense. ÄŤ$JHQW <IDW5HLVV*HQGHOO)RXQGU\0HGLDÄŹ
PLUGGED &ROIHU(RLQ Overlook (288 pp.) $24.95 | August 1, 2011 978-1-59020-463-4 Booth #3439 Colferâ€™s adult crime-fiction debutâ€” after his bestselling Artemis Fowl YA seriesâ€”introduces a big, brash, bawdy, balding anti-hero. Transplanted from Ireland to the picaresque vale of Essex County, N.J., sharp-witted, hair-challenged, ex-professional soldier Dan McEvoy finds he must cope |
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with a nonstop barrage of problematic issues, all with pain and suffering potential. Danâ€™s used to that, however. A gypsy once told him he had â€œan aura that looked like shark-infested water.â€? Consciousness raised, Dan does what he can to keep the sharks at bay. Now, down on his luck though ever hopeful, he is minding his own business as lead bouncer at Slotzâ€”an acknowledged dive, but a manâ€™s got to eat while he waits for a turn-aroundâ€”when a drunken patron plants a kiss where he shouldnâ€™t. Connie, the hostess whose anatomy has been transgressed, complains. Dan moves in and unwittingly begins a chain reaction that ends with the lead bouncer as the lead suspect in Connieâ€™s murder. The word â€œendsâ€? overstates the case, of course, since Dan is to trouble what bad boys like him are to a certain kind of woman. Consider tempestuous Detective Ronelle Deacon, for instance, who beds and cuffs Dan with equal vigor. Or the deluded widow Delano, in whose erotic fantasy Dan is a stand-in for her long-lost husband. Add to this a volatile mix of ill-intentioned baddiesâ€”a shady shyster, a mobster in search of misplaced booty and an intemperate ghostâ€”who batter and bruise him from his toes to the follicles of his in-progress hair transplant, and itâ€™s a near thing whether or not Dan will make it to the sequel undoubtedly scheduled. Itâ€™s a considerable step from the world of YA to this novelâ€™s extreme raunchiness, and some in the fan baseâ€” new readers as wellâ€”may view it with alarm. Others will find the goings-on funny enough to forgive anything.
CALLING MR. KING 'H)HR5RQDOG Other Press (320 pp.) $15.95 paperback original October 18, 2011 978-1-59051-475-7 Booth #4421; signing 5/25, 11-11:30 A hit man discovers his inner aesthete. Uh-oh. From childhood on, John Cole hated his old man with a passion. The permanently angry blue-collar worker would go into the woods outside their Hudson River town and shoot everything in sight. Cole inherited his fatherâ€™s expert marksmanship; he left home before they shot each other. Unemployed, he was hired to put his skill to good useâ€Śon a human target. He had found his profession. Word of his expertise spread. He moved to London to work for a worldwide conglomerate known as the Firm; he never missed his targets. But when we first meet the 33-year-old Cole, he has the nagging feeling that heâ€™s off his game. A quick job in Paris has taken a whole week, and he almost botches his next job, outside a Georgian house in the English countryside. He gets his man but is forced to shoot a bystander as well, breaking a cardinal rule. This is a terrific start. First-time novelist De Feo hooks us as he describes Cole tracking his quarry. These are clean kills; there is no splatter. The author also has a great premise: that a hired gunâ€™s need for a career change might take him in a wholly unexpected direction. That beautiful Georgian house has sparked Coleâ€™s imagination. Why couldnâ€™t he be the owner? He buys books on 6
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Georgian architecture. An escapist fantasy becomes a scholarly pursuit. The Firm sends him to New York to lie low after that countryside mess. Here the novel stalls; De Feo doesnâ€™t know what to do with Cole except have him buy more books and visit museums. He becomes a bore, moaning about his miserable childhood on a pointless visit to his hometown. By the final segment in Barcelona, Spain, scene of Coleâ€™s new assignment, his transformation is complete. The hit man, in denial, has become a student of Spanish architecture. Though character development is a real problem, De Feo is definitely a newcomer to watch.
WITCHES OF EAST END GHOD&UX]0HOLVVD Hyperion (288 pp.) $23.99 | June 1, 2011 978-1-4013-2390-5 Booth #3324; signed copy giveaway 5/24, 10:30 in autographing area First in de la Cruzâ€™s debut adult series about the adventures of a family of Long Island witches. The author, known for her Blue Bloods YA series featuring undead Manhattan debutantes, again does not have to stretch for likely settingsâ€”the Hamptons are the ideal home base for the Beauchamps, a mother and two daughters, longtime residents. Quite a longtime in factâ€”ever since Salem witch hunters hanged the two daughters, Ingrid and Freya, who were later reborn to their mother, Joanna. After Salem, witchly higherups restricted the open deployment of magical powers. The Beauchamps are so deep undercover that the community they inhabit, â€œNorth Hampton,â€? does not appear on any map. This Hampton is refreshingly devoid of rich people until two brothers, Bran and Killian, arrive to restore Fair Haven, their ancestral mansion. Freya, a bartender, recognizes an ancient soul mate in Bran, and they announce their engagement at a lavish Fair Haven party. Nevertheless, she canâ€™t resist shagging preternaturally handsome Killian in the bathroom during the party. Public librarian Ingrid is chafing at the magic banâ€”with a simple incantation, she could easily cure a distraught co-workerâ€™s infertility. Soon Ingrid is exchanging salutary spells for contributions to the library fund. When sheâ€™s not torn between two lovers, Freya lapses back into her own peculiar brand of magicâ€”her aphrodisiac cocktails perform as advertised. Most daringly of all, Joanna raises a local artist from the dead. But once unleashed, the white magic provokes dark retribution: An undersea miasma is killing off fish and wild life, children are contracting a deadly influenza, vampires (vacationing Blue Bloods?) are infiltrating and the police are â€œlikingâ€? the witches for homicide. But this is secular 21st-century New York, not puritan colonial Massachusetts. Things have changedâ€”havenâ€™t they? A decidedly weird mishmash of mythologies, a serpentine plot and a thicket of back stories intertwine as de la Cruz sets up the continuing saga, but it all gels magnificently. Fantasy for well-read adults.
JOAN DIDION, AUTHOR OF BLUE NIGHTS, BOOTH #4420
Âł'LGLRQGHOLYHUVDVHFRQGPDVWHUSLHFH RQJULHIFRQVLGHULQJERWKKHUGDXJKWHUÂśV death and her inevitable own.â€?
FALLING TOGETHER GHORV6DQWRV0DULVD Morrow/HarperCollins (352 pp.) $25.99 | October 4, 2011 978-0-06-167087-9 Booth #3338; galley giveaway
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'LGLRQ-RDQ Knopf (208 pp.) $25.00 | November 1, 2011 978-0-307-26767-2 Booth #4420 Didion (:H 7HOO 2XUVHOYHV 6WRULHV LQ 2UGHU WR /LYH &ROOHFWHG 1RQĂ€FWLRQ, 2006, etc.) delivers a second masterpiece on grief, considering both her daughterâ€™s death and her inevitable own. In her 2005 book, 7KH <HDU RI 0DJLFDO 7KLQNLQJ, the muchdecorated journalist laid bare her emotions following the death
of her husband, John Gregory Dunne. The same year that book was published, she also lost her adopted daughter, Quintana Roo, after a long hospitalization. Like 0DJLFDO 7KLQNLQJ, this book is constructed out of close studies of particular memories and bits of medical lingo. Didion tests Quintanaâ€™s childhood poems and scribblings for hints of her own failings as a mother, and she voices her helplessness at the hands of doctors. â€œI put the word â€˜diagnosisâ€™ in quotes because I have not yet seen that case in which a â€˜diagnosisâ€™ led to a â€˜cure,â€™ â€? she writes. The author also ponders her own mortality, and she does so with heartbreaking specificity. A metal folding chair, as she describes it, is practically weaponized, ready to do her harm should she fall out of it; a fainting spell leaves her bleeding and helpless on the floor of her bedroom. Didionâ€™s clipped, recursive sentences initially make the book feel arid and emotionally distant. But sheâ€™s profoundly aware of tone and styleâ€”a digression about novel-writing reveals her deep concern for the music sentences makeâ€”and the chapters become increasingly freighted with sorrow without displaying sentimentality. The book feels like an epitaph for both her daughter and herself, as she considers how much aging has demolished her preconceptions about growing old. A slim, somber classic.
RECIPES FOR LIFE: My Memories (YDQV/LQGDZLWK6HDQ&DWKHULQH'HUHN Vanguard/Perseus (256 pp.) $25.99 | October 11, 2011 978-1-59315-648-0 Booth #4106; BLAD giveaway, author signing
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
In the latest from de los Santos (%HORQJ WR0H, 2008, etc.), a single motherâ€™s effort to reunite with her two best friends from college after a six-year silence doesnâ€™t pan out exactly as she expected. After Pen met Cat (their cute, sexually ambiguous names a telling coincidence) and Will at the start of their freshman year at an unnamed Southern college, the three quickly recognized they were soul mates and became inseparable. Other friends and even lovers had to play second fiddle to their platonic threesome. After college, the three lived together until petite, halfFilipino Cat, who suffered from occasional epileptic seizures and was the most vivacious and quirky member of the group, decided she wanted to get married and moved out. The friendship was so intense that it could not survive alteration, and soon Will moved out too. In the ensuing six years, Pen has heard nothing from her friends. She is living with her brother while raising her 5-year-old daughter Augusta, the result of an affair with a likable jerk who has returned to his former wife, when she receives an e-mail from Cat begging her to meet at their college reunion. Will, now an author of childrenâ€™s books, receives the same e-mail and shows up too. But instead of Cat, Catâ€™s husband Jason appears. He sent the e-mails and now begs them to help him find Cat, who disappeared shortly after her fatherâ€™s death (Pen is still mourning the death of her own father two years earlier while Willâ€™s father is alive but out of his life). Soon the three, plus Augusta, head to the Philippines. Pen and Will grapple with their confused, perhaps not so platonic feelings for each other as well as their ambivalence toward crude but oddly sympathetic Jason, a dead ringer for the actor Jason Segel. Adept at creating romantic fiction for women who want to think they are above romantic fiction, de los Santos offers ever-so-sensitive protagonists who are surprisingly dense about their actual feelings.
from blue nights
Hollywood Walk of Fame actress Evans (/LQGD (YDQV %HDXW\ DQG ([HUFLVH %RRN, 1983) tells her story through food. She can eat like a horse and never get fat, but the Dynasty starâ€™s amazing metabolism isnâ€™t the only thing on display in this memoir punctuated with attention-grabbing anecdotes, glossy photos and delectable recipes. With a warm, friendly tone, Evans gently guides readers through the seminal moments of her life and career, spanning from the 1940s to her recent work on the British show +HOOÂˇV.LWFKHQ. Each story is followed by one or more recipes that complement its theme. In recounting her motherâ€™s battle with polio in a particularly poignant passage, Evans offers up recipes for family favorites like Momâ€™s Hot Dog Stew. Those looking for juicy behind-the-scenes Hollywood gossip will not be disappointed. The author doesnâ€™t hold back when writing about how she made the difficult transition from lover to friend with her first husband, famed actor and director John Derek, after he left her for the then-15-year-old (and perfect â€œ10â€?) Bo Derek. Evans also details her relationship with Yanni and friendship with mystic channel JZ Knight, which that led to her spiritual awakening. While spare as a cookbook, among the nearly 50 recipes included are John Wayneâ€™s Crab Dip Omelet, Tony Curtisâ€™ Lemon Souffle with Raspberry Sauce and Julie Forsytheâ€™s Sesame Chicken. A mouthwatering blend of memoir and cookbook. |
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GRANTâ€™S FINAL VICTORY: Ulysses S. Grantâ€™s Heroic Last Year )ORRG&KDUOHV%UDFHOHQ Da Capo/Perseus (352 pp.) $27.50 | October 11, 2011 978-0-306-82028-1 Booth #4106 A lucid, often somber account of the sad but noble decline of Ulysses S. Grant. Though he had served two terms as president, writes Flood (/LQFROQDWWKH*DWHVRI+LVWRU\, 2009, etc.), Grant was universally known as â€œGeneral Grant.â€? He had left office under a shadow, several key members of his administration having been found corrupt, and he was determined to set an example as an honest businessman. And so, strangely, he went to New York to become an investment broker, where his partner swindled him out of his fortune and besmirched his name even further. With scarcely a cent to his name, Grant briefly entertained a magazine editorâ€™s proposal that he write a series of articles on the Civil War but rejected it, saying, â€œI have no idea of undertaking the task of writing any of the articles the &HQWXU\ requests.â€? Yet eventually the thought of writing his own view of events became more appeallingâ€”notably when he was shortly afterward diagnosed with cancer. In excruciating pain, he wrote what has been considered one of the most important military memoirs ever produced, spurred along by friend and publisher Mark Twain (who, Flood notes, had been a deserter from the Confederate army). Writes Flood, with considerable elegance, â€œBy deciding to give his work the full title 3HUVRQDO0HPRLUVRI8O\VVHV 6*UDQW, [Grant] did himself a great favor. He could write about the things he wished to put before the reader, and omit those he did not. At one stroke, he relieved himself of the obligation to include everything he might know about a battle or a person, while reserving the right to dwell on a smaller matter or fleeting perception.â€? And so he did, writing of the hell and chaos of battle while suffering a second hell of his own. Upon learning of his death, Grantâ€™s former opponent James Longstreet called him â€œthe truest as well as the bravest man who ever lived.â€? In this swiftly moving narrative, Flood ably shows why he deserved the accolade. A welcome addition to the literature surrounding Grant and his time.
LUCKY BRUCE )ULHGPDQ%UXFH-D\ Biblioasis (276 pp.) $26.95 | September 15, 2011 978-1-92684531-9 Booth #4507 The hilariously juicy memoir of a successful novelist, playwright and screenwriter. Though the hoopla of his literary career is in repose (â€œthe lights dimming a bitâ€?) Friedman (7KUHH %DOFRQLHV, 2008) is happy to share the grand ascent of 8
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his longstanding writing career. The son of a fashionable father and a pretty, theatergoing mother, the author often lost himself in movies and books, sparking an early fascination with media, a journalism degree and two years at a military magazine while in the Air Force in 1951. Friedman penned a â€œblatantly autobiographicalâ€? first story and boldly submitted it to the 1HZ<RUNHU, which â€œmanicuredâ€? the prose and published it. While serving as the executive editor of several male-focused publications in 1954, he met and married model Ginger Howard and started a family. Crafted in just five months, his black-comedy breakout novel Stern was published years later while his marriage cracked. In literary circles, the author fondly remembers befriending Joseph Heller, but it was Mario Puzo who curiously wanted Friedmanâ€™s opinion on an organized-crime novel he was â€œmoon-lighting.â€? In between awkwardly hobnobbing in Los Angeles and schmoozing at Elaineâ€™s celebrity-laden Upper East Side enclave, Friedman hit the jackpot with several hit stage plays (6FXED'XED), box-office smashes (6SODVK, 6WLU&UD]\) and a role in a Woody Allen movie. Whether inadvertently snubbing Marlene Dietrich, chauffeuring Natalie Wood or fist-fighting with Norman Mailer, there are plenty of stories here to solidify Friedmanâ€™s ranking as a supreme satirist. Readers with a taste for sensationalistic old Hollywood will particularly enjoy his not-so-casual namedropping, which serves the memoirâ€™s chatty tone well. A life story that consistently charms with candor and the seasoned wit of a master storyteller whoâ€™s certainly been around the block.
MIGHTY BE THEIR POWERS: How Sisterhood, Prayer, and Sex Changed a Nation at War *ERZHH/H\PDK Beast Books (256 pp.) $25.99 | September 13, 2011 978-0-98429515-9 Booth #4106; galley giveaway Searing war-torn memories from a visionary African peacekeeper and womenâ€™s-rights activist. Gboweeâ€™s affecting memoir begins in her native Liberia in the modest settlement where she and her sisters were raised within a community â€œbuilt on togetherness and sharing.â€? Because her parents had grown up poor, the authorâ€™s jubilant graduation from a private school in Monrovia became especially significant. In 1990, her dream of attending college to study medicine was crushed when armed rebels led by militant Charles Taylor began a destructive power struggle between the Liberian army and the nationâ€™s indigenous people. Gunfire and bloody carnage scarred Gboweeâ€™s adolescent memories but also sparked the beginnings of her allegiant action involving women. As the fighting subsided and Taylor acquired power, the author selflessly enrolled in social-work training programs and ultimately aided ex-child soldiers from Taylorâ€™s army as Liberiaâ€™s Second Civil War raged. Throughout the hardship of fleeing the violence and becoming destitute with her children from
an abusive relationship, Gbowee adored her sisters. This familial bond became an empowering framework of strength, support and female solidarity that the author would perpetuate through groundbreaking womenâ€™s peace-building movements and nonviolent political-activist initiatives like â€œMass Action for Peace.â€? Gbowee stands responsible for what began as a tireless vocal demonstration and soon escalated to a standoff on the Presidential Mansion steps demanding peace. This course of action facilitated the warâ€™s end in 2003 and the election of Africaâ€™s first female president, and ended the authorâ€™s personal struggles with alcohol. With commanding charity, Gbowee celebrates Liberiaâ€™s eight years of peace and continues teaching young women about the power of activism. A patriotic chronicle reverberant with valor and perseverance.
A YEAR AND SIX SECONDS: A Love Story *LOOLHV,VDEHO Voice/Hyperion (256 pp.) $21.99 | August 2, 2011 978-1-4013-4162-6 Booth #3324
*ROGEORRP*ROGLH Picador (336 pp.) $15.00 paperback original | April 1, 2011 978-0-312-67450-2 Booth #3352 An albino woman suffers with her desperate need for intimacy in the wilds of World War IIâ€“era Australia. This debut novel, which marries unmistakable writing talent, a rare narrator and a garishly vivid story, was originally published in Goldbloomâ€™s homeland of Australia and had a small press run in the United States as 7RDGVÂˇ0XVHXPRI)UHDNVDQG :RQGHUV (2010). Its narratorâ€™s testimony is tainted by her deep-seated desires and her altered perception of her equally bizarre husband. Gin Boyle Toad is 30, an albino pianist who was sequestered in an asylum before she was â€œrescuedâ€? by marriage. Her husband, the eponymous Toad, is a holy terror, a five-foot ball of mean that keeps a collection of womenâ€™s corsetry in the shed and hides every hint of affection from his desperately lonely bride. The story is set in the midst of WWII, when 18,000 Italian prisoners of war were sent to Australia to work on isolated farms like the one that serves as Ginâ€™s new prison. A pair is sent to work Toadâ€™s westernmost farm, the more subtle John and the exotic Antonio, who inspires uncomfortable and unfamiliar feelings in Gin. This tense stew of feeling becomes more heated when Gin secretively spies on John and her husband exploring long-buried feelings on Toadâ€™s part. Ginâ€™s disappointment and confusion are palpable. â€œIt wasnâ€™t good, what Toad and I had, but at least we were in it together, yoked together like mismatched beasts pulling a plough,â€? Goldbloom writes. â€œBut his beautiful boy has come between us now and gnawed through Toadâ€™s traces. I canâ€™t pull this plough by myself. I resent seeing him frolic while I stand here, abandoned in the field, tied to a burden I never wanted.â€? A simmering, colorful story about castaways and the deviance they inspire.
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Part two of Gilliesâ€™ (+DSSHQV (YHU\ 'D\, 2009) chatty, bittersweet chronicle of loss and renewal. â€œI had to get my shit together,â€? writes the disillusioned author, who, in this memoir sequel, plods onward and incrementally upward after separating from her husband in Ohio, taking her two sons and moving in with her parents in New York City. Separation agreement official and wedding band removed (the area replaced with an angry rash), Gillies ruefully struggled with modern city life after picking up the pieces of a shattered life once her husband Josiah left her to marry another woman. Her situation alternately cheerless and â€œexcitingâ€? (the dating scene!), Gillies interviewed schools and babysitters, revived a recurring role on /DZ 2UGHU and uncomfortably shared split vacations and custody with Josiah for the sake of the boys. Romantically determined to rediscover that coveted â€œdeep purple, electrifying, all-consuming and painful love,â€? she blind dated via e-mail and tested an old friendâ€™s capacity for love. With the same selfeffacing prose found in her debut, Gillies describes her journey from the pain of lost love to the land of the living with humor and compassion. Too often, however, the self-described â€œdrama queenâ€? waxes melodramatically, like she was the first and only survivor of a heart-wrenching divorce. Readers who enjoyed the authorâ€™s earlier memoirâ€”and books like itâ€”will find her saga engrossing and heartfelt, though the writing remains scruffy and rambling. Gillies still wants love at first sight (again), but one year later, will it still only take six seconds to happen? Readers will cheer along with the author, whose heart overflows in the conclusion of this enduring story of life after love. The writing is uneven, and the author strains for material in the final chapters, but thereâ€™s plenty of love, humor and hope to spare.
THE PAPERBARK SHOE
BOLTZMANNâ€™S TOMB: Travels in Search of Science *UHHQ%LOO Bellevue Literary Press (288 pp.) $25.00 | June 1, 2011 978-1-934137-35-2 Booth #4502 A radiant love letter to science from a scientist with a poetâ€™s soul. Geophysicist Green (Interdisciplinary Studies/Miami Univ.; :DWHU,FHDQG6WRQH6FLHQFHDQG0HPRU\RQWKH $QWDUFWLF/DNHV, 2008, etc.) has written a book that defies simple categorizationâ€”part memoir of a life in science, part history of science since Copernicus, part essay on the relationship of place to intellectual discovery. The title refers to a red herring of a mystery Green sets up but doesnâ€™t solve: Why did the brilliant, visionary Austrian |
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THE MAGIC OF REALITY: How We Know Whatâ€™s Really True
k i r ku s q r i c h a r d
5LFKDUG'DZNLQV Free Press (288 pp.) $29.99 October 4, 2011 978-1-4391-9281-8
& a w i t h daw k i n s
In 1976, the evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins came to international prominence with the publication of his book 7KH 6HOĂ€VK *HQHâ€” which, among other things, introduced readers to the concept of the â€œmeme.â€? Since, he has published such popular science books as 7KH %OLQG :DWFKPDNHU and &OLPELQJ0RXQW,PSUREDEOH, to say nothing of his bestselling and thoroughly controversial book 7KH*RG'HOXVLRQ. His newest, 7KH0DJLFRI5HDOLW\+RZ:H.QRZ :KDWÂˇV 5HDOO\ 7UXH, finds Dawkins writing for a younger audience in a graphic book illustrated by Dave McKean. It comes out Oct. 4, but Dawkins will be making an appearance at this yearâ€™s BEA conference in anticipation of its release. Here, he talks to us about the book: Q:,QThe Magic of Reality\RXDVNVXFKEDVLFTXHVÄŚ WLRQVDVZK\WKHUHDUHQLJKWDQGGD\ZLQWHUDQGVXPPHU ,VLWDFRPPHQWRQWKHSRRUVWDWHRIVFLHQWLĂ€FHGXFDWLRQ WKDWVXFKEDVLFTXHVWLRQVZRXOGQHHGWREHUDLVHG" A: The book was written primarily for young people, although of course Iâ€™d be delighted if grownups read it [including reading it to their children]. You might, in any case, be surprised at the level of ignorance of such matters shown by grown-ups. A recent poll suggested that 19 percent of British people think it takes one month for the Earth to orbit the sun, and you might find similar ignorance with respect to night and day. Q: 7KH $PHULFDQ SROLWLFLDQ 3DW 0R\QLKDQ IDPRXVO\ UHPDUNHGWKDWHYHU\RQHLVHQWLWOHGWRKLVRUKHURSLQLRQ EXWQRWKLVRUKHUIDFWV7KHJHQHUDOPRRGLQWKLVFRXQWU\ LIQRWHOVHZKHUHVHHPVWREHWKDW\RXFDQKDYH\RXUIDFWV DQGHDWWKHPWRR*LYHQWKLVLV\RXUDSSHDOWRWKHVFLHQÄŚ WLĂ€FPHWKRGOLNHO\WRVZD\WKHXQFRQYHUWHG",ÂˇPWKLQNÄŚ LQJRIWKDWZRQGHUIXO]LQJHULQ\RXUERRN The Greatest Show on EarthÂ´(YROXWLRQLVDIDFWLQWKHVDPHVHQVH DVLWLVDIDFWWKDW3DULVLVLQWKH1RUWKHUQ+HPLVSKHUHÂľ
Q: $QWLÄŚVFLHQWLĂ€FWKLQNLQJJRHVKDQGLQKDQGZLWKRWKHU NLQGVRIPDJLFDOWKLQNLQJ'R\RXVHHWKLVERRNDVDQDWXÄŚ UDOFRPSOHPHQWLQDQ\ZD\WRWKHZRUN\RXÂˇYHEHHQ GRLQJ ZLWKThe God Delusion?
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Q: :KDWERRNPLJKWZHH[SHFWWRVHHIURP\RXQH[W" A: I seldom look more than one book ahead. At present my whole attention is focused on 7KH 0DJLFRI5HDOLW\.
P H OTO BY MI CH A E L C O RN W EL L
A: He hit the nail on the head with that remark about opinions and facts. It is deplorable how fashionable is the view that all opinions are equally valid and we have to respect those that hold them. I love the statement of the British journalist Johann Hari: â€œI respect you as a person too much to respect your ridiculous opinions.â€? Evolution is indeed a fact in just the same sense as it is a fact that Paris is in the Northern Hemisphere.
Unlike 7KH *RG 'HOXVLRQ, which is all about religion, 7KH0DJLFRI5HDOLW\ confines religion to the myth sections that begin each chapter before we get on to the truthâ€”the science. The Judeo-Christian myths are given no more special treatment than myths from Aztecs, Australian aborigines, Polynesians, ancient Egyptians or African tribesmen. That puts religion in its proper place, and I hope the message will not be lost on my readers.
physicist Ludwig Boltzmann kill himself while on a seaside vacation on the Adriatic? Boltzmann, who devised the formula for entropy, is a recurring character, a sort of angel of death, but the main character is Green, who was inspired to write this book by a question his daughter posed him while they were collecting samples from the Dry Lakes of Antarctica: â€œWhy did you decide to work down here, Dad?â€? He gave her the short answer but was dissatisfied, stirred to dig deeper, taking as the real question, why science? Green retraces his steps from a boyhood in 1950s Pittsburgh spent playing baseball and experimenting with model rockets. Almost despite himself, he discovered a talent and fascination for chemistry at his Catholic high school, and he was encouraged by the nuns to consider a career in the field. He eventually moved from chemistry to geophysics and, ultimately, to his beloved McMurdo Base in Antarctica. As he revisits the cities where his career took him, he brings to life what it is about the scientific worldview that riveted him to his eccentric path. Green is an exquisite writer, and his fierce focus and mastery of style are reminiscent of the biologist and essayist Lewis Thomas. The casual reader will derive pleasure not only from the science Green teaches but from the eloquence he employs to teach it.
Ex-CIA chief Kirk McGarvey fends off charlatans and terrorists in this exciting and largely plausible eco-thriller. Powerful oil interests concoct a plot to make all other forms of energy repugnant to the public, and where better to begin than with destroying a nuclear power plant? That done and the public duly frightened, the conspirators turn on Dr. Evelyn Larsen, a scientist who has devised a plan to supply energy using non-polluting ocean power. The public face of the anti-everything-but-oil campaign is a cynical preacher with presidential ambitions, while behind the scenes a South African mercenary spills plenty of blood with exceeding skill. McGarvey is a smart, level-headed hero whose most effective weapon is his brain as he matches wits with some highly talented criminals. Quite a few characters are introduced before McGarvey finally walks onstage in Chapter Eight, and that seems to fit his relatively modest temperament. The pacing is good, though occasionally the momentum hiccups for an explanation of a new characterâ€™s background. One manâ€™s speech tic has him often saying, â€œhonest injun, kemo sabe,â€? an expression that should have been retired with Tonto and the Lone Ranger. Also, an important female character likes to demean the Nobel Prizeâ€“winning Larsen as â€œthe lady scientist,â€? which feels both irritating and implausible, though one of the two women may turn out to be McGarveyâ€™s love interest. Other than those few quirks, the book moves along well and would make an entertaining movie with plenty of great visual effects. Given the BP oil spill and the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, this is a timely and frightening novel.
CHILDREN AND FIRE
+HJL8UVXOD Scribner (288 pp.) $25.00 | May 1, 2011 978-1-4516-0829-8 Booths #3652-3653 Hegi (7KH:RUVW7KLQJ,ÂˇYH'RQH, 2007, etc.) probes the moral dilemmas facing ordinary Germans in the early days of
Hitlerâ€™s Third Reich. â€œNo no not now. Away with this.â€? Thatâ€™s the refrain of schoolteacher Thekla Jansen whenever she comes across some unpleasant reminder of the new state of things. Prayers addressed to the FĂźhrer, German classics banned from the classroom then burned in the streets, Jewish students and teachers barred from schoolâ€” this is all temporary, Thekla tells herself. Soon people will come to their senses, and FrĂ¤ulein Siderova, the beloved mentor who inspired Thekla to become a teacher, will get back her fourth-grade classâ€”the class Thekla is now teaching because she was desperate for a job. These are the kinds of choices the new regime forces on people, Hegi shows us. Will Theklaâ€™s initial betrayal, relatively easy to justify, lead to worse? Hegi builds toward the answer by interweaving Theklaâ€™s musings over the course of a single dayâ€”Feb. 27, 1934, one year after the Reichstag burnedâ€”with the story of her birth in 1899 and her unsuspected paternity, which may put her in danger. But plot is not paramount in a narrative focused on Theklaâ€™s odyssey toward knowledge about herself. Sheâ€™s a superb teacher, we see in the classroom scenes, which show her gently encouraging her students to love learning and to think for themselves. But the pressures of the outside world cannot be escaped; when one student repeats his antifascist fatherâ€™s comments about â€œthat damn Austrian,â€? Thekla is quick to reprimand the boy for swearing, in hopes that the other students will remember that, and not his fatherâ€™s dangerous remark. Such half-measures will not long suffice, and readers will hope that Hegiâ€™s appealing protagonist does the right thing. A thoughtful, sidelong approach to the worst moment in Germanyâ€™s history that invites us to understand how decent people come to collaborate with evil.
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+DJEHUJ'DYLG Forge (496 pp.) $24.99 | June 1, 2011 978-0-7653-2410-8 Booth #3352; in-booth signing 5/24, 10:30
Readers will be left thinking, This could really happen.
SILVER GIRL +LOGHUEUDQG(OLQ Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown (416 pp.) $26.99 | June 21, 2011 978-0-316-09966-0 Booths #3627-3631; in-booth signing 5/24, 3:30-4:30 p.m. The wife of a notorious Ponzi schemer (think Ruth Madoff, but 20 years younger) hides out from aggrieved investors on Hilderbrandâ€™s home turf, Nantucket. Meredith Delinn is rescued from her Park Avenue penthouse |
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in the middle of the night after a frantic phone call to her estranged childhood friend Connie. Her husband, Freddy Delinn, has been sentenced to 150 years in a federal penitentiary, and marshals are coming to seize the penthouse and everything in it. Connie, who, with her late husband, famed architect Wolf, had withdrawn their money from Delinnâ€™s fund just in time (whence the estrangement), spirits Meredith off to her Nantucket beachfront retreat. Meredithâ€™s not doing well; sheâ€™s even been blackballed by her hairdressers and forced to live without highlights. Investors who formerly hounded her to persuade Freddy to accept their money now howl for her immolation. Even in disguise, she canâ€™t get a pedicure at a Nantucket salon without being called out by an outraged victim. The narrative unfolds from the alternating POVs of Meredith and Connie. While coping with current crises, both women reflect on how their adolescent years shaped the present. Besides her adored father, the most important person in Meredithâ€™s teenage life was Toby, Connieâ€™s charismatic brother, who broke her heart. Instead she married Freddy, her fellow Princetonian. The couple struggled whilst Freddy founded his first hedge fund, but suddenly their fortunes soared. (Too suddenly, Meredith belatedly reflects.) Connie, who grew up in the same Philadelphia Main Line milieu as Meredith, is consumed by grief and regret after Wolfâ€™s death from cancer. Her daughter Ashlyn, whose lesbianism sits ill with Connie, hasnâ€™t spoken to her since Wolfâ€™s funeral. Soused on chardonnay, Connie almost scuttles her first chance at new romance. And Marilyn is not so much an example of innocence wronged as passivity repaid. Although the timely premise titillates, the story soon degenerates into just another redemptive middle-aged reconciliation of past and present, complete with many bromidic meditations on the true nature of love. Beach-ready reading.
THE DOVEKEEPERS +RÉ˛PDQ$OLFH Scribner (512 pp.) $27.00 | October 4, 2011 978-1-4516-1747-4 Booths #3652-3653; galley giveaway & signing (time TBD) Hoffman (7KH 5HG *DUGHQ, 2011, etc.) births literature from tragedy: the destruction of Jerusalemâ€™s Temple, the siege of Masada and the loss of Zion. This is a feminist tale, a story of strong, intelligent women wedded to destiny by love and sacrifice. Told in four parts, the first comes from Yael, daughter of Yosef bar Elhanan, a Sicarii Zealot assassin, rejected by her father because of her motherâ€™s death in childbirth. It is 70 CE, and the Temple is destroyed. Yael, her father, and another Sicarii assassin, Jachim ben Simon, and his family flee Jerusalem. Hoffmanâ€™s research renders the ancient world real as the group treks into Judeaâ€™s desert, where they encounter Essenes, search for sustenance and burn under the sun. There too Jachim and Yael begin a tragic love affair. At Masada, Yael is sent to work in the dovecote, gathering eggs and fertilizer. She meets Shirah, her daughters, and Revka, who narrates 12
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part two. Revkaâ€™s husband was killed when Romans sacked their village. Later, her daughter was murdered. At Masada, caring for grandsons turned mute by tragedy, Revka worries over her scholarly son-in-law, Yoav, now consumed by vengeance. Aziza, daughter of Shirah, carries the story onward. Born out of wedlock, Aziza grew up in Moab, among the people of the blue tunic. Her passion and curse is that she was raised as a warrior by her foster father. In part four, Shirah tells of her Alexandrian youth, the cherished daughter of a consort of the high priests. Shirah is a keshaphim, a woman of amulets, spells and medicine, and a woman connected to Shechinah, the feminine aspect of God. The women are irretrievably bound to Eleazar ben Yaâ€™ir, Masadaâ€™s charismatic leader; Amram, Yaelâ€™s brother; and Yoav, Azizaâ€™s companion and protector in battle. The plot is intriguingly complex, with only a single element unresolved. An enthralling tale rendered with consummate literary skill.
THE SUMMER WITHOUT MEN +XVWYHGW6LUL Picador (192 pp.) $14.00 paperback original | April 26, 2011 978-0-312-57060-6 Booth #3352 Hustvedt (7KH 6KDNLQJ :RPDQ, 2010, etc.) explores the Seven Ages of Woman. Six, actually: No soldier here, though thereâ€™s ugly conflict among the schoolgirls taking poet Mia Fredricksenâ€™s summer workshop. Mia has returned to Minnesota to recover from a breakdown brought on by her husband of 30 years saying that he wanted to take a â€œpauseâ€? in their marriage. Sheâ€™s rented a house near the senior dwelling where her mother now lives in the â€œindependent zoneâ€?; the greatest fear of 87-year-old Laura Fredericksen and her friends is to be reduced to the â€œcare center,â€? where those sans everything (as Shakespeare put it) end up before they die. The child is 3-year-old Flora, whose mother Lola (the Bardâ€™s lover turned childbearing woman) has a turbulent marriage of her own. Observing all these females in the various stages of life, Mia ponders her own middleaged crisis. Will Boris get over â€œthe Pauseâ€? (her sardonic name for his French girlfriend)? Does Mia even want him to? Sheâ€™s become close to her motherâ€™s 94-year-old friend Abigail, whose subversive handicrafts display images of rage and sexuality that speak to Mia of every frustration in her long marriage. It takes a while to get used to Miaâ€™s habit of directly confiding in the reader, but most will come to relish Hustvedtâ€™s 21st-century riff on the 19thcentury Reader-I-married-him school of quietly insurgent womenâ€™s fiction. (Digressions about clueless male authoritiesâ€™ views on female sexuality and brain structure are more off-putting, but tart comments on male vs. female styles of writingâ€”and readingâ€”novels are a delight.) The schoolgirlsâ€™ persecution of one of their number reminds us that men have no monopoly on cruelty, and the slow decline of Miaâ€™s elderly friend forecasts the end that awaits us all. Yet the mood is surprisingly buoyant, as though a summer without men proves to be the vacation Mia needs.
Lighthearted but not lightweightâ€”a smart, sassy reflection on the varieties of female experience.
SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT
-RQHV'DU\QGD St. Martinâ€™s (320 pp.) $22.99 | e-book: $22.99 | August 16, 2011 978-0-312-36081-8 e-book 978-1-4272-1243-6 Booth #3352
THE TAKER .DWVX$OPD Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster (448 pp.) $25.00 | September 6, 2011 978-1-4391-9705-9 Booths #3652-3653; signing on 5/24 from 11 a.m. to noon in signing area A backwoods Maine doctor falls under the spell of a confessed killer whose loves and sorrows go back two centuries.
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Grim Reaper Charley Davidson ()LUVW *UDYH RQ WKH 5LJKW, 2011) returns to solve a missing-person case and to protect the Son of Satan Reyes Farrow from demons. Private investigator Charley Davidson, otherwise known as the Grim Reaper, is woken in the middle of the night by her assistant Cookie, frantically explaining that her friend Mimi disappeared five days earlier and that she received a text message to meet her at a coffee shop. When the two women arrive at their destination, they discover no Mimi, but Charley finds a cryptic message scrawled on the bathroom wallâ€”a clue that will eventually lead them to a tragic event that occurred at a party when Mimi was in high school. Meanwhile, the enigmatic Reyes Alexander Farrow, who has been Charleyâ€™s protector and is the Son of Satan, has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. In a seductive moment between the two, Farrow confesses that he has left his body because heâ€™s being tortured by demons who want to lure and use Charley as their portal to heaven. Terrified to lose him, Charley insists that he tell her where he has hidden his body to save him from a grisly death. Interwoven subplots include finding out the mysterious identity of Cookieâ€™s ghostly passenger, who resides in the trunk of her car and refuses to crossover, and Charleyâ€™s strained relationship with her family. Jones includes back story in this sequel that explains Charleyâ€™s powers as the Grim Reaper and her complex relationship with Farrow. Much of that information does little to enlighten new readers to the series. An onslaught of over-the-top, sarcastic and infantile one-liners and observations become increasingly tedious. These inconsequential comments have little connection to the story, and the reader grows weary to not care whether Charley will save Farrow from his demonic torturers or whether she will find the missing Mimi.
When Dr. Luke Findley undresses Lanore McIlvrae, the murder suspect the St. Andrew sheriff has brought into Aroostook County Hospital, he discovers that although her clothes are saturated in blood, her body is unwounded; every drop came from the man she admits she slashed to death. Even so, Lanny tells Luke that the murder was anything but murder and begs him to help her escape. After heâ€™s treated to an unnerving demonstration of her claim that sheâ€™s not just an ordinary killer, he agrees. During their headlong flight to Canada and freedom, she fills in her back story for him, and what a back story it is. Lannyâ€™s troubles began at age 12, when she first spotted beautiful Jonathan St. Andrew, the son of the townâ€™s wealthy founder, at church back in 1809. Although Jonathan was happy to acknowledge her love, he never exactly returned it, and her tempestuous tale takes her from romantic disappointments, crises and encounters with evil to a genre-crossing exile in Boston, where sheâ€™s taken in by the Mephistophelean savior whoâ€™ll become her fate: Count Adair cel Rau, whose own lengthy back story, which stretches back to 1349, is even more eventful than hers. Adair and his unholy retinue donâ€™t suck anyoneâ€™s blood, but the gift of eternal life he offers in return for the souls of his lovers and followers will sound awfully familiar to vampire lovers everywhere. Debut novelist Katsu adds heavy foreshadowing, insistent underlining and a suffocating earnestness to this familiar story of the bonds that never die. Beneath the trappings of undead lore is a love story thatâ€™s deeply old-fashioned, and not just because the principals were born 200 years ago.
THE VISIBLE MAN .ORVWHUPDQ&KXFN Scribner (256 pp.) $25.00 | October 4, 2011 978-1-4391-8446-2 Booths #3652-3653; galley signing (time TBD) An author best known for his journalism and nonfiction books makes a big leap with his second novel. The former mid-market newspaper rock critic has attracted a growing following since his breakout debut ()DUJR5RFN&LW\, 2001), which was all about coming of age far from the media centers and arbiters of hip. Since then, he has expanded from music to sports and pop culture in general, always reflecting a Gen X attitude at odds with the baby-boomer verities. Thus, itâ€™s characteristic to have his second novel dismiss a pot-smoking Beatles fan as â€œlistening to dead hippies sing about the Maharishi.â€? Yet this novel is far more daring and ambitious than his debut novel ('RZQWRZQ2ZO, 2008), which was mainly a fictionalized version of coming of age in North Dakota. It concerns a therapist and a most unusual patient. Initially, he refuses to meet her in person or to allow her to ask questions, opting instead for long monologues over the phone (which constitute a hefty chunk of the narrative). Itâ€™s unclear to both the therapist and the reader why he has sought her services, since he doesnâ€™t seem to be looking for advice or even perspective. Instead, he has |
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a story to tell, about how he has been able to make himself unseen (he hates the term â€œinvisibleâ€?) and share the living spaces of other loners in order to gain insight into the essence of people when they think no one is watching. â€œNo one will ever be as close to her as I was that night, because no one else can ever be with her when sheâ€™s alone,â€? he says. As the patient relates episodes that progress from observing to intervening in othersâ€™ lives, often with catastrophic consequences, the therapist resists her inclination to terminate their relationship: â€œWould I ever have a patient this interesting again? Never. This was like being Hitlerâ€™s therapist, or Springsteenâ€™s, or Supermanâ€™s.â€? Immersed as always in popular culture, but rises to the challenge of creative fiction.
HUMILIATION .RHVWHQEDXP:D\QH Picador (192 pp.) $14.00 paperback original | August 2, 2011 978-0-312-42922-5 Booth #3352 A series of meditations on the concept of humiliation. Poet and scholar Koestenbaum (English/City Univ. of New York Graduate Center; +RWHO 7KHRU\, 2007, etc) offers a hybrid book. Personal confessions (humiliating in nature, naturally) sit alongside astute analysis of such cultural icons as Basquiat and the Marquis de Sade, and theoretical hypotheses mingle with observations about reality television and erotic Craigslist personal ads. Structured as a series of chapters or â€œfugues,â€? each consisting of a series of numbered paragraphs varying in length from one sentence to several pages, the book is academic in tone and content but not necessarily in scope or format. What Koestenbaum sacrifices in depth, he makes up for in clarity. For example, in two sentences he dispatches with the distinction between shame and humiliation; excavating the full meaning of this distinction could easily require an entire chapter. Though this brief treatment is appropriate given the length of the book, other distinctionsâ€”like that between relatively minor humiliations, like being rejected romantically, and major ones, like being raped or torturedâ€”are merely acknowledged in a sort of hand-wringing way. Yet the book cannot be characterized as shallow. Koestenbaum consistently offers enlightening, well-written insights into the process of abreaction; the way language can be humiliating to the artist, the writer or the illiterate; queer theory; and reality television and voyeurism. The author avoids mistaking unreadable prose for complexity, and though the book may be best suited for academics, general readers interested in the topic will not be lost or frustrated. Insightful and blissfully free of jargon, Humiliation may not be the last word on the subject, but itâ€™s an accessible introduction.
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THE ARROGANT YEARS One Girlâ€™s Search for Her Lost Youth, from Cairo to Brooklyn /DJQDGR/XFHWWH Ecco/HarperCollins (352 pp.) $25.99 | September 6, 2011 978-0-06-180367-3 Booth #3338-3339 Investigative reporter Lagnado (7KH 0DQ LQ WKH :KLWH 6KDUNVNLQ 6XLW 0\)DPLO\ÂˇV([RGXVIURP2OG&DLURWRWKH1HZ:RUOG, 2007, etc.) compares her motherâ€™s upbringing in Cairo to her own coming-of-age in Brooklyn. The author is a gifted storyteller who spins ordinary family experiences into enchanting fairy tales, complete with magical backdrops (the streets of Cairo, New York, and Montreal), nasty villains and dashing heroes. For the most part, Lagnadoâ€™s storybook style is both inviting and endearing. By the end, though, it wears thin. Many human experiences are too complex to be reduced to happy or sad, and Lagnadoâ€™s determination to cast everyone she encounters as either friend or foe grows irksome. Her descriptions of places, particularly in Egypt, are vivid and evocative, but her perspective is simplistic and her adjectives are limited; people who intimidate her are â€œformidable,â€? while those she likes are â€œfriendlyâ€? and â€œdown-to-earth.â€? Often her tone is unsuited to the situation or event she is describing, rendering the narrative unintentionally funny. Her decision about whether to buy Pappagallo shoes before beginning college at Vassar and whether to withdraw from Vassar sound, in her telling, equally wrenching. Although she and her family suffered genuine tragedy, Lagnado writes as if every choice, no matter how trivial or mundane, were difficult, painful and heavy with significance. Itâ€™s a delight to read about the author as an impish, spirited child; her eventual transformation into a somber, selfserious adult is an unwelcome surprise. A catatonic stroke victim by the last chapter, the Lagnadoâ€™s brave and brilliant mother emerges as the bookâ€™s true hero. Often heavy-handed, but also tender and heartfelt.
IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitlerâ€™s Berlin /DUVRQ(ULN Crown (464 pp.) $26.00 | May 10, 2011 978-0-307-40884-6 Booth #4420 A sometimes improbable but nevertheless true tale of diplomacy and intrigue by bestselling author Larson (7KXQGHUVWUXFN, 2006, etc.). William E. Dodd, the unlikely hero of the piece, was a historian at the University of Chicago in the early 1930s, tenured and unhappy, increasingly convinced that he was cut out for
greater things than proctoring exams. Franklin Roosevelt, then in his second year in office, was meanwhile having trouble filling the ambassadorship in Berlin, where the paramilitary forces of Hitlerâ€™s newly installed regime were in the habit of beating up Americansâ€”and, it seems, American doctors in particular, one for the offense of not giving the Nazi salute when an SS parade passed by. Dodd was offered the job, and he accepted; as Larson writes, â€œDodd wanted a sinecureâ€Śthis despite his recognition that serving as a diplomat was not something to which his character was well suited.â€? It truly was not, but Dodd did yeomanlike work, pressing for American interests while letting it be known that he did not think much of the blustering Nazisâ€”even as, the author writes, he seems to have been somewhat blind to the intensity of anti-Semitism and was casually anti-Semitic himself. More interesting than the scholarly Dodd, whom the Nazis thought of as a musty old man, was his daughter Martha, a beauty of readily apparent sexual appetite, eagerly courted by Nazis and communists alike. The intrigues in which she was caught up give Larsonâ€™s tale, already suspenseful, the feel of a John le CarrĂŠ novel. The only real demerit is that the book goes on a touch too long, though it gives a detailed portrait of a time when the Nazi regime was solidifying into the evil monolith that would go to war with the world only five years later. An excellent study, taking a tiny instant of modern history and giving it specific weight, depth and meaning.
/HUR\0DUJDUHW Voice/Hyperion (416 pp.) $14.99 paperback original | June 28, 2011 978-1-4013-4170-1 Booth #3324 Leroy, whose fiction specializes in prickly mothers, turns from the paranormal (<HV0\'DUOLQJ'DXJKWHU, 2009, etc.) to the historical in this story of torn loyalties during the World War II German occupation of the isle of Guernsey. Originally from London, Vivienne has lived in Guernsey since she married Eugene, with whom she has had a loveless marriage. In 1940, with Eugene away in the military, Vivienne lives with her increasingly senile mother-in-law and her daughters, 4-year-old Millie and 14-year-old Blanche. Beset by indecision, Vivienne misses the chance to leave Guernsey with the girls before the Germans take over the island. Her anxiety, already high after German bombing kills a friendâ€™s husband, rises when German soldiers move into the vacant house next door. But she also finds herself attracted to one of the captains, Gunther Lehmann, who offers her small favors like chocolate candy and a ride home in the rain. She rather quickly succumbs, and soon he is sneaking into her arms every night at 10 sharp. Vivienne compartmentalizes her passion for Gunther, her protectiveness toward her girls and her patriotic anger at the Germans. The lovers discuss their pasts but avoid the reality of their situation; it helps that Gunther evinces no respect for Hitler. When gossip spreads about her fraternizing, Vivienne skillfully defuses
ORIGINAL SIN 0F0XOOHQ%HWK Hyperion (304 pp.) $23.99 | July 1, 2011 978-1-4013-2421-6 Booth #3324 In McMullenâ€™s debut, a former spy tries to forget her past and lead a â€œnormalâ€? life as a Bay Area wife and motherâ€” if only her past would forget her. Right out of college, Lucy Parks was recruited by the USAWMD, a covert agency dedicated to tracking purveyors of Weapons of Mass Destruction. Code-named Sally Sin, she soon found herself dodging death all over the globe, from Afghanistan to Saigon, Budapest to Madrid, Cambodia to Cape Town. Her handler, Simon Still, trusts her to bring down the depraved nuclear-arms smuggler known as the Blind Monk, who wreaks mayhem while swathed in saffron. However, Ian Blackford, a former USAWMD asset who turned traitor and now traffics WMDs himself, has a nasty habit of turning up whereever Sally is and kidnapping her. The narrative ricochets back and forth between Sallyâ€™s past adventures and her present life as mother of three-year-old charmer Theo and wife of Will Hamilton, an environmental consultant whose biggest concern for his family is their carbon footprint. Sally has kept her employment history secret from Will, which was not a problem until recently: the fine print in her retirement contract requires Sally to remain on call for espionage. She is tapped by Simon to see what reclusive college professor Albert Malcolm is really up to in his lab, which may entail allowing Blackford, who is also sniffing around Prof. Malcolm, to abduct her again. After gaining entry to the lab, she photographs some documents, but there is no sign of Blackford. However, as much as she fears encountering him again, she has to admit that he does bear a passing resemblance to James Bond, in both the Connery and Brosnan incarnations. And the excuses sheâ€™s giving to Will for her increasingly frequent absences (while a rookie USAWMD agent babysits Theo) are wearing thin. Sallyâ€™s slapdash, offhand delivery is fun even though the exposition is laborious and the payoff too long delayedâ€”perhaps anticipating the second planned Sally Sin Adventure.
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KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
THE SOLDIERâ€™S WIFE
suspicion. Harder to ignore is the information she discovers about inhumane labor camps on Guernsey. By the third winter, the Germans begin to deport and incarcerate non-natives like Vivienne, but Gunther keeps her safe. Meanwhile, through Millie, Vivienne meets and helps an escapee from the labor camp. She is preparing the escapeeâ€™s breakfast one morning when Gunther shows up unexpectedly. She is not sure how much he knows or suspects, but shortly afterward, the escapee is tracked down and shot. Assuming he turned her in, she breaks with Gunther, only to learn the truth too late, after he has been transferred to the Eastern front. Vivienneâ€™s measured, astringent voice is riveting and her moral ambiguity deliciously disturbing until the disappointingly maudlin ending. ÄŤ5HDGLQJJURXSJXLGHRQOLQHÄŹ
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ERIN MORGENSTERN, AUTHOR OF THE NIGHT CIRCUS BOOTH #4420
Âł6HOIÄĽDVVXUHGHQWHUWDLQLQJGHEXW novel that blends genres and crosses FRQWLQHQWVLQTXHVWRIPDJLFÂ´ from the night circus
THE BODY POLITIC: The Battle Over Science in America 0RUHQR-RQDWKDQ Bellevue Literary Press (224 pp.) $18.95 paperback original September 1, 2011 978-1-934137-38-3 Booth #4502
P HOTO BY K E L LY DAV ID S ON
Self-assured, entertaining debut novel that blends genres and crosses continents in quest of magic. The worldâ€™s not big enough for two wizards, as Tolkien taught usâ€”even if that world is the shiny, modern one of the late 19th century, with its streetcars and electric lights and newfangled horseless carriages. Yet, as first-time novelist Morgenstern imagines it, two wizards there are, if likely possessed of more legerdemain than true conjuring powers, and these two are jealous of their turf. It stands to reason, the laws of the universe working thus, that their children would meet and, rather than continue the feud into a new generation, would instead fall in love. Call it 5RPHRDQG-XOLHW for the Gilded Age, save that Morgenstern has her eye on a different Shakespearean text, 7KH7HPSHVW; says a fellow called Prospero to young magician Celia of the name her mother gave her, â€œShe should have named you Miranda...I suppose she was not clever enough to think of it.â€? Celia is clever, however, a born magician, and eventually a big hit at the Circus of Dreams, which operates, naturally, only at night and has a slightly sinister air about it. But what would you expect of a yarn one of whose chief setting-things-into-action characters is known as â€œthe man in the grey suitâ€?? Morgenstern treads into Harry Potter territory, but though the chief audience for both Rowling and this tale will probably comprise of teenage girls, there are only superficial genre similarities. True, Celiaâ€™s magical powers grow, and the ordinary presto-change-o stuff gains potencyâ€”and, happily, surrealistic value. Finally, though, all the magic has deadly consequence, and it is then that the tale begins to take on the contours of a dark thriller, all told in a confident voice that is often quite poetic, as when the man in the grey suit tells us, â€œThereâ€™s magic in that. Itâ€™s in the listener, and for each and every ear it will be different, and it will affect them in ways they can never predict.â€? Generous in its vision and fun to read. Likely to be a big bookâ€”and, soon, a big movie, with all the franchise trimmings. ÄŤ)LUVWSULQWLQJRI175000ÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
An eminent bioethicist presents a nuanced survey of the fraught politics of science in 21st-century America. Moreno (Philosophy and Medical Ethics/Univ. of Pennsylvania; 6FLHQFH1H[W,QQRYDWLRQIRUWKH&RPPRQ*RRG, 2009, etc.), a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress who served on President Obamaâ€™s transition team, makes no bones about falling on the pro-progress side of the often brutal debate Americans have been waging over the proper role of science in society since 5RH Y:DGH. Nevertheless, he gives plenty of air time to the arguments of his opponents as he searches for the roots of their critiques in American and European intellectual history from the Middle Ages through the Enlightenment and into the progressive era and beyond. Despite general admiration for science among the public since Benjamin Franklinâ€™s day, a darker strain of thought, influenced by the progress-averse romantics and German philosophers from Kant to Heidegger, has grown increasingly influential among American intellectuals as biological discoveries, in particular, have schematically displaced humans from the center of the universe. Moreno coins the term â€œbiopoliticsâ€? to distinguish this realm of debate from ordinary politics. In this new battleground, left and right divide and re-merge into two opposing camps: the bioconservatives and bioprogressives, the former (which comprises greens as well as neocons) fretting over the blurring of lines between humans and the rest of creation, the latter lamenting the drag on innovation that might save or radically improve lives. Along the way, Moreno pulls apart the debates on eugenics, abortion, end-of-life decisions, embryonic stem-cell research, reproductive cloning, chimeras and synthetic biology, among others, carefully reassembling whatâ€™s at stake for each side. In graceful, sparkling prose, he illuminates intricate threads of history and complex philosophical arguments. Patient general readers, as well as scholars and students of bioethics, will benefit from Morenoâ€™s erudition and fairness, whether or not theyâ€™re convinced by his argument for human-centered progress in science. Highly recommended for anyone interested in the vital issues of this â€œbiological century.â€?
THE NIGHT CIRCUS 0RUJHQVWHUQ(ULQ Doubleday (384 pp.) $26.95 | September 13, 2011 978-0-385-53463-5 Booth #4420
LAMB 1DG]DP%RQQLH Other Press (275 pp.) $15.95 paperback original September 13, 2011 978-1-59051-437-5 Booth #4421; signing 5/26, 11-11:30 A journey novel that gets increasingly creepier the further west we go. The title refers to David Lamb, whoâ€™s recently lost his father, and who has had an inadvertent encounter with 11-year-old Tommie, a girl dared by her |
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Âł$JUDFHIXOFORVHO\REVHUYHGQRYHO WKDWEOHQGVFRPLQJÄĽRIÄĽDJHWURSHV with a Conradian sea voyage.â€?
MICHAEL ONDAATJE, AUTHOR OF THE CATâ€™S TABLE BOOTH #4420
from the cat â€™s table
two friends to bum a cigarette off of David outside a convenience store. Fifty years old, lonely and now detached (in all ways) from his job, David turns the tables on Tommieâ€™s friends by colluding with her in pretending to abduct her for a brief period of time. After he lets her goâ€”and after Tommie finds out that her friends donâ€™t care one way or the other whether sheâ€™s been kidnappedâ€”David and Tommie decide to get away for a while. They head west from the dreary Chicago suburb where they liveâ€”on the lam (Lamb?) as it wereâ€”and try to find a more open, congenial and attractive space in which to let their lives unfold. David emerges as a disturbing character whose intentions are never quite clear. His interest in Tommie is borne out of his loneliness, and while their relationship flirts with the sexual, it never explicitly crosses overâ€”though Nadzam skillfully holds out the possibility that it might. Davidâ€™s self-professed motivation is to expose Tommie to a wider, more uncommon world than she would ever encounter around Chicago, and he succeeds in doing this. Complicating the relationship between David and Tommie is the rather unrealistic intrusion of Davidâ€™s girlfriend Linnie, an alluring woman whose attraction to him is bewildering. Toward the end of the novel, David confesses to Tommie that his exposure to some less-than-nice people has made him â€œbehave a little erratically sometimes...â€?â€”and itâ€™s clear this is an understatement. A disturbing and elusive novel about manipulation and desperate friendship.
THE CATâ€™S TABLE 2QGDDWMH0LFKDHO Knopf (256 pp.) $26.00 | October 1, 2011 978-0-7710-6864-5 Booth #4420
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THE CHRISTMAS WEDDING 3DWWHUVRQ-DPHVDQG5LFKDUG'L/DOOR Little, Brown (304 pp.) $25.99 | October 17, 2011 978-0-316-09739-0 Booths #3627-3631; in-booth signing by James Patterson 5/25, 2-3 p.m. A lighthearted novel about a widow who suddenly decides to re-marry on Christmas Day. The mystery concerns the brideâ€™s choice of a groom. She wonâ€™t tell her family. She wonâ€™t even tell her potential husband, one of three suitors who have proposed. Gaby Summerhill, 54, is a teacher, widowed for three years, her treasured husband dead of a heart attack. Gaby has decided sheâ€™s grieved long enough. And so she makes her decision, and then records a DVD to send to her four children announcing her puzzling plan. The children are scattered, busy with their own lives, and Gaby is certain the mystery will bring them home to Massachusetts for the holiday. Oldest daughter Claire lives with her husband and children in South Carolina, but Hank works rarely and smokes marijuana regularly. Claireâ€™s troubles are aggravated by teenager Gus, whoâ€™s intent on living up to the aphorism â€œlike father, like son.â€? Although Gabyâ€™s daughter Lizzie lives nearby, she has been overwhelmed by her husbandâ€™s critical illness. Emily is an over-stressed, high-powered New York City attorney. Son Seth works in Boston at a temporary job waiting for his novel to be snapped up by a big-name publisher. Patterson and co-author DiLallo unfold the plot with snappy but clichĂŠ-littered dialogue. There is minimal character development and only enough back story to knit the tale together. Gaby is an idealized protagonist, the sort who heads a volunteer crew to cook a daily breakfast for the homeless. Her groom might be Tom, a lifelong friend; Jacob, a rabbi; or Martin, her husbandâ€™s younger brother, all of whom proposed on the same day. The authors maintain the suspense, with Gaby and her brood riding a roller-coaster of family problems, right up to the wedding day. A perfect plot for a Meryl Streep or Diane Lane happily-ever-after movie.
P H OTO BY B E OW U L F S HE EH A N
A graceful, closely observed novel that blends coming-of-age tropes with a Conradian sea voyage. The time is six decades past, and for reasons that have yet to emerge, a young boy is being packed off to England from his home in what was then called Ceylon. He climbs aboard a ship, the 2URQVD\, â€œthe first and only ship of his life,â€? and falls in with two other boys about his age. All are banished to the opposite of the honor of the Captainâ€™s Tableâ€”to the Catâ€™s Table, that is, along with â€œseveral interesting adults,â€? including a tailor, a botanist, a down-at-the-heels pianist and a shipâ€™s dismantler. The boys have the good fortune of being â€œinvisible to officials such as the Purser and Head Steward, and the Captain,â€? and are therefore able to make a Peter Pan adventure of the long passage across the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean and North Atlantic; as our narrator tells us, â€œThe friendship between the quiet Ramadhin and the exuberant Cassius and myself grew fast, although we kept a great deal from each other.â€? Well, this being a novel by the eminently accomplished Ondaatje ('LYLVDGHUR, 2007, etc.), you may be certain that the tale will involve some tragedy, some heartache and some miscommunicationâ€”and, yes, death. It is also beautifully detailed, without a false note: It is easy to imagine, in Ondaatjeâ€™s hands, being a passenger in the golden age of transoceanic voyaging,
amid a sea of cocktail glasses and overflowing ashtrays, if in this case a setting more worthy of John le CarrĂŠ than Noel Coward. Ondaatje writes with considerable tenderness of children who are all but abandoned, and at his best he lands squarely in Conrad territory, a place that smells of frankincense and in which â€œclotted clouds speckled the skyâ€? and sandstorms blow out to sea from distant desertsâ€”just the sort of place, in other words, that a reader wants to inhabit. Elegiac, mature and nostalgicâ€”a fine evocation of childhood, and of days irretrievably past. ÄŤ5HDGLQJJURXSJXLGHRQOLQH $XWKRUWRXUWR%RVWRQ&KLFDJR+RXVWRQ/RV$QJHOHV0LDPL1HZ<RUN 3KLODGHOSKLD3RUWODQG6DQ)UDQFLVFR6HDWWOH:DVKLQJWRQ'&ÄŹ
TOM PERROTTA, AUTHOR OF THE LEFTOVERS BOOTH #3352
â€œA bestselling novelist returns with his most ambitious book to date.â€?
THE LEFTOVERS 3HUURWWD7RP St. Martinâ€™s (336 pp.) $25.99 | August 30, 2011 978-0-312-35834-1 Booth #3352
â€œupload collectiveâ€? called the Sobornost. The Archonsâ€™ notion of rehabilitation is to compel the prisoners, incarcerated in infinitely repeating transparent cells, to play murderous mind games with infinite copies of themselves. Soon enough, though, along comes spacer Mieli in her alluring sentient spaceship to rescue le Flambeurâ€”providing that heâ€™s willing to work for her. The thief has little choice, itâ€™s either accept or stay and be shot through the head over and over. And so theyâ€™re off to Mars, where the multi-legged city of Oubliette wanders the landscape, terraforming as it goes. Here, time itself is currency; memory, and hence reality, is held collectively, privacy is a fetish preserved by unbreakable encryption and enforced by powerful â€œtzaddiks,â€? but everybodyâ€™s strings are being pulledâ€”even the string-pullersâ€™â€”by hidden higher authorities. Mieliâ€™s employer, known only as the pellegrini, wants le Flambeur to perform a particular if unmentioned service, while the thief has his own ulterior motives for cooperating: years ago he hid large chunks of his memories here, and now he needs to recover them to attain his own vengeful goals. Meanwhile, brilliant young detective Isidore Beautrelet, having just solved the murder of a prominent chocolatier, accepts another assignmentâ€”involving an arch
AWARDED A KIRKUS STAR
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
A bestselling novelist returns with his most ambitious book to date. Perrottaâ€™s popular breakthrough with /LWWOH &KLOGUHQ (2004) received additional exposure from a well-received movie adaptation, and his latest has plenty of cinematic possibility as well. The premise is as simple as it is startling (certainly for the characters involved). Without warning, the Rapture has come to pass, â€œthe biblical prophecy came true, or at least partly true. People disappeared, millions of them at the same time, all over the world.â€? Yet the novelâ€™s focus isnâ€™t religious, and it really doesnâ€™t concern itself with what happened or why. Instead, as the title suggests, it deals exclusively with those left behind, how they deal with something few had anticipated and fewer had expected to experience. Their world has changed irrevocably, yet in some ways it hasnâ€™t really changed all that much. Life goes on, for the living, though the missing leave huge holes in it. Some deny the religious implications, preferring to refer to the more secular â€œSudden Departureâ€?; others question why those with deep flaws had been among the elect. A group that has dubbed itself the â€œGuilty Remnantâ€? bears silent witness to the world of sin while awaiting its own judgment and reward. The wife of the townâ€™s mayor leaves her home to join them, though â€œshe hadnâ€™t been raised to believe in much of anything, except the foolishness of belief itself.â€? Their son disappears from college to join the â€œHealing Hugâ€? movement; their high-school daughter loses her bearings as the family disintegrates. The novel is filled with those who have changed their lives radically or discovered something crucial about themselves, as radical upheaval generates a variety of coping mechanisms. Though the tone is more comic than tragic, it is mainly empathic, never drawing a distinction between â€œgoodâ€? and â€œbadâ€? characters, but recognizing all as merely humanâ€” ordinary people dealing with an extraordinary situation. Thereâ€™s even a happy ending of sorts, as characters adapt and keep going, fortified by the knowledge that they â€œwere more than the sum of what had been taken fromâ€? them.
from the leftovers
The compelling book by Clifford L. Johnson is a fascinating historical study that artfully captures the malignant influence of slavery on American politics, law, and government.
THE QUANTUM THIEF
P HOTO BY ROX A N A P E RD U E
5DMDQLHPL+DQQX Tor (336 pp.) $24.99 | May 1, 2011 978-0-7653-2949-3 Booth #3352 A sort of paranoid-conspiracy, hard sci-fi whodunit: the Scotland resident, Finnish authorâ€™s jaw-dropping debut. Notorious thief Jean le Flambeur serves an indeterminate sentence in the surreal Dilemma Prison governed by artificial intelligences, or Archons, at the behest of Earthâ€™s ruling
â€œScholars and lay readers alike can enjoy this thoroughly researched, fluently written volume. A lucid, thought-provoking account. â€?
The author hopes to field this self-published book under the imprimatur of a traditional publisher. He can be reached by agent or publisher at firstname.lastname@example.org; or 6525 Aspen Dr., Troy, MI 48098.
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villain namedâ€Śle Flambeur. All this barely hints at the complex inventions and extrapolations, richly textured backdrop and welldeveloped characters seamlessly woven into a narrative stuffed with scientific, literary and cultural references. Spectacularly and convincingly inventive, assured and wholly spellbinding: one of the most impressive debuts in years.
KNOCKING ON HEAVENâ€™S DOOR How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World 5DQGDOO/LVD Ecco/HarperCollins (464 pp.) $29.99 | September 20, 2011 978-0-06-172372-8 Booth #3338-3339 From Randall (Theoretical Physics/Harvard Univ.; :DUSHG 3DVVDJHV 8QUDYHOLQJ WKH 8QLYHUVHÂˇV +LGGHQ 'LPHQVLRQV, 2006), a whip-smart inquiry into the scientific work being conducted in particle physics. The author examines some fairly recondite materialâ€”the philosophical and methodological underpinnings of the study of elementary particles (with a brief foray into cosmology)â€” and renders it comprehensible for general readers. She brings a thrumming enthusiasm to the topic, but she is unhurried and wryly humorous. She explains how physicists conduct their theoretical studies, the logic involved and the confidence that comes only in whatâ€™s verified or deduced through experimentation. That knowledge must always be open to change, surrounded as it is by an amorphous boundary of uncertainties, where research is conducted in a state of indeterminacy, testing and questioning to ascertain veracity and implications (which includes investigating the likes of string theory, which doesnâ€™t yield experimental consequences but may provide new ways of thinking). Randall brings great clarity to the application of theory. Not only will readers come to feel comfortably familiar with scalingâ€”why, for instance, Newtonâ€™s laws work on one scale but not anotherâ€”or how the Large Hadron Collider will provide access to fundamental particles, but appreciate how one â€œseesâ€? a subatomic particle when visible lightâ€™s wavelength is too big to resolve it. While much of the book concerns the behavior of quarks, leptons and gauge bosons, the author ranges freely into the advantages and disadvantages of aesthetic criteria in science, the importance of symmetry and the creation and nature of black holes, black energy and black matter: â€œWhy should all matter interact with light? If the history of science has taught us anything, it should be the shortsightedness of believing that what we see is all there is.â€? A tour of subatomic physics that dazzles like the stars. ÄŤ75 EODFNÄŚDQGÄŚZKLWH SKRWRJUDSKV DQG LOOXVWUDWLRQV $XWKRU DSSHDUÄŚ DQFHV LQ %RVWRQ /RV$QJHOHV 1HZ<RUN 6DQ )UDQFLVFR:DVKLQJWRQ '&DQGXSRQUHTXHVWÄŹ
THE SAINTS OF SWALLOW 5RFKH6X]]\ Voice/Hyperion (272 pp.) $24.99 | September 6, 2011 978-1-4013-4177-0 Booth #3324; galley giveaway Singer/actress Roche offers a first novel about a burnt-out indie-rock star who is more connected than anyone thought to her small-town Catholic roots. Mary Saint became famous for her edgy lyrics and outrĂŠ performances, but her group Sliced Ham broke up several years ago after her band mate/best friend/lover Garbagio took a fatal dive off a hotel balcony and she went into rehab. Now sober, she lives in San Francisco with Thaddeus, a black transvestite who runs the Godâ€™s Kindness Church. Back in Swallow, N.Y., Maryâ€™s mother Jean also lives alone since she moved her senile husband Bub into a nursing home. Devoutly Catholic Jean remains guilty that she didnâ€™t defend Mary against Bubâ€™s cruel, abusive behavior as a father. When Mary dropped out of high school and left Swallow after a particularly ugly scene, Jean cut Bub off emotionally. She rejected his tentative gestures to apologize or reconcile, but she feels more affection for him now that he is senile. After Garbagioâ€™s mother moves into Bubâ€™s facility, Jean develops a friendship with Garbagioâ€™s father. Meanwhile, a local high-school English teacher who is a big Sliced Ham fanâ€”and who sleeps with his student in a (comic?) plot digression that goes nowhereâ€” approaches Jean about organizing a concert featuring Mary. Jean, a mix of prickly common sense and naĂŻve provincialism, is excited to show off her successful daughter but nervous how the community will respond to Maryâ€™s unconventional, irreverent style. Jean is also concerned about the ramifications of a claim Mary made in a letter about seeing the Virgin Mary when she was seven. In fact, Mary tells Thaddeus, who has his own horrific secret, that she writes her music for â€œthe other Mary.â€? With Thaddeusâ€™s help, Mary holds her concert in Swallow and afterwards gives her mother a bottle of holy water from Lourdes. Roche knows her way around the music business, but her story lacks focus or drama, and the Catholic uplift is discomfiting.
CONQUISTADORA 6DQWLDJR(VPHUDOGD Knopf (416 pp.) $26.95 | July 12, 2011 978-0-307-26832-7 e-book 978-0-307-59677-2 Booth #4420 Or, *RQHZLWKHO9LHQWR: a Puerto Ricanâ€“set saga of forbidden love, slavery and humidity. Gloriosa Ana MarĂa de los Ă ngeles Larragoity Cubillas Nieves de Donostia is a handful, breast-fed by gypsies and spoiled by a small army of dispensable servants.
A MORE PERFECT HEAVEN How Nicolaus Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos 6REHO'DYD Walker (272 pp.) $24.00 | September 27, 2011 978-0-8027-1793-1 Booth #3358 Sobel (7KH3ODQHWV, 2005, etc.) offers another meaty-while-mellifluous story of science. The author elegantly fashions the life of Copernicus as a twoact play bracketed by historically documented narratives that cover the periods before and after the arrival of Georg Joachim Rheticus at Copernicusâ€™s Polish doorstep in 1539. Some 30 years earlier, Copernicus had roughed out a heliocentric theory of the universe and quietly distributed it to a number of mathematicians. Word of it reached the ears of Rheticus, a 25-year-old professor of mathematics at the university in Wittenberg. He arrived at Copernicusâ€™s house as an â€œunexpected guestâ€? and an altogether problematical one: a Lutheran during a time of antiheretical fervor. Sobel draws Copernicus as a devout Catholic, but not unsympathetic to the Lutherans; he reluctantly agreed to Rheticus staying on when the youth awakened in him the desire to finish his great work and get it published. Sobel presents an
illuminating piece of work, bringing to life the old man and the young manâ€™s days spent together and in particular Rheticusâ€™ coming to terms, the bending of his mind, around Copernicusâ€™s theory, which was more radical than he understood. Readers are fit squarely in Rheticusâ€™ shoes via Sobelâ€™s neat act of transport, there to share his bafflement and resistance. The book closes with the tale of the fate of On the Revolutions; just as Copernicus had worried, it dismayed the hidebound and the â€œbabblers, who claim to be judges of astronomy, although completely ignorant of the subjectâ€Śsuch men are not above twisting some passage of Scripture to their purpose, to censure me.â€? A liquid entertainment of choice passages on the thoughts and deeds of Copernicus.
THE SHOOTING SALVATIONIST J. Frank Norris and the Murder Trial that Captivated America 6WRNHV'DYLG5 Steerforth (384 pp.) $27.00 | July 12, 2011 978-1-58642-186-1 Booth #4530 Account of a highly publicized 1926 murder in Fort Worth, Texas, and the trial of accused killer J. Frank Norris, a fiery fundamentalist preacher. Norris, whose Fort Worth church reputedly attracted more parishioners than any other in the United States during the 1920s, preached a gospel of hatred against African-Americans, Catholics and other targets. Using a newspaper he founded and a radio station, he reached audiences in a similar manner as Jerry Falwell decades later. Regularly inserting himself into controversies about the direction of Fort Worth government and business, Norris collected enemies and friends with equal aplomb. A lumber tycoon named Dexter Elliott Chipps became one of the enemies. One day in 1926, Chipps, known for his drinking, womanizing and large physical presence, called Norris at church to announce he would be walking over for a talk. When he arrived, Chipps apparently warned Norris to withdraw certain criticisms of Fort Worth leaders. Claiming to fear for his life, Norris pulled a gun and shot the unarmed Chipps dead in the church office. The criminal trial moved from Fort Worth to Austin because of prejudicial publicity. Journalists from around the nation and world covered the trial, which centered on the question of whether Norris had killed Chipps in self-defense. The jury acquitted Norris, who then remained active in fundamentalist church circles and right-wing political circles until his death in 1952. Sharing the spotlight in the narrative are the Chipps family members, church employees and congregants loyal to their minister, Fort Worth social and political big shots and well-known lawyers on both sides of the case. A mostly chronological account based on thorough research but marred by repetition and a melodramatic tone. ÄŤ$XWKRUHYHQWVLQ7H[DV)ORULGD0LFKLJDQ1HZ<RUN:DVKLQJWRQ'&ÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Still, the Spanish lass has her sights on independence and accomplishments won by herself, in the manner of her conquistador ancestor, Don HernĂĄn, spinner of tales concerning gold, limpid rivers, â€œunusual fruits that dangled from climbing vinesâ€? and other such good things to be found on the distant island of Puerto Rico. But how to get to that â€œworld beyond her balconyâ€? from Spain? Well, it being the 19th century and all, Ana has to choose the right man to take her there. Check: Thereâ€™s the obliging RamĂłn, who just happens to have a handsome brotherâ€”and from that starting point, Santiago turns this romance into a bodice-ripper and chest-heaver that wastes no time in getting hot and heavy. Early on, we find Ana exploring â€œthe new sensations in her body, but [she] envisioned God frowning whenever she brushed her fingers against her budding breasts to feel the pleasure at the touch, so even her thoughts were forbidden.â€? Soon enough, we find her entertaining both brothers in flagrante, or, better, in a steamy plantation full of steamy slaves and their sullen overseers. Whatâ€™s a nice girl to do? Well, wait as the menfolk start to drop dead one by one, the tropics being a dangerous place, watch as Tara South gets chewed up by termites and fruit bats and harbor a few regrets about having â€œcommitted the sins of adultery and fornication without seeking penance.â€? Ah, but then come the steely arms of another man and the passage of years, and lo, the jungle is conqueredâ€”at least until the sequel. A pot-boilerâ€”competent enough, with an exotic setting and characters, but nothing special within its genre. ÄŤ)LUVW SULQWLQJ RI 75000 $XWKRU WRXU WR &KLFDJR +RXVWRQ /RV $QJHOHV0LDPL1HZ<RUN3KLODGHOSKLD6DQ$QWRQLR6DQ)UDQFLVFRÄŹ
MAINE 6XOOLYDQ-&RXUWQH\ Knopf (386 pp.) $25.95 | June 16, 2011 978-0-307-59512-6 Booth #4420 Everyone has dark secrets. Itâ€™s why God invented confession and booze, two balms frequently employed in Sullivanâ€™s well-wrought sophomore effort. Alice Brennan is Irish American through and through, the daughter of a cop, a good Catholic girl so outwardly pure that sheâ€™s a candidate for the papacy. But Alice, more than that, is an Irish rose, â€œone of the most special young women out there, just waiting for someone to take notice.â€? When Sullivan (&RPPHQFHPHQW, 2009) introduces to her, someone has taken notice, and decades have rolled by, and Alice Kelleher is now reflecting on 60 years of life at a beachside cottage that her husband won at gambling. She spends her days drinking red wine, reading, â€œwatching the waves crash against the rocks until it was time to make supper,â€? and avoiding her childrenâ€™s pointed demands that she not drink so muchâ€”and especially that she not drive once sheâ€™d had a few belts. As Sullivanâ€™s tale unfolds, there are plenty of reasons that Alice might wish to avoid taking too close a look at her life: Thereâ€™s tragedy and heartbreak around every corner, as there is in every life. So it is with the intertwined tales of her daughter and granddaughter, who are more modern creatures, all bound up in confessional groups of their own, yoga, homeopathy and all the other stuff of the contemporary examined life. Sullivan spins a leisurely yarn that looks into why people do the things they doâ€”particularly when it comes to drinking and churchgoingâ€”and why the bestlaid plans are always the ones the devil monkeys with the most thoroughly. The story will be particularly meaningful to Catholic women, though there are no barriers to entry for those who are not of that faith. Mature, thoughtful, even meditative at timesâ€”but also quite entertaining. ÄŤ)LUVWSULQWLQJRI100000$XWKRUWRXUWR%RVWRQ %XUOLQJWRQ9W&DSH&RG0DQFKHVWHU9W0DUWKDÂˇV9LQH\DUG1HZ<RUN 3RUWODQG2UH3RUWODQG0DLQH3RUWVPRXWK1+6DQ)UDQFLVFR6HDWWOHÄŹ
THE RESERVOIR 7KRPSVRQ-RKQ/ Other Press (368 pp.) $15.95 paperback original | June 21, 2011 978-1-59051-444-3 Booth #4421 A novel based on a true story that incorporates a bit of history and a touch of the Southern Gothic tradition. In 1885 Virginia, Tommie and Willie Cluverius have grown to manhood together in the house of their Aunt Jane only to choose far different paths in life. Willie loves the rich land and the peaceful pace of farm 22
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life. Tommie seeks the vibrancy of Richmond, a dayâ€™s ride away. The two were shaped by a family tragedy, the death of a younger brother, Charles, drowned as a boy. Their mother then descended into despondency and drink, and the father became lost and inept, leaving no place for the boys except with their widowed, childless aunt. But Aunt Jane soon gave refuge to Fannie Lillian Madison, a distant cousin to the young men, a girl fleeing a troubled home life. Stolid, hardworking Willie develops a quiet, protective love for Lillie. Out of lust or simple entitlement or sibling rivalry, Tommie toys with Lillieâ€™s affections even as he progresses through college, through law school and into a partnership in a law practice. The situation is made worse by Lillieâ€™s unremitting passion for Tommie and Tommieâ€™s ambition to marry Nola, the only daughter of a prosperous landowner. Lillie becomes pregnant, and, after a secret rendezvous with Tommie in Richmond, she is found dead in a city reservoir. The author writes compellingly about the bond between Willie and Tommie, and his portrayal of the social mores of the post-Civil War South is believable. Thompson also draws the land and people persuasively. Despite one or two minor anachronisms, the narrative flows seamlessly, even throughout Tommieâ€™s arrest and trial and the storyâ€™s uncertain resolution. Characters are especially well-drawn: Willieâ€™s love of the land, Lillieâ€™s fearful need to be nurtured and protected, Tommieâ€™s self-centered drive toward recognition. An engaging mystery novel rendered as Southern literature.
DARKNESS, MY OLD FRIEND 8QJHU/LVD Crown (368 pp.) $24.00 | e-book: $24.00 | August 2, 2011 978-0-307-46499-6 e-book 978-0-307-46519-1 Booth #4420 Unger ()UDJLOH, 2010, etc) resurrects characters from a previous novel and continues their journeys in this latest angsty thriller. Bethany Graves and her teenage daughter, Willow, moved to The Hollows from New York City when the bestselling novelist divorced Willowâ€™s stepfather, a shallow, self-absorbed plastic surgeon. Thinking that the experience of small-town living might provide a cure for Willowâ€™s recent penchant of lying about everything, Beth settles into writing another book. She also jumps back into the dating game with Willowâ€™s high-school principal, Henry Ivy, a nice, nerdy sort of guy who has been nursing a secret for many years. But then, this is The Hollows, and everyone has some sort of secret in his past, including Jones Cooper, the retired cop resurrected from a previous novel. Jones has been doing odd jobs for the neighbors since he left from the force. Now, instead of chasing bad guys, he feeds the neighborhood cats and lets the repairman in while the neighborâ€™s at work. But soon a former colleague comes calling and wants his help with a cold case, and a young mother seeks him out to find the missing mom of a classmate of Willowâ€™s. Before Jones knows it, he is back in the investigations business, but a local psychic warns him that she has seen a terrible vision involving him and, if her predictions hold true, this could be Jonesâ€™ last case ever.
Unger introduces a dizzying number of characters who seem to have little, if anything, in common except for their location, but manages to tie them all neatly together. Although the outcome is not exactly a shocker since Unger sprinkles clues like breadcrumbs along the way, itâ€™s a satisfying story with an eclectic and interesting cast of characters and believable dialogue. Unger shows her usual deftness at intricate plotting and explores the mother-child relationship from multiple angles, but too often refers to back story from a previous novel without explanation. That tendency often leaves readers wondering if they missed something along the way. Sure to be another hit with Unger fans. ÄŤ$JHQW (ODLQH 0DUNVRQ0DUNVRQ7KRPD/LWHUDU\$JHQF\ÄŹ
ONE DAY I WILL WRITE ABOUT THIS PLACE: A Memoir :DLQDLQD%LQ\DYDQJD Graywolf (272 pp.) $24.00 | July 19, 2011 978-1-55597-591-3 Booth #3581
:DWVRQ&KULVWLH Other Press (448 pp.) $15.95 paperback original | May 10, 2011 978-1-59051-466-5 Booth #4421 Uprooted from the comforts of Lagos by her parentsâ€™ divorce, a 12-yearold girl must cope with dire poverty and violence in the Niger delta. Watsonâ€™s absorbing first novel, told through the eyes of the bright and observant Blessing, opens with a snapshot of middle-class contentment. She and her 14-year-old brother Ezikiel attend the International School for Future Leaders, live in an air-conditioned apartment and bask in the affection of their parents. But after their mother, a hotel worker, catches their father, an accountant, with another woman, they are forced to move to their grandmotherâ€™s stark rural homeâ€”the hotel employs only married women. Blessing is shocked by the lack of electricity and running water, not to mention separate beds and safe food for her peanut-allergic brother. But gradually, she adjusts to the conditions, her eccentric relatives and her familyâ€™s shift from Christian to Muslim practices. Trained as a midwife by her wise, centered grandmother, she gains a stronger sense of self even as her angry, alienated brother falls under the sway of a roving teenage gang. When her secretive mother becomes romantically involved with a well-off white man, who however decent works for a violently oppressive oil company, things intensify. Left to their own devices, the women bond together to stand up to corruption. Unlike her mother, Blessing ultimately rejects the dream of a Prince Charming whisking her off to a happier place by committing herself to her home, her homeland and her own family. The ending is a bit pat, and the book could use a few more sparks. That said, thereâ€™s much to admire in Watsonâ€™s measured, flowing prose and her avoidance of melodrama. Blessing is an appealing pre-teen protagonist. A memorable debut novel about a Nigerian girlâ€™s coming of age.
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
A colorful, at times surreal debut memoir about coming of age in the hyperdiverse culture of late-20th-century Kenya. Although he came from ethnically â€œmixed upâ€? parents, Caine Prizeâ€“winning author Wainaina had an ordinary childhood. During the week, he went to school and on weekends played at his Ugandaborn motherâ€™s hair salon, â€œthe only proper [one] in Nakuruâ€Śthe fourth largest town Kenya.â€? His father, head of the national Pyrethrum Board, was a member of Kenyaâ€™s most populousâ€”and politically powerfulâ€”ethnic group, the Gikuyu. When the countryâ€™s first president, Jomo Kenyatta (also a Gikuyu) died in 1978 and Daniel arap Moi, a Kalenjin, took over, life began to change. To the outside world, Moiâ€™s Kenya appeared â€œan island of peaceâ€? in the sea of conflict-ridden East Africa. But the reality was far different. There was fierce competition between the many Kenyan tribes, and the countryâ€™s cacophony of language and sounds was little more than background noise to be endured rather the celebrated. By 1983, Moi, who had survived a coup attempt the year before, was showing tribal favoritism. Top-ranked high schools denied Wainaina, an excellent student, entrance at the same time that Kalenjins began replacing Gikuyus throughout the education system. As national politics turned increasingly bitter, â€œa fever of rapture-seekingâ€? seized Kenya. With the countryâ€™s university system in disarray, Wainaina traveled to post-apartheid South Africa to study finance. Homesick, he withdrew both socially and emotionally and immersed himself in literature. He returned to Kenya but eventually went back to South Africa, ostensibly to finish his degree. Instead, he found himself actively ordering the chaos of culture, language and politics around him â€œon the written page.â€? Language is clearly the authorâ€™s preferred mode of structuring the world, but it is also the plaything he uses with idiosyncratic grace and brilliant immediacy to capture â€œthe scattered, shifting sensationsâ€? of memories and emotions long past.
TINY SUNBIRDS FAR AWAY
SPONTANEOUS HAPPINESS :HLO$QGUHZ Little, Brown (288 pp.) $27.99 | November 8, 2011 978-0-316-12944-2 Booths # 3627-3631 Prolific health advisor Weil (1DWXUDO +HDOWK 1DWXUDO 0HGLFLQH, 2011, etc.) offers a comprehensive roadmap for the prized path to true happiness. Having addressed methods of maximizing the human bodyâ€™s potential for adapting, repairing and regenerating itself in 6SRQWDQHRXV +HDOÄŚ ing (1995), the author turns his compassionate eye for wellness |
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toward the inner emotional mechanisms that elicit mood spectrum, from bliss to despondency. Weil believes that contentment, serenity and â€œcalm acceptanceâ€? form the baseline â€œsea levelâ€? of emotional well-being, and that internal happiness is derived and achieved from within and not from forced, external â€œcultural insistence.â€? The authorâ€™s positive narrative covers a range of topics, including the bodyâ€™s vital emotional and physical interconnection and how diet affects bodily inflammation, and he offers sage recommendations on life balancing and incorporating spirituality into the fundamental goal of â€œoptimum emotional health.â€? Weil effectively positions himself into the context of his narrative, sharing epiphanies on personal loss, his history of anti-depressive therapy, a healthy diet schema and his struggle yielding to the â€œchanging contours of my own emotions.â€? Though the author devotes too much space to murky, scholastic sections on the history and science behind depression, his inspiring writing style breathes new life into rather mundane reminders on the benefits of exercise, sleep, meditation, compassion and holistic remedies. Complementing footnoted case studies, media articles, sound scientific scrutiny and social-media testimonials is the authorâ€™s four decades of clinical research. Weil provides sensible, accessible advice several tiers above general marketplace offerings. Immensely beneficial information for those seeking a self-galvanized life lift.
PEARL HARBOR CHRISTMAS: A World at War, December 1941 :HLQWUDXE6WDQOH\ Da Capo/Perseus (224 pp.) $24.00 | November 22, 2011 978-0-306-82061-8 Booth #4106; galley giveaway A vivid 11-day account of a World War II holiday. As in previous volumes on Christmastime during critical moments in history (*HQHUDO 6KHUPDQÂˇV &KULVWPDV 6DYDQQDK 1864, 2009, etc.), prolific biographer and military historian Weintraub dramatically recaps the last week and a half of late December 1941. The authorâ€™s treatment of the devastating attack on Pearl Harbor centers on two â€œopen wartime allies,â€? Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt, both united under pessimistic speculation to review global strategies. Churchillâ€™s much-ballyhooed attendance at the White House summit was beneficial yet was somewhat marred during a train trip, where he solemnly viewed Virginiaâ€™s placid, colorfully lit holiday scenery, a stark contrast to his decrepit wartime British homeland. A master chronicler, Weintraubâ€™s moody, intensively researched play-by-play narrative traces the final days of 1941. Ruminations, anecdotes and creatively reimagined scenarios crisply capture all of the minute details of the time and sequences of events. Adolph Hitlerâ€™s sarcasm bleeds through in dispatches of his Nazi reign of terror as Christmas Eve at the White House became a tangle of lights and red ribbon, strained public speeches by the president and prime 24
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minister and strategic second-guessing. The author brilliantly juxtaposes the horror and violence of war with the tender nostalgia of Christmas, including gift ideas where â€œa new Ford or Chevrolet, both soon to be unobtainable, cost $900.â€? Weintraub cites war memoirs, military dispatches, speeches and diary entries, all to great effect, and he deftly captures the period-authentic food and dress of his subjects (including cameos by the sage, cautionary Eleanor Roosevelt) and the chaotic, edgy essence of battle. Erudite, sweeping and contemplativeâ€”classic Weintraub.
ROBOPOCALYPSE :LOVRQ'DQLHO+ Doubleday (368 pp.) $25.00 | June 7, 2011 978-0-385-53385-0 Booth #4420 In the not-too-distant future, a sentient computer program escapes from a research facility and initiates a bloody robot revolt against humankind. Dr. Nicholas Wasserman knew his sentient computer program Archosâ€™ nearly infinite processing power rendered it too dangerous to exist outside the controlled environment of his research facility. But despite his efforts to contain it, Archos proves way too smart even for Dr. Wasserman: It figures out a way to kill its creator and escape, with the aim of saving all the innocent life-forms on the planet from the scourge of the human race. Once free, Archos manipulates a human drilling crew into creating a bunker in the wilds of Alaska and depositing a self-assembling unit to house itself in the safety of an underground crater left over from a nuclear test detonation. From there, it spreads to control machines around the world, and after setting the groundwork, causes them to either murder humans or enslave them in forcedlabor camps. Archosâ€™ victory seems complete, until pockets of human resistance start to spring up around the world. Still, things are looking bad for the human race until a young girl comes along who, due to a half-completed operation by one of Archosâ€™ surgical robots, has an ability that might even the odds for the humans as they unite in a final drive to destroy Archos once and for all. The action in robotics doctorate Wilsonâ€™s debut novel starts in the immediate aftermath of the eventual human victory over Archosâ€™ forces, and unfolds via a series of events recorded by the robots to mark key turning points in the war, as edited and annotated by a human soldier. This episodic structure lets Wilson skip from good bit to good bit without the expository drudgery and unnecessary, usually ham-fisted brand of â€œcharacter developmentâ€? via internal monologue that so often bogs down the narrative pace of books of this genre. As it is, things pop along at a wonderfully breakneck pace, and by letting his characters reveal themselves through their actions, Wilson creates characters that spring to life. Vigorous, smart and gripping, this debut novel is currently being turned into a feature film directed by Steven Spielberg.
Abbeville Press Bellevue Literary Press Bellevue Literary Press Bellevue Literary Press BenBella BenBella BenBella Biblioasis Biblioasis Biblioasis Biblioasis Bloomsbury Bloomsbury Bloomsbury Bloomsbury Bloomsbury Bloomsbury Bloomsbury Bloomsbury Bloomsbury Bowtie Press Graywolf Hachette Hachette Hachette Hachette Hachette Hachette Hachette HarperCollins HarperCollins HarperCollins HarperCollins Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Hyperion Hyperion Hyperion Hyperion Hyperion Hyperion Hyperion Hyperion Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan Other Press
Jeffery Lyons Bill Green Jonathan Moreno Melissa Pritchard Steve Boman Patrice Tanaka Leah Wilson, editor Joshua Glenn Bruce Jay Friedman Ray Robertson Rebecca Rosenblum Sam Brower Roz Chast Seymour Chwast, adapter Lloyd Jones David Kennedy Jeffery Moussaief Masson Ben Schott Dava Sobel Jesmyn Ward Thomas Fox Binyavanga Wainaina Megan Abbott Ellen DeGeneres Roger Ebert Elin Hilderbrand James Patterson Tom Rob Smith Andrew Weil Marisa de los Santos Lucette Lagnado Lisa Randall Tom Ryan Philip K. Dick Umberto Eco Joe Garner Justin Torres Melissa de la Cruz Jere and Emilee Gettle Isabel Gillies Caroline Kennedy Margaret Leroy Jane Lynch Beth McMullen Suzzy Roche W. Bruce Cameron Goldie Goldbloom David Hagberg Siri Hustvedt Darynda Jones Wayne Koestenbaum Tom Perrotta Hannu Rajaniemi Steve Sem-Sandberg Amy Waldman Robert De Feo
Stories My Father Told Me Boltzmann’s Tomb The Body Politic The Odditorium Film School Becoming Ginger Rogers Friday Night Lights Companion The Wage Slave’s Dictionary Lucky Bruce Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live The Big Dream Prophet’s Prey What I Hate Canterbury Tales Hand Me Down World Don’t Shoot Dogs Make Us Human Schott’s Quintessential Miscellany A More Perfect Heaven Salvage the Bones Urban Farming One Day I Will Write About This Place The End of Everything Seriously…I’m Kidding Life Itself Silver Girl The Christmas Wedding Agent 6 Spontaneous Happiness Falling Together The Arrogant Years Knocking on Heaven’s Door Following Atticus The Exegesis of Philip K. Dick The Prague Cemetery 100 Yards of Glory We the Animals Witches of East End The Heirloom Life Gardener A Year and Six Seconds Jacqueline Kennedy The Soldier’s Wife Happy Accidents Original Sin The Saints of Swallow Emory’s Gift The Paperbark Shoe Abyss The Summer Without Men Second Grave on the Left Humiliation The Leftovers The Quantum Thief The Emperor of Lies The Submission Calling Mr. King
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children & teens CALLI
$QGHUVRQ-HVVLFD/HH Milkweed (198 pp.) $16.95 | paper $8.00 | September 1, 2011 978-1-57131-702-5 paper 978-1-57131-699-8 Booth #4627
PETER NIMBLE AND HIS FANTASTIC EYES $X[LHU-RQDWKDQ Amulet/Abrams (400 pp.) $18.95 | August 1, 2011 978-1-4197-0025-5 Booth #3552 What begins Dickensian turns Tolkien-esque in this quest replete with magic and mystery. Peter Nimble is an orphan. Blinded by ravens in infancy and made to steal for the townâ€™s beggarmonger (think Fagin), Peter becomes an expert thief and pickpocket. His wretched existence changes when he steals a box containing eggs that are actually three pairs of magical |
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
When one of her two moms is diagnosed with lupus and a new foster sister her own age moves in, things become complicated for Calli. Life in her Louisiana suburb has been pretty straightforward, with boyfriend Dub lighting up the romance and friend Delia a solid support. All of that goes haywire when new foster sibling Cherish makes a play for Dub, Delia finds a new buddy and Calli finds she is unable to turn to either mom for help. Another foster child is anticipated, and the circumstance, while not overwhelming, begins to really eat at her. Attempts to teach Cherish what it feels like to have her stuff co-opted backfire, and Calli learns the hard way that retribution isnâ€™t all itâ€™s cracked up to be. On the typical teen-angst scale, this is fairly tepid, though itâ€™s serious enough to Calli, whose first-person, present-tense narration wrings emotion at every opportunity. Resolution comes fairly easily, as French homework, weekly family outings at a local buffet and â€œinterventionâ€? shopping trips with Delia and her new pal combine with Calliâ€™s admitting her wrong and making an effort to make things right. This story about an average girl who rises to some unusual challenges in steady fashion makes for comfortable middle-of-the-road fare.ÄŤ)LFWLRQ12-16ÄŹ
eyes. When Peter drops the first pair into his eye-sockets, heâ€™s instantly swept away. Thus begins a perilous adventure wrought from a riddle found in a bottle. After much travail, Peter learns that the mysterious eyes are not always dependable. He seeks and eventually finds a vanished kingdom, where he faces a tyrannical king. The king has brainwashed all the adults and enslaved all of their children, who are controlled by a horde of bloodthirsty apes. The action never flags, even though the suspense does. With one onslaught after another, the violence turns from suggested to overt, with weaponry and bloody battles. Solving the riddle and embracing his destiny are just the beginning of Peterâ€™s problems. In the end itâ€™s Peterâ€™s true talents, not magic, that prove most reliable. Auxier has a jugglerâ€™s dexterity with prose that makes this fantastical tale quicken the senses, even if it does bog down from time to time.ÄŤ)DQWDV\8-12ÄŹ
%DUL(OOHQ ,OOXVWUDWRU*DUFtD0DFLi5DTXHO Kar-Ben (32 pp.) $17.95 | paper $7.95 | March 1, 2011 978-0-7613-5141-2 paper 978-0-7613-5143-6 Booth #2158 A little girl channels her exuberance and excessive pogo-stick jumping into a worthy fundraising venture. Jenny is a born jumper. She vaults over fire hydrants, bounds over hedges and leaps over fences, but she isnâ€™t very careful about when her jumping might not be appropriate. Her teacher scolds, â€œJumping is for frogs,â€? when Jenny knocks over the caterpillar bins in the science room, and she is banished from the cafeteria after she upsets the entire hot-lunch cart. Much worse is the incessant teasing she attracts from her classmates, who croak, â€œRibbit, ribbit,â€? whenever they see her. â€œWhen did my Jumping Jenny become Slumping Jenny?â€? asks Grandma when she sees a forlorn-looking Jenny sitting on the stoop. Discouraged but still thinking positively, Jenny begins to develop an idea that will put her jumping talent to good use as part of her class â€œmitzvah project.â€? Friends and family pledge to Jennyâ€™s jumpathon, to be held at the schoolâ€™s African village fair thatâ€™s been to raise money for a Ugandan school. Acrylic-oncanvas cartoon-style paintings depict a Jewish day school, with boys wearing yarmulkes and Hebrew text on the board. Bariâ€™s story of one girlâ€™s approach to the Jewish principle of â€œtikkun olamâ€? (literally, â€œrepair the worldâ€?) will kirkusreviews.com
resonate as readers watch Jenny achieve her exhausting, triumphant success. (authorâ€™s note) ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN5-8ÄŹ
color to the sky? Am I a color in my dreams? Am I a color to the moon? Am I a color to the sea?â€? The ideological slant declares color an inadequate and limiting description or category for a human being. While a laudable message, it seems a rather abstract one for the intended child audience, though Nelsonâ€™s accompanying, playful and, yes, colorful, collage illustrations seem much more in tune with young childrenâ€™s sensibilities. This title doesnâ€™t measure up to other more developmentally appropriate titles prompting discussion about race, ethnicity and diversity. /HWÂˇV7DON DERXW 5DFH, by Julius Lester and illustrated by Karen Barbour (2005), and 7KH 6NLQ <RX /LYH LQ, by Michael Tyler and illustrated by David Lee Csicsko (2005), are just two of these. The book has its heart in the right place, but its mind is too clearly focused on adult agendas and preoccupations. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 5-8ÄŹ
THE BRIDGE TO NEVER LAND %DUU\'DYH 3HDUVRQ5LGOH\ Disney Hyperion (448 pp.) $18.99 | August 9, 2011 978-1-4231-3865-5 Series: Peter and the Starcatchers Booth #3332 Captain Hook gets an iPad in Barry and Pearsonâ€™s latest collaboration. Teenage siblings Aidan and Sarah come across a piece of paper with mysterious instructions that Sarah realizes corresponds with her old Peter and the Starcatchers novels. After a dangerous scavenger hunt through London (where their family coincidently goes on vacation) Aidan and Sarah find themselves in possession of the last cache of existing starstuff, the glitter that powers Never Land. Turns out that their favorite fantasy series is actually true. Unfortunately, their discovery attracts the attention of evil shadow-stealer Lord Ombra, who begins stalking them. It is only when they seek the help of one of the Darling descendants Disney that the brother and sister discover a portal to the real Never Land (in Walt Disney World, of course). There they have the misfortune of meeting Hook, who steals the aforementioned â€œmagicâ€Ś picture thing.â€? But they also team up with the mythical Peter and bring him back to their world to try and defeat Ombra once and for all. While the authors take obvious delight in referencing their popular series, no prior knowledge is necessary in order to enjoy this rollicking page-turner. Barry and Pearson effectively pull off the difficult trick of penning a stand-alone title that fans will adore while simultaneously causing newbies to flock back to their previous joint worksâ€”pretty nifty, that. ÄŤ)DQWDV\10 XSÄŹ
COLORS OF ME %DUQHV%U\QQH ,OOXVWUDWRU1HOVRQ$QQLND0 Sleeping Bear Press (28 pp.) $15.95 | September 1, 2011 978-1-58536-541-8 Booth #4756 Barnesâ€™ earnest, rather oblique text interrogating the use of colors as labels for people is at odds with its playful, naive collage art. The clunky opening line reads, â€œIâ€™m just a kid coloring the world in the pictures I drew. I look in my crayon box to see which one Iâ€™d beâ€ŚI wonder if kids are colors too,â€? propelling readers into a lengthy rumination on whether elements of the natural world â€œseeâ€? a child as a color. â€œAm I a 28
MUSTACHE! %DUQHWW0DF ,OOXVWUDWRU&RUQHOO.HYLQ Disney Hyperion (40 pp.) $16.99 | October 18, 2011 978-1-4231-1671-4 Booth #3332 Barnett delivers a sweet slap to vanity. This king is neither toady nor tyrant, but he just canâ€™t get enough of himself. He gazes into the mirror that one of his retainers totes by his side, smitten and remiss. For as he takes in the royal visage, the royal roads are crumbling and the royal playground has broken swingsâ€” his kingdom is a wreck of neglect. â€œEnough!â€? cry his subjects, but all the king offers is a giant billboard of his face. That night, a giant mustache is painted on the royal puss. Outraged, the king wants the culprit flung in jail. The wanted posters, of course, feature the kingâ€™s face. More mustaches materialize. â€œSo he slouched in the Royal Throne. â€˜Look at my wonderful face,â€™ he said. â€˜Who could be doing this to me?â€™ â€? Well, everyone. Cornell ushers the story forward with cinematic artwork, framed in elaborate medieval-like borders but paced sequentially like a comic book. As the town inadvertently re-creates itselfâ€”everybody admits their guilt, everybody must go to jail, which means a big expansion project for the prison, which results in a whole new villageâ€”there comes a bloodless revolution. The king canâ€™t beat them, so he joins them, clueless until the end, and kids will giggle all the way. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRNÄŚÄŹ
OVER IN AUSTRALIA Amazing Animals Down Under %HUNHV0DULDQQH ,OOXVWUDWRU'XELQ-LOO Dawn Publications (32 pp.) $16.95 | paper $8.95 | March 1, 2011 978-1-58469-135-8 paper 978-1-58469-136-5 Booth #3140
PEOPLE %OH[EROH[ ,OOXVWUDWRU%OH[EROH[ Enchanted Lion Books (208 pp.) $19.95 | September 13, 2011 978-1-59270-110-0 Booth #4508; galley giveaway In the wake of 6HDVRQV (2010), an equally beguiling barrage of simple images demonstrating this French illustratorâ€™s unusual technical command and sharp powers of observation. Screen printed on pleasantly rough paper in a limited range of colors, each of the more than 200 figures (one per page, with rare exceptions) is composed of a few sharply distinct, realistically formed elements. They float beneath a large word or phrase that identifies a familiar activity (â€œSleepingâ€?), occupation (â€œRabbi,â€? â€œBalloon Pilotâ€?) or personal feature (â€œAmputeeâ€?). Many are paired with the facing image, often to witty effect: â€œSpyâ€? follows â€œEavesdropperâ€?; a â€œContortionistâ€? and a â€œPlumberâ€? adopt similar poses; the wintry breath of a |
NINJA COWBOY BEAR PRESENTS THE CALL OF THE COWBOY %UXLQV'DYLG ,OOXVWUDWRU/HXQJ+LODU\ Kids Can (32 pp.) $16.95 | September 1, 2011 978-1-55453-748-8 Series: Ninja Cowboy Bear 3 Booth #2863 KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Berkes continues her series of wildlife books based on the popular tune â€œOver in the Meadowâ€? with this work highlighting Australian animals and habitats (2YHULQWKH$UFWLF, 2008, etc.). Counting from one to 10, animals range from familiar koalas to the endangered, lesser-known bilby. Proper terms for offspring are italicized, while numbers are spotlighted with colored text, giving the song a decidedly informative feel. Also contributing to the educational element is the punchy vocabulary. How does a bilby behave? They â€œ â€˜Slurp,â€™ said the mother. / â€˜We slurp,â€™ said the nine. / So they slurped and they burped / In a sandy place to dine.â€? Brightly patterned and richly textured collage illustrations depict creatures in scenes that reflect their natural surroundings. Readers will greatly enjoy singing the tune as they learn about each animal. Extensive backmatter provides even more information about Australian wildlife, including animals hidden on every double-page spread that readers are encouraged to go back and find. The â€œFact or Fictionâ€? section describes what liberties the author took depicting the different animal families. Also included are educational and creative ideas from both author and illustrator, a simple, illustrated map, print and Internet resources as well as music, lyrics and chords for â€œOver in Australia.â€? ÄŤ,QIRUPDWLRQDOSLFWXUHERRN 3-9ÄŹ
man â€œShiveringâ€? echoes that of one â€œSmoking.â€? Though most sport pink skin and contemporary western clothing, Blexbolex extends his purview with, for instance, two Maasai â€œWarriorsâ€? leaping, an Asian â€œHeroineâ€? brandishing sais, a â€œCowboyâ€? and a â€œPirateâ€? in traditional garbâ€”not to mention a â€œCorpse,â€? a green-skinned â€œAlien,â€? a â€œMermaidâ€? and a variety of humanoids from myth and legend such as â€œCyclopsâ€? and â€œDemon.â€? The artist could have made more of an effort to be nonsexist in his language (â€œFiremanâ€?) and exemplars (â€œSecretary,â€? â€œWaitressâ€?), but the overall diversity and visual harmony complement the sheer tactile pleasure of turning the pages to create, cumulatively, an unusually rich browsing experience. A memorable gallery of humanity (and its outliers). ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 6-9ÄŹ
Three good friends (who have been optioned for an animated series) experience friction but work it all out. â€œThe cowboy was a good friend to the ninja and the bear. / He was kind. / He was caring. / He was fun. / He was funny. / But sometimes he could cause a ruckus.â€? When he goes birdwatching with the bear, the pop of his gum and his boingy pogo stick scare away the birds. The cowboy doesnâ€™t understand why the bear gives up and leaves. Later, when he pairs up with the ninja to read, the cowboy drums on a rock, plays hackysack and chats on his cell. The cowboy doesnâ€™t understand why the ninja gives up on reading. As the cowboy walks through the noisy countryside trying to puzzle things out, he finally gets it. When the three reunite, they each share their hobbies and have a loud old time. Canadians Bruins and Leung return with their exuberant trio of three individuals who sometimes have to put in some effort to make their friendship work. The mix of full-bleed, spot and panel computer-generated illustrations again gives the simple tale visual pizzazz, and the cartoon characters virtually leap off the page. So far, the ninja and the cowboy have received time in the spotlight; fans will be anticipating the bearâ€™s entry, which is sure to follow. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN2-6ÄŹ
BIG WOLF & LITTLE WOLF, SUCH A BEAUTIFUL ORANGE!
life he left behind so that he can have his pond back. Masseâ€™s brilliantly colored cartoon illustrations capture both the forest pond that is Frogâ€™s home as well as the personalities of each characterâ€”the rather protective mother Possum is depicted with a lacey collar, and Raccoon sports a natty poncho. Hereâ€™s to many more adventures for Frog and his friends, who are sure to go home with fans of Fluffy and Morris. ÄŤ(DUO\UHDGHU5-8ÄŹ
%UXQÄŚ&RVPH1DGLQH ,OOXVWUDWRU7DOOHF2OLYLHU 7UDQVODWRU%HGULFN&ODXGLD Enchanted Lion Books (32 pp.) $16.95 | April 1, 2011 978-1-59270-106-3 Series: Big Wolf & Little Wolf 3 Booth #4508-4509
THE PIRATE CAPTAINâ€™S DAUGHTER
The furry soulmates who met, separated and reunited in %LJ:ROI /LWWOH:ROI (2009) suffer another temporary parting. When Little Wolf chases after a luscious orange that Big Wolf throws a little too hard and then doesnâ€™t come back, Big Wolf once again feels pangs of loneliness. He sets out to find his small blue companionâ€”into a city that Tallecâ€™s crowded, blocky, shadowed street scenes render particularly soulless, impersonal and, as darkness falls, scary. Big Wolf â€™s feelings are subtly cued but felt with uncommon sharpness: â€œBig Wolf went cold. He didnâ€™t dare to think anything. Certainly not that Little Wolf wanted to leave him, or that he would never return, or any of the other strange and unbelievable things he might think.â€? Little Wolf, tubby and silent throughout, is an enigmatic figure, but the much larger Big Wolf is rendered with a nose, ears and body of sinuous, exaggerated length, and the changing curves and angles of his body language clearly capture the depth and intensity of his emotions. Despite a few disconnects between the text and the pictures, even younger readers will be caught up in Big Wolfâ€™s odyssey and rejoice when he at last tracks down his errant buddy, and (after he gently tosses him the orange) they â€œlived happily together for a long, long time.â€? ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN5-8ÄŹ
%XQWLQJ(YH Sleeping Bear Press (215 pp.) $15.95 | March 1, 2011 978-1-58536-526-5 Booth #4756 After her motherâ€™s death, 15-yearold Catherineâ€™s pirate-captain father allows her to cut her hair and pretend to be his son in order to join the crew
of his ship. Once readers suspend their disbelief about this, they will find that the plot quickly kicks into high gear. While barely maintaining her disguise, Catherine discovers a plan to steal a valuable gemstone from her father. Though it jeopardizes her secret, Catherine falls for the cabin boy, William. Having a girl onboard violates the pirate Code and spells bad fortune to the superstitious crew, imperiling all who participate in her charade. Two particularly evil sailors provide a constant menace. Brief, easily read chapters permit only superficial character development in this plot-driven, first-person narrative. Ample gritty details abound, though: Weevil-studded hardtack, a deck alive with roaches and vulgar, scheming crew members provide a sharp contrast to Catherineâ€™s naive adventure. A salty tang pervades this fast-paced pirate yarn, which provides a sometimes swashbucklingâ€”but more often believably disgustingâ€”perilous cruise across the high seas. ÄŤ+LVWRULFDOĂ€FWLRQ11-15ÄŹ
FROG AND FRIENDS %XQWLQJ(YH ,OOXVWUDWRU0DVVH-RVpH Sleeping Bear Press (40 pp.) $9.95 | paper $3.99 | August 1, 2011 978-1-58536-548-7 paper 978-1-58536-689-7 Booth #4756
LADDERTOP &DUG2UVRQ6FRWWDQG(PLO\&DUG ZLWK=LQD0DUJDUHW&DUG ,OOXVWUDWRU,EDUGROD]D+RQRHO$ Tor (192 pp.) $9.99 | September 27, 2011 978-0-7653-2460-3 Series: Laddertop 1 Booth #3352
Frog and his friends Rabbit, Possum, Raccoon and Squirrel tickle funny bones, explore the world, solve problems and support each other in this trio of stories. In the first, Frog calls his friends to see the strange orange object he finds. Their guesses as to what it might be are certain to keep readers in stitches. In the second, Raccoonâ€™s gift of a scarf to the neckless Frog turns out to be not-so-perfect until a helping hand steps in. In the last story, a runaway zoo hippo who wants to see the world takes up every inch of space in the pond. Frog cleverly finds a way to get Hippo to appreciate the 30
A high-octane outer-space adventure slated to be the first in a twosome. Preteens Robbi and Azure are best friends, though the girls couldnâ€™t be more opposite: Robbi is a sensitive dreamer, while Azure is a driven go-getter with a short temper. Azureâ€™s biggest |
dream is to be picked for Laddertop. This is a program of the Givers, aliens who claim to help conserve Earthâ€™s resources by building power-providing space stations 36,000 feet above the Earth; these are reached by giant ladders. Children are chosen to attend Laddertop since their small stature makes it possible for them to perform maintenance in the cramped spaces. Azure is delighted to learn sheâ€™s picked for the mission, but Robbi is more reluctant. She reveals that her stepfather is abusive, and she worries about the safety of her younger siblings in her absence. Once in the Laddertop training program, strange things begin to happen to Robbi: Sheâ€™s bitten by a strange creature that imprints her with a tattoo that periodically bleeds, and she is plagued by strange dreams. The main characters in this volume are largely female, strong and intelligent, a wonderful departure from male-dominated extraterrestrial offerings. Ibardolazaâ€™s muscular art blends manga and Western aesthetics. An intriguing beginning; readers will clamor for the follow-up. ÄŤ*UDSKLFVFLHQFHĂ€FWLRQ12 XSÄŹ
EVE &DUH\$QQD HarperTeen (320 pp.) $17.99 | October 4, 2011 978-0-06-204850-9 Booth #3338-3339
The author of the Skeleton Creek and Trackers series continues to explore multiplatform narratives with this tale of phobia treatment gone awry. Two years of therapy have not helped 15-year-old Will Besting overcome his acute fear of crowds, and his parents are willing to try extreme measures. These include packing him off with six other phobic teens for treatment with pioneering therapist Rainsford at Fort Eden, a cluster of cold concrete buildings in the middle of a dark wood. Armed with only his homemade recording device and an MP3 player, Will investigates the brutal nature of Rainsfordâ€™s cures. Carmanâ€™s attempts to build a psychological thriller are hampered by both characters and climax. Willâ€™s observations of his fellow teens via monitor combine with his disregard for patient confidentiality to create an uncomfortable sensation of voyeurism, making it difficult to feel sympathy for him. The supposedly evil Rainsford, on the other hand, seems largely unthreatening until multiple epilogues provide insight into the motivation and process of the treatments. The other teens feel like color-coded numbers, there to advance the plot and devoid of personality beyond their phobias. A downloadable app will provide multimedia content on mobile devices; this is due in August 2011, some three months before the bookâ€™s scheduled publication date. Carmanâ€™s dedication to integrating digital content with print is admirable, but as a standalone book, this thriller doesnâ€™t thrill. ÄŤ0\VWHU\10-14ÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Category romance meets YA dystopia in this poorly executed trilogy opener specializing in juvenile romance and adult violence. Twelve years after a plague kills off 98 percent of the population, the United States is a monarchy. Girls are educated in boarding schools, reading literary novels and learning to paint and play the piano. Graduates, theyâ€™re told, move on to learn a trade or profession. When the eponymous heroine discovers that the only trade theyâ€™re headed for is broodmare (imprisoned in Spartan dorms, forcibly and repeatedly impregnated, bearing children in a royal repopulation scheme), she flees west, seeking the safe community of Califia. Finding assorted allies and villains along the way, Eve falls for manly, protective Caleb. (Gender roles are deeply regressiveâ€”next to Eve, Bella Swan is a radical feminist.) Conceptually childish, the plot never achieves credibility, in part because the style veers between awful and unintentionally funny. Unanswered questions abound: Why provide future broodmares with an elaborate great-books education? How can jeeps and trucks drive for days across deserts and up mountains without refueling or recharging? Isnâ€™t 12 years a short window for even the most efficient and dedicated evildoers to turn the U.S. into a full-blown dystopia? Count this calculated effort to surf the wave of popular dystopian romance a wipeout. ÄŤ'\VWRSLDQURPDQFH12 XSÄŹ
DARK EDEN &DUPDQ3DWULFN Katherine Tegen/HarperCollins (336 pp.) $17.99 | November 1, 2011 978-0-06-200970-8 Booth #3338-3339
FLOORS &DUPDQ3DWULFN Scholastic (272 pp.) $16.99 | September 1, 2011 978-0-545-25519-6 Booth #2752-2753 Here is the Whippet Hotel, a very strange place: Each of its floors has its own eccentric personality, especially the hidden ones. Carman has not only created a beguiling building but populated it with a sympathetic company of oddfellows, plus a few nefarious creatures (except the ducks, because, as readers are told, â€œ â€˜Always bring a duck.â€™ Words to live by.â€?) Readers will come to feel totally invested in the hotel, just as they will come to love Leo, the maintenance manâ€™s 10-year-old son, in whose hands the fate of the rickety old joint rests when four strange boxes arrive. Cryptic utterancesâ€”â€œA flying goat will be of useâ€?â€”are fun because thereâ€™s always at least a sideways understanding of what it might mean, and there are clues that the reader can follow like kirkusreviews.com
breadcrumbs to the last, cheering pages. But it is the atmosphere that takes over, whether it is as heart-gladdening as when â€œthe coffeepot filled the basement with the rich smell of morning,â€? or as curious as one of those ducks, whose â€œbreath smelled like daffodils.â€? (â€œYouâ€™ve been eating the flowers on the grounds again, havenâ€™t you?â€? Leo asked.) The author is a fine storyteller; he rides the mystery right up to the edge invests his characters with quirks that arenâ€™t merely cute but essential to the personâ€™s identity. ÄŤ0DJLFDODGYHQWXUH 9-12ÄŹ
Isabella is very excited because her school will be commemorating â€œPachamamaâ€? (Mother Earth) with a special assembly that will include original stories and poems. The students begin their assignment, and the teacher is impressed with Isabellaâ€™s introduction about Ecuadorâ€™s continual sunshine, which helps the flowers grow so well. Isabella then recounts a time when her parents worked in a rose farm that used insecticides that caused illness and strong headaches, especially for her mother. Healthier and happier days occurred when her parents began work in a new rose farm that practices fair trade and grows roses organically. Isabellaâ€™s writing continues with basic section headings to explain the concept of fair trade, how the roses are sold around the world and why celebrating Ecuadorâ€™s Pachamama is important. Her composition parallels her overall narration thatâ€™s distinguished by a standard typeface opposite the child-oriented look of her written story. Colorful folk-artâ€“style drawings in marker and gouache add an authenticity to this South American tale. Unfortunately, the important message about environmental concerns and equitable working conditions dominates, leaving little story for children to latch onto. A concluding free-verse poem celebrating the benefits of fair trade and environmental consciousness will resonate more with readers than the mostly instructive text. (afterword) ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 6-9ÄŹ
SHELTER &REHQ+DUODQ Putnam (288 pp.) $18.99 | September 6, 2011 978-0399256509 Series: Mickey Bolitar 1 Booth #3255 Being the new kid at his high school is the least of Mickey Bolitarâ€™s worries; how about a missing girlfriend and dadâ€™s possible rising from the dead? Walking to school one morning, Mickey is accosted by an eerie old lady (whom he dubs Bat Lady) who dramatically declares that his father is alive, despite the fact that Mickey saw his dad die in a car accident. Bat Lady is only on a back burner of Mickeyâ€™s lively mind; in the forefront is finding out what happened to new girlfriend Ashley Kent, who stopped coming to school one day. Attempts to learn more have been stonewalled by teachers and the administration. Mickey teams up with two unlikely sidekicks: Ema, a sarcastic overweight goth girl whom Mickey rescued from humiliation in gym class, and Spoon, a hacker nerd who knows all about Mickeyâ€™s mad basketball skilz (which heâ€™s keeping under wraps). Many daredevil acts ensue. This teen spinoff of the prolific Cobenâ€™s adult Myron Bolitar (Mickeyâ€™s uncle) series (/RQJ /RVW, 2009, etc.) benefits greatly from his trademark crackerjack pace and multi-layered plotting. Most of the time, Mickeyâ€™s short-attention-span snark seems both age appropriate and believable. His motherâ€™s struggle with drug addiction adds poignancy. A not-bad-at-all entry into the teen market for this adult author.ÄŤ0\VWHU\12 XSÄŹ
TALKING EAGLE AND THE LADY OF THE ROSES &yUGRYD$P\DQG(XJHQH*ROORJO\ ,OOXVWUDWRU&yUGRYD$P\ Steiner Books (40 pp.) $17.95 | May 11, 2011 978-0-8801-0719-8 Booth #3533 Jewel-toned, folk-artâ€“style illustrations illuminate this tale of the first indigenous saint in the Americas. Authentically and lovingly told, this version of the familiar story of Juan Diego and the Lady of Guadalupe is dramatic and bold, affirming the worth and celebrating the perseverance of the poor and downtrodden. Born Talking Eagle, Juan Diego converted as an adult and was more than the simple peasant heâ€™s often considered to be. He was a deeply spiritual man, known for his kindness and his eaglelike ability to â€œrise above and see things that others could not.â€? When Juan Diego meets a mysterious lady one December day on the hill of Tepayac, she commands him to relay to the bishops her instructions that â€œa house of prayersâ€? be built. He is repulsed by them twice before she sends him back one last time with his cloak (tilma) full of miraculous roses. CĂłrdovaâ€™s illustrations are bright with turquoise, fuchsia and terra-cotta and appropriately infused with religious iconography. An afterword by Gollogly provides useful historical and cultural background to this story that has had such an impact on the religious life of Mexico. The tale is not often told in childrenâ€™s books, and this is a much stronger telling than Tomie de Paolaâ€™s 7KH/DG\RI*XDGDOXSH (1980).
ROSES FOR ISABELLA &RKQ'LDQD ,OOXVWUDWRU&yUGRYD$P\ Steiner Books (32 pp.) $17.95 | June 11, 2011 978-0-88010-731-0 Booth #3533 Isabella, an aspiring writer and daughter of rose-farm workers in Ecuador, relates the story of her familyâ€™s livelihood. 32
JULIE CRABTREE, AUTHOR OF THE CREPE MAKERSâ€™ BOND BOOTH #4627
â€œCrabtree is particularly adept at FDSWXULQJWKHHPRWLRQDOOLIHRIWHHQVÂ´ from the crepe makersâ€™ bond
Respectful and affectionate, this book will be welcomed by Sunday-school teachers and religious households alike. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRNUHOLJLRQ5-10ÄŹ
THE CREPE MAKERSâ€™ BOND &UDEWUHH-XOLH Milkweed (248 pp.) $16.95 | paper $8.00 | April 4, 2011 978-1-57131-693-6 paper 978-1-57131-695-0 Booth #4627
M.O.M. (MOM OPERATING MANUAL)
P HOTO BY P HIL L IP CR A B RT RE E
&URQLQ'RUHHQ ,OOXVWUDWRU&RUQHOO/DXUD Atheneum (56 pp.) $16.99 | October 4, 2011 978-1-4169-6150-5 Booth #3652-3653 Ostensibly a guide for children on the care and feeding of mothers, this lengthy picture book has unlikely kid appeal but may emerge as the hit of the soccer-mom and babyshower circuits. Cornell ratchets up the humor of her cartoon-style illustrations to depict Croninâ€™s â€œBrief Historical Overviewâ€? from â€œPrehistoric Sludge Momâ€? to â€œCave Momâ€? to â€œPilgrimâ€? and â€œHippie Mom(s).â€? The book focuses, however, on |
BABARâ€™S CELESTEVILLE GAMES GH%UXQKRÉ˛3K\OOLV5RVH ,OOXVWUDWRUGH%UXQKRÉ˛/DXUHQW Abrams (40 pp.) $18.95 | August 1, 2011 978-1-4197-0006-4 Booth #3552 KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Funny, self-aware 14-year-old Ariel â€œfind[s] making fantastic food gives me sanityâ€? in this highly entertaining and multilayered sequel to 'LVFRYHULQJ3LJ0DJLF (2008). She lives in Alameda, Calif. (a suburb of San Francisco), in a close-knit family whose house is â€œgenerally kind of messy, usually loud, and frequently crowded.â€? Ariel is grateful to face the first day of eighth grade with her two best friends, M and Nicki, and her â€œToo Cool for School Cucumber Salad,â€? but nothing can prepare her for how the day unfoldsâ€”at the end of it, M calls sobbing with the news that she and her recovering agoraphobic mother may be moving 360 miles north to Crescent City, Calif. The girls come up with a plan that goes dramatically awry. Crabtree is particularly adept at capturing the emotional life of teens. The ease with which she weaves Arielâ€™s clear (and fabulous) recipes and passion for cooking into this story about how even close friends can change unexpectedly is equally impressive. Though very much a work of fiction, itâ€™s also an inspiring introduction into how a young chef thinks, and it does in fact include interesting and helpful cooking tips. Creative and refreshing like a good soufflĂŠ, this perceptive, heartfelt narrative nevertheless has real meat on its bones. (recipe index, glossary, selected sources) ÄŤ)LFWLRQ10-14ÄŹ
contemporary motherhoodâ€™s challenges, telling children â€œthere are many things you can do to ensure many years of trouble-free operationâ€? of their moms, who need regular amounts of â€œSNEWâ€? (sleep, nutrition, exercise and water) for optimal performance. Following pages humorously describe how to guarantee sufficient SNEW levels and recount the perils of its inadequate delivery. Croninâ€™s conceit gets a little tired, particularly when resorting to placing blame for the â€œMalfunctioning Momâ€? or â€œCranky Momâ€? on fathers, but Cornellâ€™s welldesigned and well-paced spreads make the most of every bit of textual humor. In this era of Tiger Mothers, attachment parenting, the mommy track and The Three-Martini Playdate, Cronin and Cornellâ€™s collaboration will strike a nerve with moms looking for a laugh and a bit of validationâ€”if only they can find the time to read it! ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN$GXOWÄŹ
From a franchise as sturdy as an elephantâ€™s memory comes explicit interna-
tional goodwill. Celesteville is hosting the Worldwide Games, and animals arrive â€œfrom all overâ€? to compete. Babarâ€™s children, â€œnow grown up,â€? watch the athletes in warm-ups, practices and matches. Pom and Isabelle enjoy the swimming and diving: Elephants, hippos and a big cat (lioness perhaps?) power gracefully though a pool in neat lanes; next, an elephant dives off a springboard, the illustration showing five sequential positions in the somersault. Flora and Alexander prefer track and field and gymnastics (â€œWho would have thought that hippos were almost as good at the high bar as elephants?â€?). Watching, Flora falls in love with pole-vaulter Coriander, an athlete from a foreign land. Here the story segues into a gentle cultural acceptance lesson: Floraâ€™s mother Celeste must adjust to Coryâ€™s â€œsmall ears,â€? a trait of his Mirzi nationality, and Coryâ€™s parents must accept that he didnâ€™t choose â€œa girl from Mirza.â€? Flora roots for Mirza in the sporting events, which concerns Celeste until Babar reassures her, â€œI think it is love. And I think it will be good for all of us.â€? The wedding takes places in Celesteville but with Mirzi clothing and customs, an agreement that pleases everyone. Modernized only minimally (texting!), the bookâ€™s appeal lies in these calmingly recognizable characters participating in Olympic sports and a mixed marriage. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN4-6ÄŹ
THE CHESHIRE CHEESE CAT: A Dickens of a Tale
and the cute boy next door, she also finds herself involved in a projectâ€”assembling an intricate three-dimensional model of the townâ€”sited in an unused room above the restaurant her father is trying to turn around. It doesnâ€™t take a keen literary eye to see that Mclean is literally building a community, both in the physical model and the emotional network she finds in her new friends. Sheâ€™s an entirely likable narrator, guiding readers through her story expertly, always consciously a beat behind them. Even though Mcleanâ€™s path is clear from the get-go, readers will enjoy every minute they spend with her. ÄŤ)LFÄŚ WLRQ12 XSÄŹ
'HHG\&DUPHQ$JUD :ULJKW5DQGDOO ,OOXVWUDWRU0RVHU%DUU\ Peachtree (256 pp.) $16.95 | October 1, 2011 978-1-56145-595-9 Booth #2955 â€œHe was the best of toms. He was the worst of toms.â€? And for all his harsh early life and unnatural dietary preferences, ragged London alley cat Skilley gets to look at a queen, too. Landing a gig as mouser for the chophouse and writersâ€™ hangout Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese is a lifelong fantasy come true for both Skilley and the innâ€™s swarm of resident miceâ€” because unlike his feline rivals, Skilley adores cheese and has no taste for mice at all. In fact it isnâ€™t long before he and Pip, a mouse of parts who has learned to read and write, have become great friends. Deedy and Wright take this premise and run with it, tucking in appearances from Dickens, Thackeray and other writers of the time. Cat and mice unite to face such challenges as the arrival of a cruel new cat named Oliver (â€œWell, this was an unwelcome twistâ€?), a mysterious cheese thief and, climactically, a wise but injured old raven that is the subject of a country-wide search that culminates in a visit to the inn by Queen Victoria Herself. Moser contributes splendid blackand-white illustrations that manage to be both realistic and funny, recalling Robert Lawson while retaining his own style. Readers with great expectations will find them fully satisfied by this tongue-in-cheek romp through a historic public House that is the very opposite of Bleak. ÄŤ$QLPDOIDQWDV\ 10-12ÄŹ
WHAT HAPPENED TO GOODBYE 'HVVHQ6DUDK Viking (416 pp.) $19.99 | May 10, 2011 978-0-670-01294-7 Booth #3255
MY NAME IS ELIZABETH! 'XQNOHH$QQLND ,OOXVWUDWRU)RUV\WKH0DWWKHZ Kids Can (24 pp.) $14.95 | September 1, 2011 978-1-55453-560-6 Booth #2863 Donâ€™t call her Betsy. After all, though she may seem part Olivia and part Lilly (with just a smidgen of Chrysanthemum), right on the cover the protagonist declares, â€œMy name is Elizabeth!â€? She then lauds the virtues of her â€œnine letters longâ€? moniker, concluding, â€œI also like that there is a queen named after me!â€? Alas, Elizabeth must fend off â€œLizzy,â€? â€œLiz,â€? â€œBethâ€? and â€œBetsyâ€™sâ€? aplenty as her granddad, a neighborhood boy, a merchant and a crossing guard greet her with these nicknames. Never bratty, this girl simply knows who she is and what she wants to be called. Forsytheâ€™s restrained color palette and expressive line contribute to his brilliant rendering of Elizabethâ€™s character, and his whimsical inclusion of a pet duck (unmentioned in the text) adds another layer of idiosyncratic delight. A double whammy of a punch line first shows readers that â€œElizabethâ€? isnâ€™t quite the mouthful her full name is and then underscores her true sweetness when she acquiesces to having her heretofore-silent baby brother call her â€œWizabef?â€? â€œClose enough,â€? she thinks. This debut picture-book offering from Dunklee and Forsythe is close enough to perfect in its tone, pacing and interplay between words and pictures: Wonderful. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 3-7ÄŹ
SPEAR OF DESTINY: A Medieval Murder Mystery
Readers can count on Dessen; sheâ€™s a pro at creating characters caught at a nexus of change, who have broken relationships and who need to make decisions. Here readers meet Mclean, who has been living a nomadic existence with her divorced father for the past two years, reinventing herself every time they move for his job (a restaurant fixer). For some reason, this town is different. She finds herself moving through the world again as Mcleanâ€”not Eliza, Lisbeth or Bethâ€”and making friends, almost reluctantly. Sheâ€™s been avoiding her mother diligently, as it was her affair with the coach of the college-basketball program Mclean and her dad lived for that broke the family up. As she becomes closer with friends 34
'\UHN*0 Luminis (288 pp.) $14.95 | May 1, 2011 978-1-935462-39-2 Series: The Seer and the Scribe Medieval monastic melodrama, murder, mayhem. Despite any number of apparitions and a (real) setting with the tantalizing name of Disibodenberg, Dyrekâ€™s debut |
is anything but comical. When a knight returning from the First Crusade brings not only the fabled Spear of Longinus, said to be the one that pierced Jesusâ€™ side, but murderous pursuers determined to reclaim the relic for political purposes, the seemingly peaceful German monastery begins to look like a killing field. As the corpses accumulate, two teenage sleuthsâ€”bookish monk Volmar and a visionary new anchorite, or hermit, named Hildegard (yes, that one, the one from Bingen)â€”search for clues to killers and causes, uncover an older crime and struggle to reconcile their own fleshly desire for one another with their spiritual vows and commitments. This last becomes a major theme, resolved at last with laudable (if slightly alien to faithless modern readers) mutual agreement that the soulâ€™s imperatives must ever trump the bodyâ€™s. The author also strews her tale with generous measures of intrigue, sudden violence, poison, evidence to decipher, secrets waiting to be revealed, specters either holy (in Hildegardâ€™s case) or otherwise and figures and incidents drawn from history. Despite some anachronisms and loose ends, a sturdy kickoff with a distinctly different duo of detectives. ÄŤ+LVÄŚ WRULFDOIDQWDV\12-15ÄŹ
WHEN MARLANA PULLED A THREAD
A heartbreaking work of staggering self-indulgence. Marlana is fully drawn: blue hoodie, red skirt, yellow tights, dark blue boots. She inhabits a stark white background, and at her feet, in the park, she sees a little squiggle at the end of a single line of grass and pulls it. It comes up, unraveling the grass like loose yarn from a sweater, until the line of grass reaches a tree. â€œShe wondered whether it was all connected, and whether she could make it disappear.â€? She pulls until the tree is gone. The line or thread goes on, and she enjoys pulling apart a palace and then a town, although â€œshe wondered what the world would look like without them.â€? She pulls and pulls until there is nothing left. She turns around and sees a huge tangle of line. She figures she ought to put it all back, though â€œit would probably take a while.â€? The end. The intellectual laziness of its non-ending is reflected in the art, as Eggers cannot bestir himself to draw the images as one continuous line, which would make more sense. The story has no child appeal (nor adult appeal, come to that) in its seeming role as the anti+DUROG DQG WKH 3XUSOH &UD\RQ. Maybe itâ€™s meant to be a metaphor for the creative process or for humankindâ€™s penchant for destruction; only Eggers knows for sure. Inscrutable existential twaddle. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN$GXOWÄŹ
)DQWDVNH\%HWK Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (320 pp.) $16.99 | January 9, 2012 978-0-547-39309-4 Booth #3438 This disappointing sequel to Jessicaâ€™s *XLGHWR'DWLQJRQWKH'DUN6LGH (2009) finds Jessica (aka Antanasia) trying to find her place as wife, princess and vampire in the drafty halls of an ancient castle in Romania. Attempting to fill her birth-motherâ€™s vampire shoes, Jessica does her best to stand at her husbandâ€™s side as he attempts to bring peace and cell phones to the vampire world. Vivid hallucinations, a violent death and her husbandâ€™s imprisonment leave Jessica isolated in a country where she does not understand the language, the customs or whom to trust. Desperate, she calls on her shoe-loving friend, Mindy Sue. Mindyâ€™s arrival triggers a visit from her ex-boyfriend, Raniero, a vampire with the laid-back attitude of a surfer but a dark and possibly violent past. Fantaskeyâ€™s lackluster story suffers from a wooden romance, weak characters and a mystery that is anything but mysterious. Jessicaâ€™s obtuseness and lack of initiative render her ineffective as the main character. However, spunky Mindyâ€™s passionate-yet-tragic love for Raniero keeps the story from being a total bust. Readers hoping for a paranormal romance full of intrigue and passion will be seriously disappointed. Only readers absolutely desperate for another vampire romance need apply. ÄŤ3DUDQRUPDOURPDQFH14 XSÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
(JJHUV'DYH ,OOXVWUDWRU(JJHUV'DYH McSweeneyâ€™s McMullens (40 pp.) $16.95 | June 7, 2011 978-1-936365-42-5 Booth #4969
JESSICA RULES THE DARK SIDE
OLIVER )UDQFHVFKHOOL&KULVWRSKHU Lemniscaat USA (16 pp.) $12.95 | March 1, 2011 978-1-935954-01-9 Booth #2867 Picture-book minimalism is taken to an almost unnatural extreme with this avant-garde presentation of a very familiar concept. Against a pure-white background sits a single photographed image alongside large letters reading, â€œOliver was an egg.â€? Readers see him in his pre-hatched state from all sides, together with the text. Oliver remains an egg until the book opens to reveal a thick ribbon threaded between the pages. On the first of these spreads, the egg sits on the ribbon. Turn the page, and the ribbon pulls open to reveal a sweet yellow chick next to a simple legend: â€œeverything changed.â€? The book indulges in an urbane kind of humor, and there is admittedly something sublime in its matter-of-fact, â€œThere was really nothing he could do about it,â€? when discussing Oliverâ€™s situation. The photographs in this book are also so perfect in detail that itâ€™s impossible not to want to feel the chickâ€™s downy fluff. That said, itâ€™s difficult to see what besides the novelty of the ribbon will appeal to children about this story. The presentation feels wholly adult, and children will find little here to recommend more than a single read. kirkusreviews.com
â€œAn exhilarating summer marked E\GHDWKJRUHDQGÂżUHVSDUNVGHHS WKRXJKWVLQDVPDOOÄĽWRZQODGQRW XQFRLQFLGHQWDOO\QDPHGÂľ-DFN*DQWRVÂśÂ´
JACK GANTOS, AUTHOR OF DEAD END IN NORVELT BOOTH #3352
from dead end in norvelt
The back of the book proclaims that what happens in this story is â€œ[b]ecause miracles happen.â€? Children may not be so sure. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 4-8ÄŹ
these are spottyâ€”it states that the daddy longlegs is not a spider but does not say what it is. As in the prior titles, it is DiRubbioâ€™s artwork that is the big draw. Amazingly detailed and lifelike illustrations make it seem like the creatures will step right off the pages onto readersâ€™ hands. At least two of the featured animals are on each page, allowing kids to get an idea of their relative sizes. Teachers may find the cool activities and projects listed in the back helpful, but, overall, flaws outweigh utility. ÄŤ,QIRUPDWLRQDOSLFWXUHERRN4-8ÄŹ
HEEBIE-JEEBIE JAMBOREE )UDVHU0DU\$QQ ,OOXVWUDWRU)UDVHU0DU\$QQ Boyds Mills (32 pp.) $15.95 | July 1, 2011 978-1-59078-857-8 Booth #2968 What kid doesnâ€™t want to be spooked on Halloween? Daphne, dressed as a witch, and younger brother Sam, dressed as a ghost, magically get two tickets to the one-night Heebie-Jeebie Jamboree. The carnival of frights is filled with scary attractions: a rodeo of warlocks bustinâ€™ brooms, a witchâ€™s brew-off, a goblin pie contest and a Rolling Bones concert. When Sam gets lost in the â€œboo-haha,â€? the fortune-teller tells Daphne heâ€™s in for a bumpy ride, sending her to the roller coaster. At event after ghoulish event, she just misses Sam, but keen-eyed readers will find him in each scene. She finally finds him in Lost & Found, an upright coffin, where Sam is munching on jelly eyes that he won at the pie contest. Carnival-lightâ€“ colored illustrations add plenty of icky and ugly details in the background: a merry-go-round of horse skeletons, a tombstone carved with â€œREST IN PIECESâ€? and lurking black cats. There are never enough Halloween books, and this one has plenty of heebie-jeebies that are tame enough for a reassuring ending. Anyone for eyes cream or barbecued bat wings? A rollerghoster of fun for younger trick-or-treaters. ÄŤ3LFÄŚ WXUHERRN4-7ÄŹ
AROUND ONE LOG Chipmunks, Spiders, and Creepy Insiders )UHGHULFNV$QWKRQ\' ,OOXVWUDWRU'L5XEELR-HQQLIHU Dawn Publications (32 pp.) $16.95 | March 1, 2011 978-1-58469-137-2 Booth #3140
FIVE THOUSAND YEARS OF SLAVERY *DQQ0DUMRULHDQG-DQHW:LOOHQ December 15, 2010 Tundra (240 pp.) $27.95 | January 11, 2011 978-0-88776-914-6 Booth #4431 Sandwiched between telling lines from the epic of Gilgamesh (â€œâ€Śthe warriorâ€™s daughter, the young manâ€™s bride, / he uses her, no one dares to oppose himâ€?) and the exposure of a migrant workerâ€“trafficking ring in Florida in the mid-1990s, this survey methodically presents both a history of the slave trade and what involuntary servitude was and is like in a broad range of times and climes. Though occasionally guilty of overgeneralizing, the authors weave their narrative around contemporary accounts and documented incidents, supplemented by period images or photos and frequent sidebar essays. Also, though their accounts of slavery in North America and the abolition movement in Britain are more detailed than the other chapters, the practiceâ€™s past and present in Africa, Asia and the Pacificâ€”including the modern â€œrecruitmentâ€? of child soldiers and conditions in the Chinese laogai (forced labor camps)â€”do come in for broad overviews. For timeliness, international focus and, particularly, accuracy, this leaves Richard Watkinsâ€™ Slavery: Bondage Throughout History (2001) in the dust as a first look at a terrible topic. (timeline, index; notes and sources on an associated website) ÄŤ1RQĂ€FWLRQÄŚÄŹ
DEAD END IN NORVELT
The exploration of microhabitats continues in this sixth outing from Fredericks and DiRubbio (8QGHU2QH5RFN, 2001, etc.). The action begins with a lightning strike and a wind that fells a huge old oak tree. As it decays, it becomes a place for termites, roly-polies, a salamander, a garter snake and a chipmunk to find food and shelter. The majority of the text follows a House-ThatJack-Built pattern with rhyming couplets, to mixed effect. While the repetition will help readers remember the information, that information needs to be worthy of remembering, and not all of this is: â€œSome daddy longlegs, like alien creatures, / Have thin spindly legs and other strange features.â€? The Field Notes section in the back helps readers fill in the knowledge gaps, but even |
An exhilarating summer marked by death, gore and fire sparks deep thoughts in a small-town lad not uncoincidentally named â€œJack Gantos.â€? The gore is all Jackâ€™s, which to his continuing embarrassment â€œwould spray out of my nose holes like dragon flamesâ€? |
PH OTO BY A N N E LOW ER
*DQWRV-DFN Farrar, Straus and Giroux (352 pp.) $15.99 | September 13, 2011 978-0-374-37993-3 Booth #3352
whenever anything exciting or upsetting happens. And that would be on every other page, seemingly, as even though Jackâ€™s feuding parents unite to ground him for the summer after several mishaps, he does get out. He mixes with the undertakerâ€™s daughter, a band of Hellâ€™s Angels out to exact fiery revenge for a member flattened in town by a truck and, especially, with arthritic neighbor Miss Volker, for whom he furnishes the â€œhired handsâ€? that transcribe what becomes a series of impassioned obituaries for the local paper as elderly town residents suddenly begin passing on in rapid succession. Eventually the unusual body count draws theâ€”justified, as it turns outâ€”attention of the police. Ultimately, the obits and the many Landmark Books that Jack reads (this is 1962) in his hours of confinement all combine in his head to broaden his perspective about both history in general and the slow decline his own town is experiencing. Nearly all of Gantosâ€™ work is loosely autobiographicalâ€”here a closing album of family and town photographs adds unusual, if wobbly, verisimilitude. Characteristically provocative gothic comedy, with sublime undertones. ÄŤ$XWRELRJUDSKLFDOĂ€FWLRQ11-13ÄŹ
*DUYH\$P\ HarperTeen (304pp.) $17.99 | September 20, 2011 978-0-06-199622-1 Booth #3338-3339
OH, WHAT A CHRISTMAS!
Roly-poly Santa plunges to the ground when his sleigh breaks, and he meets an unlikely cast of reindeer substitutes. Stranded and isolated in the snow, he stumbles upon a barn with numerous farm occupants. His drafted replacements need little encouragement to assist during the nightâ€™s critical toy delivery. Though the animalsâ€™ panicky expressions suggest otherwise, there are no roadblocks along the successful trip from house to home, and Santa generously rewards his new helpers. Glossy digital spreads accentuate humorous moments as incredulous faces register anxiety at their unusual predicament. Shifting perspective expands vast scenes as the imposing sleigh rockets through the snow-speckled sky. Glints of sparkly light radiate through clean nighttime scenes. Thereâ€™s little conflict to accelerate the slight storyline, and the earnest voice occasionally plods through instead of flying along the journey. â€œDelivering presents to all the children of the world is a big job to do in one night. They were so far behind schedule! They had to work twice as hard! There was barely time for cookies and milk this year!â€? Dynamic typography emphasizes each bang and bump during the ride, compensating for the minimal characterization to strengthen the clear-cut narrative. A lighthearted lift for the holiday season, though the pat ending renders it a little more â€œho-ho-humâ€? than â€œho-ho-ho.â€? ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN4-8ÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
*DUODQG0LFKDHO ,OOXVWUDWRU*DUODQG0LFKDHO Scholastic (40 pp.) $16.99 | September 1, 2011 978-0-545-24210-3 Booth #2572
To what lengths is it acceptable to go to hold on to someone you love? Devastated by the premature death of her boyfriend, Wren enlists her natural magical abilities to bring him backâ€” although even Wren has to admit that the Danny she has brought back is only a shadow of what he was in life. Desperate to keep what she has done a secret, Wren is forced to live a double life. She must keep one foot firmly planted in teenage reality: attending classes, dealing with friends and ducking her motherâ€™s questions. Her other foot is planted in her secret, as she struggles to keep a boy who is more her puppet than her former boyfriend hidden. Her plans are slowly unraveling when she meets Gabriel, a new boy who can read her thoughts and guesses her dark secret. As Danny becomes more difficult for Wren to handle, she begins to see that not only is he not the boy she once knew, but he might actually be dangerous. In the end, it is Dannyâ€™s own words that help Wren the most. Fast-paced and achingly real, this fresh tale hints at the danger that lurks beneath Wrenâ€™s spell without veering into the macabre. Driven by her selfish desires both to keep Danny and then to be rid of him, Wren is not a traditional heroine, but her character is ultimately redeemed by her decision to make things right no matter the cost. A provocative romance rises above zombie conventions. ÄŤ)LFWLRQ14 XSÄŹ
TUESDAYS AT THE CASTLE *HRUJH-HVVLFD'D\ Bloomsbury (254 pp.) $16.99 | October 11, 2011 978-1-59990-644-7 Booth #3358 This enjoyable romp turns mischief into political action and a stone palace into a cunning character. Castle Glower always chooses its own king, and its current is Celieâ€™s father. Celieâ€™s family knows the castleâ€™s rulesâ€”for example, no matter where you are, â€œif you turned left three times and climbed through the next window, youâ€™d end up in the kitchensâ€?â€”so they navigate fine, even when Castle Glower gets bored of a Tuesday and grows a new room or hallway. When disaster strikes, the castleâ€™s protective love becomes paramount. Celieâ€™s parents and eldest brother Bran are reported killed in an ambush, leaving three siblings at home to fend off a foreign prince whoâ€™s trying to assassinate Celieâ€™s brother Rolf and steal the crown. Pranks such as spreading manure on kirkusreviews.com
the soles of shoes and snipping threads so the baddiesâ€™ clothes fall off make the siblings (and readers) giggle, but underneath the capers lies a bit of deftly written grief and fear. Luckily there are comforting clues: If King Glower were really dead, wouldnâ€™t this sentient, active castle have adapted heir Rolf â€™s bedroom into a kingâ€™s room? Instead, the foreign princeâ€™s rooms become ever smaller and bleaker, proving the castleâ€™s disapproval; but Celie and sibs still need to win the day. Never fear: These kids are clever, as is Georgeâ€™s lively adventure. May pique castle envy. ÄŤ)DQWDV\8-11ÄŹ
A huge collection of plastic trash, â€œplastic soup,â€? is especially notable in a vast area of the Pacific Ocean. What floats at the top is only about four percent of the total; the rest has broken down into tiny bits, which are often consumed by marine animals, and some has further degraded into toxic chemicals. Combining interviews with experts in various fields and her own blog entries (some of which include dated political commentary), Goossens provides comprehensive but occasionally disjointed coverage. Uneven translation, particularly in the blog excerpts, from its original Dutch is part of the problem. â€œWhat if, everyoneâ€”anywhere in the worldâ€”could have the right to a benefit enough to live from?â€? is typical. Frequent references to European locations, organizations and people, with the apparent assumption of reader familiarity (Germanyâ€™s extensive recycling effort, 'HU*UÂ QH3XQNW, is highlighted in one section, with little explanation, for instance) add further complication for American readers. Vivid color photographs, mostly of trash or bright plastics yet to be used, suffer from a total lack of captions. 7UDFNLQJ7UDVK, by Loree Griffin Burns (2007), tackles the same subject with far greater clarity. Given that better efforts for American readers are available, this is an appropriate choice only for the most dedicated of environmentalists. ÄŤ1RQĂ€FWLRQ12 XSÄŹ
THE LEGEND OF MESSY Mâ€™CHEANY *LÉ˛RUG.DWKLH/HH ,OOXVWUDWRU$OH[DQGHUVHQ3HWHU%D\ Running Press (32 pp.) $17.95 | June 1, 2011 978-0-7624-4137-2 Booth #4203 In this pointless parable of the sexes, Victorian gender rolesâ€”portrayed as inbornâ€” compete with poor scansion for the most awkward element. From sentence one, the verse forces words where they donâ€™t fit: â€œCome on, children, gather â€™rounâ€™, / And Iâ€™ll tell you a tale of the worst kid in town.â€? Messy Mâ€™Cheany revels in chaos and dirt. He tornadoes through life, happy and sometimes funnyâ€”â€œHis mother would bathe him, then put him to bedâ€Ś / And somehow heâ€™d wake up with dirt on his head.â€? Then a baby sister arrives, â€œpink and fluffy and powdered and cleanâ€? (really?), and becomes the voice of tidiness. â€œMessy tried to teach Missy how to be dirty, / But she only liked to dress up and be purty.â€? Using curtsies and manners, Missy wins their Wild West showdown: â€œMessy said â€˜Never.â€™ / Missy said â€˜Please.â€™ / And that â€˜pleaseâ€™ brought Messy to his knees.â€? Moralityâ€™s on her sideâ€”Messy was â€œa bumâ€? before. Lest readers see individual characters rather than generalized sex roles, the text cements genderâ€™s yoke: â€œMessy thought he was king of the world / Till one day he discovered his world had been â€˜girlâ€™d.â€™ â€? A full faux-Indian warbonnet (as costume) adds racial stereotype. Alexandersenâ€™s cartoonish illustrations are energetic but forgettable. The egocentric endingâ€”â€œMissy Mâ€™Cheany grew up to beâ€Ś ME!â€?â€”panders to Giffordâ€™s adult fans. Skip. (CD unheard) ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 4-6ÄŹ
IN THE FORESTS OF THE NIGHT +DPLOWRQ.HUVWHQ Clarion (288 pp.) $16.99 | October 3, 2011 978-0-547-43560-2 Series: Goblin Wars 2 Booth #3438 The Wylltsons have barely escaped from the underworld of Mag Mell only to face a new threat to 5-year-old Aiden and to Teagan herself in this fantasy sequel to7\JHU7\JHU (2010). Faced with still more creatures who threaten and command, Teagan and â€œsexy beastâ€? Finn (so called by Teaganâ€™s admiring co-worker), the not-quite â€œcousinâ€? whose arrival set off the events of the first book, decide to take action on their own. Characters carry over from the opening episode, extending the humor and charm of that novel, while the introduction of several new charactersâ€”readers first meet the wily and manipulative Queen Mab, for instanceâ€”add interest to the plot and promise of the vigorous action to come. Hamilton is a wizard at creating tension, building on charactersâ€™ strengths and weaknesses until the plot really takes off. The neighborhood and forest behind the library, where they leave the Chicago streets to enter Mag Mell (loosely based on Irish folklore), are described in detail and convey a feeling of familiarity. The straightforwardness of the story and spurts of humor arising from situations and characters will sustain readersâ€™ interest and keep them involved. Teagan has a plan for what comes next; fans will have a hard time waiting for her to bring it on. ÄŤ8UEDQIDQWDV\14-18ÄŹ
PLASTIC SOUP *RRVVHQV-HVVH Lemniscaat USA (174 pp.) $21.95 | May 1, 2011 978-90-477-0206-1 Booth #2867 An important environmental issue, plastic trash in the ocean, receives thoroughâ€”but often confusingâ€”coverage. 38
WE NEED A HORSE +HWL6KHLOD ,OOXVWUDWRU5RMDV&ODUH McSweeneyâ€™s McMullens (32 pp.) $16.95 | June 7, 2011 978-1-936365-40-1 Booth #4969
THE ELEVENTH PLAGUE +LUVFK-HÉ˛ Scholastic (288 pp.) $17.99 | September 1, 2011 978-0-545-29014-2 Booth #2572 Hirschâ€™s debut explores the creation of a new civilization out of post-apocalyptic ruin. Teenage salvager Stephen Quinn has heard stories about what America was like before collapsing due to a war with China and a virulent influenza. His paranoid grandfather keeps their family alive through harsh rules. After Stephenâ€™s grandfather dies, Stephenâ€™s father abandons their isolationism and is critically injured rescuing captives from slavers. Stephen lets go of his reluctance to trust strangers and accepts help from a scouting party. The scoutsâ€™ town, Settlerâ€™s Landing, attempts to recapture an idealized American past, complete with cookouts and baseball games. But Settlerâ€™s Landing is no utopia, thanks to Caleb Henry, the token rich villain, and his stereotypical bully of a son, Will, who is convinced Stephenâ€™s a spy from nearby Fort Leonard. Willâ€™s usual target, wild Chinese girl Jenny, bonds with Stephen over their shared outcast status, |
PERFECT +RSNLQV(OOHQ McElderry (640pp.) $18.99 | September 13, 2011 978-1-4169-8324-8 Booth #3653 While not razor-edged like her previous work, Hopkinsâ€™ portrait of four 12thgraders who are expected to be perfect will nonetheless keep teens up all night reading. In a Reno suburb, expectations take heavy tolls. Trying to excel at baseball and get into Stanford, Sean takes steroids and spirals into rage and rape. Kendra does pageants but wants to model, so she schedules plastic surgery and stops eating. Andre takes dance lessons in secret, funding them with money that his wealthy, status-conscious parents give him for fashionable sweaters. Cara seems faultless at everything from cheerleading to grades, but sheâ€™s falling in love with a girl. The four first-person narrations are set in different type and have mildly different styles, but the free verse lacks Hopkinsâ€™ trademark sharp, searing brittleness. However, the less-sharp tone works here, because these characters are more depressed than dissociated. The ostensible focus on perfection is a coping mechanism against families that are absent, cold and brutally silent, so the consequencesâ€”anorexia, drugs, booze, rape, delusion, deceptionâ€”all ring true. It also rings true that some characters buckle, worst off at the storyâ€™s end, while others find themselves and may make it. This page-turner pulls no emotional punches; readers should find Impulse (2007) first, because this is a sequel at heart, and knowing the prior work in advance adds crucial layers of meaning. (authorâ€™s note) ÄŤ)LFWLRQ13-17ÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
A fine example of the worst that can happen when adult novelists condescend to write for children. Heti (7LFNQRU, 2006, etc.) presents a horse who asks â€œthe light,â€? â€œWhat is the reason I was made a horse and not some other animal?â€? The light replies, â€œBecause we needed another horse.â€? The horse then meets an unhappy sheep with a tennis racket strapped to her back; she claims she is good at tennis and did not like the lightâ€™s telling her she was supposed to be a sheep. But the horse likes the sheep, and that makes the sheep happy. Then the horse eats an apple, which makes the apple happy, then the grass sings in verse...at the end the horse dies, or doesnâ€™t, or something, but by that point it would be hard to imagine the child reader who might care. The muddled mysticism is joined by a complete absence of characterization, story arc, conflict or basic understanding of what comprises a picture book. The bold graphic paintings from muralist Rojas are equally arbitrary and unsuccessful. The pointy-nosed, almondeyed horse with its Farrah Fawcett mane looks like a (black) fox in drag. The sheep looks like a chinchilla. As John J Muthâ€™s sublime Zen Shorts (2005) proved, philosophy is not inimical to this age groupâ€”but, by golly, this title is. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN$GXOWÄŹ
while her adopted brother Jackson pulls him into youth sports, and teacher Mr. Tuttle encourages his intellectual growth. Stephen and Jenny inadvertently set off a chain of impulsive actions that jeopardize more than just Settlerâ€™s Landing. Stephenâ€™s underlying internal conflict about the clash between social obligations and personal survival ties the first-person narration together and physically manifests in the climax. At times heavy-handed, but the authorâ€™s enthusiasm shines through. ÄŤ'\VWRSLD12-17ÄŹ
BIG BOUFFANT +RVIRUG.DWH ,OOXVWUDWRU&OLIWRQÄŚ%URZQ+ROO\ Carolrhoda (32 pp.) $16.95 | e-book: $12.71 | April 1, 2011 978-0-7613-5409-3 e-book: 978-0-7613-7147-2 Booth #2158 What seems to be a paean to originality finds itself in a snarl by the end. kirkusreviews.com
MARTHE JOCELYN, AUTHOR OF ONES AND TWOS BOOTH #4431
Âł0DUWKH-RFHO\QÂśVWH[WLVSHUIHFW in its simplicity, the short phrases and YRFDEXODU\MXVWULJKWIRUWRGGOHUDXGLHQFHV ZKLOHWKHUK\WKPDQGUK\PHDUHVSRWÄĽRQÂ´ from ones and twos
Sick of the same oldâ€“same old ponytails and braids, spunky, determined Annabelle declares, â€œThis class needs some fashion. / This class needs some fun. / Iâ€™ll find a hairdo to impress everyone.â€? Discovering a picture of her grandmother gives her the idea sheâ€™s been waiting for: â€œOh, please, Mom, please, / can I have a bouffant? / A big bouffant is / all I really want!â€? The ungainly rhyming verse proceeds to describe Annabelleâ€™s quest to achieve a bouffant and, predictably, the roomful of bouffants that appears once the new style catches on. Equally predictably, Annabelle immediately tires of her new style and begins to make plans for something brand new. The message here is not about a child discovering her identity or peers honoring one anotherâ€™s differences; instead, Hosford suggests that most people will just mimic the bravest, most confident among them, which is more than a little sad. Nonetheless, Clifton-Brownâ€™s whimsical illustrations manage to give the story a joyful spirit and will no doubt elicit some giggles and inspire a number of new bouffants, the bigger the better. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN6-10ÄŹ
SCRIBBLING WOMEN True Tales From Astonishing Lives -RFHO\Q0DUWKH Tundra (208 pp.) $19.95 | e-book $19.95 | March 22, 2011 978-0-88776-952-8 e-book 978-1-77049-230-1 Booth #4431
ONES AND TWOS -RFHO\Q0DUWKH ,OOXVWUDWRU-RFHO\Q1HOO Tundra (24 pp.) $15.95 | May 10, 2011 978-1-77049-220-2 Booth #4431 With their first collaborative effort, this mother-daughter team proves that they are a duo to watch. Marthe Jocelynâ€™s text is perfect in its simplicity, the short phrases and vocabulary just right for toddler audiences, while the rhythm and rhyme are spot-on. The text loosely follows two young girls and a mother bird through a day, the three often crossing paths. Beginning with, â€œOne bird, two eggs, / One girl, two legs,â€? the tale eventually ends in the dark with, â€œOne nest, / two heads. / Two girls, / one bed.â€? In between, Jocelyn adds a further layer of meaning to the simple concept of counting ones and twos in what she chooses to pair: â€œOne swoops, two walk, / One sings, two talk.â€? Nell Jocelynâ€™s picture-book debut is a visual feast of colors, patterns and textures. Found papers and objects, cut paper, folded elements, newspaper and string are all collaged into a wonderfully cohesive whole. The artwork allows children to see the big picture as well as the details. And are there ever details! A lower border of tiny images provides more matching opportunities, while the larger picture is chock-full of things to keep readers coming back for yet another look. A worthy contribution to any toddler bookshelfâ€Śand hopefully just the beginning of a long partnership. ÄŤ3LFÄŚ WXUHERRN2-5ÄŹ
THE NAME OF THE STAR -RKQVRQ0DXUHHQ Putnam (384 pp.) $16.99 | September 1, 2011 978-0-399-25660-8 Booth #3255 A clever, scary, little-bit-sexy beginning to a series that takes Louisiana teen Rory to London. Roryâ€™s parents are teaching for a year at the University of Bristol, so she gets to spend senior year at Wexford, a London boarding school. She recounts her story, from mining her colorful relatives for stories to wow her English classmates, coming to grips with heavier course loads and making a couple of fairly adorable friends. But London is soon caught up in fear, as a copycat killer has begun recreating Jack the Ripperâ€™s bloody murders in gruesome detail. Johnson fearlessly takes readers from what seems like a cool innocent-abroad-with-iPod story |
PH OTO BY TO M S L AU G HT E R
Spanning the globe and 1,000 years, Jocelyn profiles extraordinary women whose writing offers fascinating insight into their respective places and times. Of the 11 female writers profiled in this collective biography, the only name most readers are likely to recognize is pioneering investigative journalist Nellie Bly. Jocelyn begins with Sei Shonagon, whose 3LOORZ %RRN offers vivid insights into 10th-century Japanese imperial court life. The letters of Margaret Catchpole, a convicted thief, provide the earliest record of white settlement in Australia. Doris Pilkington Garinaraâ€™s 5DEELWÄŚ3URRI)HQFH and other works explore the terrible consequences white settlement had for Australiaâ€™s aboriginal people. The intrepid explorer Mary Kingsley chronicled her amazing adventures in West Africa. Other subjects include Ada Blackjack, the sole survivor of a disastrous Arctic expedition, and Dr. Dang Thuy Tram, a North Vietnamese doctor who chronicled in a diary her ordeal treating the sick and wounded in a jungle field hospital. Jocelyn wisely gives readers a sense of these writersâ€™ unique voices through generous quotations of their works. Her admiration and enthusiasm for these women is evident, as is her detailed knowledge of the places and times in which they lived. The title refers to disparaging comments made by Nathaniel Hawthorne in a letter to his editor; Hawthorne was convinced female writers had nothing worthy
to say, but this collection consistently proves him wrong. (notes, bibliography) ÄŤ&ROOHFWLYHELRJUDSK\14 XSÄŹ
to supernatural thriller, when Rory sees a man no one else does on campus the night of one of those murders. Enter a trio of young folks who are ghost hunters of a very specific sort. The tension ramps up exquisitely among cups of tea, library visits and the London Underground. The explosive ending is genuinely terrifying but never loses the wit, verve and humor that Rory carries with her throughout. While this tale does conclude, it does so with a complicated revelation that will have readers madly eager for the next installment. Nice touches about friendship, kissing, research and the way a boyâ€™s curls might touch his collar fully integrate with a clear-eyed look at a pitiless killer. ÄŤ6XSHUQDWXÄŚ UDOWKULOOHU12-18ÄŹ
SARAH EMMA EDMONDS WAS A GREAT PRETENDER The True Story of a Civil War Spy -RQHV&DUULH ,OOXVWUDWRU2OGUR\G0DUN Carolrhoda (32 pp.) $17.95 | e-book $13.46 | April 1, 2011 978-0-7613-5399-7 e-book 978-0-7613-7155-7 Booth #2158
-RQHV&DUULH:HGHO6WHYHQ( Bloomsbury (320 pp.) $17.99 | September 13, 2011 978-1-59990-681-2 Booth #3358 In a tight-knit Maine town, the loss of a fishing boat at sea affects the entire community; for Courtney, a local teen whose father was on board, her hope for his safe return becomes a dangerous obsession that leads her to make a sinister pact with evil consequences. Narrated in alternating chapters by Courtneyâ€™s best friend, Aimee, and cousin, Alan, the tale relegates Courtney to the backseat in order to explore Alan and Aimeeâ€™s fantastical roles and their burgeoning relationship. Since childhood, Aimee has been ashamed of her prophetic dreams and ability to heal, which she links to her mother, who mysteriously died when she was young. Similarly, Alan, who has just moved from Oklahoma to Maine to help Courtney and her mother, also enjoys a mystical heritage that stems from his fatherâ€™s Native American roots. Together this powerful pair struggles to release Courtney from her obsession, which clearly arises from more than emotional turmoil. How can they leverage their powers to defeat the River Man and ensure that the friendly and warm pre-obsession Courtney is restored? The River Man is a powerful opponent; the alternating voices effectively ratchet up the tension as the teens explore the mystery and strategize their approach. This modern-day Faustian tale is well balanced, with teenage romance, racial tension, humor and threads of realistic family dynamics to keep readers engaged. ÄŤ6XVÄŚ SHQVH12 XSÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
As far as we know, Sarah Emma Edmonds began dressing as a boy early on, in an attempt to please her abusive father, who hated girls. When she emigrated from Canada to the United States as a teenager, she kept pretending: It was easier to earn her living as a boy. When the Civil War broke out, Sarah enlisted under the name Frank Thompson and became a spy. Frank was a master deceiver: She/he portrayed a slave boy, a female Irish peddler and an African-American laundress. As Frank, Sarah braved bullets and rode through battles. Only when she became ill with malaria could she no longer pretendâ€”but she was never discovered. Frank Thompson deserted, and a very ill Sarah Edmonds sought treatment at a private hospital. Jones, in her first departure from novels for teens, tells Sarahâ€™s story with strong simplicity, quoting at times from Sarahâ€™s own memoirs. One small quibble is that she ends the story too soon, at the close of the Civil War. An authorâ€™s note says that Sarah Edmonds died in 1898 in La Porte, Texas, but gives no details of her later life. Oldroydâ€™s illustrations convey Sarahâ€™s likeness through all her many disguises, and help readers will see her as both sympathetic and brave. Recommended, especially for middle grades studying the Civil War. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRNELRJUDSK\5-10ÄŹ
THE MAN IN THE MOON -R\FH:LOOLDP Atheneum (56 pp.) $17.99 | September 6, 2011 978-1-4424-3041-9 Series: The Guardians of Childhood Booth #3652-3653 A visual feast cannot compensate for lackluster plotting in this first installment of a new mega-series that involves picture books, chapter books and (of course) a movie. There are guardians of children everywhere that strive to keep kids safe from harm. Of these, the first was MiM, The Man in the Moon. Born to a loving family with a guardian named Nightlight to keep him safe from bad dreams, MiMâ€™s untainted sleep attracts the unwanted attention of Pitch, the King of Nightmares. When MiMâ€™s family and brave Nightlight perish in an attack, MiM lives out the rest of the days inside his familyâ€™s ship (our own moon). Once grown, he determines to protect the children of nearby Earth and calls upon folks like Santa Claus, Mother Goose and the Tooth Fairy to join him in this goal. Joyceâ€™s prowess as an illustrator is undeniable, kirkusreviews.com
and this may well be his most ambitious, marvelous-looking title to date. Only a sure and meticulous hand could conjure up such luscious lunar moths and battling constellations. Sadly, the storytelling cannot live up to the visual presentation. Feeling more like an introductory tale than a full-blooded story in its own right, the old-fashionedâ€“feeling narrative fails to find a plot. Hereâ€™s hoping that future installments in this ambitious series will spend less time on back story and more on story line.ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 5-9ÄŹ
IN THE MEADOW .DWR<XNLNR ,OOXVWUDWRU6DNDL.RPDNR 7UDQVODWRU.DQHNR<XNL Enchanted Lion Books (32 pp.) $14.95 | April 1, 2011 978-1-59270-108-7 Booth #4508-4509 A memorable day at the river with the whole family. A little girl named Yu-Chan, barely older than a toddler, narrates the adventure with beautifully childlike ingenuousness. Spotting a bright orange butterfly perched on a stone, she tries to touch it, but of course it flies away. While Mommy unpacks the familyâ€™s supplies on the beach and Daddy and Yu-Chanâ€™s brother wade in the shallow water, she follows the butterfly through a meadow of tall green grass and plants, the leaves on the ground tickling her ankles. The greenery is so tall that only Yu-Chanâ€™s white hat is visible above it. The wind blows, rustling the leaves, and the meadow sways like the waves of the sea. A grasshopper jumps onto her arm but doesnâ€™t stay long; he boings away. Yu-Chan has been away for what feels like a long time; she hears a cacophony of sounds, but they all seem very far away. Suddenly sheâ€™s afraid and starts to cry; itâ€™s the perfect time for Mommy to appear. They walk back to the river, hand in hand. Sakai uses acrylic paints and oil pencils to create softly lyrical illustrations that surpass the appropriately minimal text in beauty and elegance. This immersive experience is the first in a proposed series of nature books; a welcome addition. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 3-6ÄŹ
table each week, but he prefers to invite only important people to his Sabbath meal; he gives his charity to the beggars in the street. Judah chastises Joseph for his excessive hospitality and correctly predicts that he will soon lose all his wealth. A foreboding dream warns Judah that he, too, might lose his fortune and that Joseph will one day count Judahâ€™s money for himself. Judah, shaken, sells his property, buys a large ruby and leaves Tiberias by seaâ€”and loses the jewel, the last of his wealth, in a strong storm. Returning to Tiberias, he approaches the always kind and benevolent Joseph for help. Josephâ€™s luck has once again changed with a fish he received at market: Cutting it open has revealed the ruby Judah lost. As in Marilyn Hirshâ€™s -RVHSK :KR/RYHGWKH6DEEDWK, illustrated by Devis Grebu (1986), Kimmel reconciles the differing attitudes through a conclusion about the importance of celebrating the Sabbath â€œwith an open door and an open heart.â€? Blended shades of blues, purples and greens done in watercolor, pen and pastel illuminate the old Israeli scenes integral to the narration. Heartwarming for Jewish collections and religiousschool settings. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRNUHOLJLRQ 5-7ÄŹ
ICEFALL .LUE\0DWWKHZ Scholastic (336 pp.) $17.99 | October 1, 2011 978-0-545-27424-1 Booth #2752-2753 The kingâ€™s three children and a small group of warrior-protectors take refuge in a winter-bound steading on a northern fjord and discover thereâ€™s a
traitor in their midst. Beautiful Asa, the eldest princess, faces an arranged marriage, although she loves another. Harald, the youngest, will one day be king. But the narrator, middle daughter Solveig, is neither attractive nor particularly useful, until she begins to realize she has talent as a storyteller and could have a future as a skald, or court bard. As food runs low and bitter winter tightens its hold, someone in the group begins to sabotage the remaining supplies, and Solveig has a dream that foretells a tragic end to their efforts to survive. Interesting, well-developed characters abound, and Solveigâ€™s strong narrative voice adds authenticity as she grows into her new role, not just telling stories of the mythical Scandinavian past but creating tales to alter the behavior of those around her. Valid clues and occasional red herrings heighten the sense of mystery. The chilly, claustrophobic, ancient setting is vividly created, and the sense of impending doom generates a gripping suspense overarching the developingâ€”and deterioratingâ€”relationships among the group, marking Kirby (7KH&ORFNZRUN7KUHH, 2010) as a strong emerging novelist. Recommend this one to teens who crave a good mystery set in an icily different time and place. ÄŤ$OWHUQDWLYH KLVWRULFDOP\VWHU\11-18ÄŹ
JOSEPH AND THE SABBATH FISH .LPPHO(ULF$ ,OOXVWUDWRU3HOXVR0DUWLQD Kar-Ben (32 pp.) $17.95 | paper $7.95 | September 1, 2011 978-0-7613-5908-1 | paper 978-0-7613-5909-8 Booth #2158 Award-winner Kimmel retells a Jewish fable of greed and generosity. At Josephâ€™s weekly Sabbath table, all are welcomedâ€”rich or poor, young or old. Josephâ€™s neighbor, Judah, also sets a bountiful 42
BLOOD ON THE MOON .QLJKW-HQQLIHU Running Press Kids (416 pp.) $9.95 paperback original September 28, 2011 978-0-7624-4117-4 Booth #4106
NINA IN THAT MAKES ME MAD .UROO6WHYHQ ,OOXVWUDWRU.QLJKW+LODU\ TOON/Candlewick (32 pp.) $12.95 | September 27, 2011 978-1-935179-10-8 Booth #2452 A young child presents a catalogue of timeless irritations and injustices in a 1976 outing with art and text lightly massaged and reformatted for newly
independent readers. From â€œWhen I do something nice and no one caresâ€Śâ€? or â€œWhen you get mad at ME and I didnâ€™t do itâ€Śâ€? to â€œWhen I NEED you and you make me WAITâ€Śâ€? Ninaâ€™s complaints range from actual injustice to self-absorbed whining and so have near-universal applicability. Each general grievance is paired to a specific incident detailed in comic-bookâ€“style panels on the facing page, such as a painting that distracted |
IVY AND THE MEANSTALK /DLUDPRUH'DZQ Holiday House $16.95 | October 2, 2011 978-0-8234-2392-1 Booth #2547 Hardly has intrepid Princess Ivy saved her fatherâ€™s kingdom of Ardendale from one deadly threat (detailed in ,Y\ÂˇV(YHU$IWHU, 2010) than along comes another. When magic beans delivered to newlywed fairy godmother Drusilla shoot prized pixie goat Toadstool into the sky atop an unpleasantly toothy beanstalk/Venus flytrap hybrid, Ivy soars to the rescue aboard her beloved dragon buddy Elridgeâ€”only to be seized by Largessa, a giant who has been sleepless for a millennium, ever since that thief Jack stole her singing harp. In consequence, sheâ€™s grown understandably irritable and threatens to pelt Ardendale with massive rocks unless the harp is returned in a week. Where is it now? Deep in the treasure vaults of distant Jackopia, a kingdom that after 1,000 years of golden eggs is literally paved, walled, floored, decorated and armored with the glittering stuff. And will Jackopiaâ€™s singleminded King Jack the 102nd give the golden harp up when Ivy flies in to ask? As if. Endowing her 14-year-old heroine with engaging stubbornness and plucky alliesâ€”notably boyfriendin-the-bud Owen the stable boyâ€”Lairamore dishes up a lighthearted quest tale (with just a hint of romance). Endearingly, all wrongs result from egotism or thoughtlessness rather than malice and are ultimately righted amid a cascade of breathtaking narrow squeaks and truly monumental quantities of bling. Breezy and entertaining, with more than a few clever folkloric twists. ÄŤ)DQWDV\10-12ÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Knight rehashes themes of werewolf-vampire rivalry and redemptive paranormal romance in a debut that adds little to the genre until the final cliffhanger. Against the familiar backdrop of remote wilderness and mysterious murders, Colorado State freshman Faith rebuffs the advances of bosom buddy Derek, falling instead for Lucas, an aloof and stunning specimen who morphs into fur, claws and saliva when the urge is strong or the moon is full. When Faith pairs up with Lucas on a school assignment, his one-time best friend and centuries-old vampire nemesis, Vincent, haphazardly targets her as a vehicle to hurt and distract Lucas; Lucasâ€™ affection for Faith develops in earnest only after she becomes Vincentâ€™s mark. Overly stiff and direct dialogue in this first-person narrative often dulls any excitement that might arise from the conflict and power play over Faithâ€™s safety and mortality. Her ability to intuit peopleâ€™s vibes is underutilized, though her telepathic influence over Lucas when he is in wolf form is crucial to the plot. Mounting ardor between Faith and Lucas heightens the stakes of the climactic battle that draws Lucasâ€™ pack from its enclave and results in highly unusual circumstances for one of its casualties. Curiosity about the authorâ€™s ending promise to tweak paranormal mythology will impel some readers to the sequel, provided they care to learn more about Faithâ€™s travails. ÄŤ3DUDQRUPDOURPDQFH14 XSÄŹ
parents donâ€™t praise properly, a promise of ice cream that doesnâ€™t pan out, a playmate who abruptly runs off with someone else or clothing that just wonâ€™t go on the right way. Fresh and buoyant despite the old-style television or occasional other period detail, Knightâ€™s art places Ninaâ€”short haired, dressed in overalls and looking androgynous, in contrast to the girlier figure that Christine Davenier made of her in a 2002 edition (published as 7KDW0DNHV0H0DG)â€”between siblings in a comfortably domestic setting. He captures her feelings in a broad range of wonderfully expressive body language ranging from hunched-shoulder, irritated frowns to melodramatic sprawls. A posthumous publication for Kroll; Knight is still going strong and working on an autobiography. A little parental TLC finally calms the storm, as it usually does. ÄŤ*UDSKLFHDUO\UHDGHUÄŚÄŹ
TUGG AND TEENY /HZLV-3DWULFN ,OOXVWUDWRU'HQLVH&KULVWRSKHU Sleeping Bear Press (40 pp.) $9.95 | paper $4.95 | March 2, 2011 978-1-58536-514-2 paper 978-1-58536-685-9 Booth #4756 Another odd couple makes its foray into beginning-reader territory with three stories about Teeny the monkeyâ€™s efforts to realize her artistic potential while best friend Tugg the gorilla cheers her on. When Teeny â€œhears the jungle birds sing,â€? she wishes to make beautiful music. Deniseâ€™s accompanying watercolor falls short of depicting a forlorn monkey, but text asserts, â€œTeeny looked so sad that Tugg decided he would help her get her wish.â€? He finds a flutelike stick and places it in Teenyâ€™s path. She discovers it and practices, and ultimately her music inspires other jungle animals to take music lessons. Later attempts at painting and poetry arenâ€™t as immediately successful, which provides a certain distinguishing element to the book. The painting she produces is an abstract portrait of Violet the warthog, which no one initially appreciates. Animal friends laud her laborious effort to write four simple lines of poetry, and Tugg says, â€œyou are on your way to becoming a good writer,â€? a just-right assessment of earnest, though perhaps not terribly artful, results. Emergent readers will identify with Teeny as someone learning new skills, and her can-do attitude, emboldened by a supportive community, is a great model for attaining success. ÄŤ(DUO\UHDGHUÄŚÄŹ
LEGEND /X0DULH Putnam (336 pp.) $17.99 | November 29, 2011 978-0-399-25675-2 Booth #3255 A gripping thriller in dystopic future Los Angeles. Fifteen-year-olds June and Day live completely different lives in the glorious Republic. June is rich and brilliant, the only candidate ever to get a perfect score in the Trials, and is destined for a glowing career in the military. She looks forward to the day when she can join up and fight the Republicâ€™s treacherous enemies east of the Dakotas. Day, on the other hand, is an anonymous street rat, a slum child who failed his own Trial. Heâ€™s also the Republicâ€™s most wanted criminal, prone to stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. When tragedies strike both their families, the two brilliant teens are thrown into direct opposition. In alternating first-person narratives, Day and June experience coming-of-age adventures in 44
the midst of spying, theft and daredevil combat. Their voices are distinct and richly drawn, from Dayâ€™s self-deprecating affection for others to Juneâ€™s Holmesian attention to detail. All the flavor of a post-apocalyptic settingâ€”plagues, class warfare, maniacal soldiersâ€”escalates to greater complexity while leaving space for further worldbuilding in the sequel. This is no didactic near-future warning of present evils, but a cinematic adventure featuring endearing, compelling heroes. ÄŤ6FLHQFHĂ€FWLRQ12-14ÄŹ
ATTACK OF THE VAMPIRE WEENIES: And Other Warped and Creepy Tales /XEDU'DYLG Starscape/Tom Doherty (224 pp.) $15.99 | May 24, 2011 978-0-7653-2345-3 Series: Weenies 5 Booth #3352 The lead miner of the â€œha-ha-horrorâ€? vein offers 33 more microtales (all but three newly minted) in a fifth Weenies collection. Most end badly for a young narrator or protagonist: In the title story plus three more, vampires triumph over obnoxious teens; in others a ghost, a malicious elf, swarming spiders and bees, all-too-omnivorous â€œMutAntsâ€? and reanimated skeletons likewise snuff out the incautious or naĂŻve. The laws of physics come into play when television-addict â€œRapt Punzelâ€? carelessly throws her huge weight of hair out a window. All humanity waxes rank and tubby after a young inventor finds a way to turn soap into candy. And a lad discovers that playground â€œCootiesâ€? arenâ€™t as intangible as he thought. Lubar keeps the pace changing and injects plenty of humorâ€”most notably and hilariously a clueless studentâ€™s run of luck in a geography bee (A country on the Strait of Hormuz? â€œOh, man.â€? Oslo is the capitol of what country? â€œNo wayâ€?). He rounds it off with a closing section of story notes; about â€œCooties,â€? he writes, â€œI was thinking about cooties (I have too much leisure time), and it hit me that someone has to be the last person to have them.â€? All in all, the gathering assays out as rich in eye-rollers, groans and mild chills. ÄŤ)XQQ\KRUURUVKRUWVWRULHV 11-13ÄŹ
AFTER THE KILL /XQGH'DUULQ ,OOXVWUDWRU6WRFN&DWKHULQH Charlesbridge (32 pp.) $16.95 | paper $7.95 e-book $6.99 | July 1, 2011 978-1-57091-743-1 paper 978-1-57091-744-8 | e-book 978-1-60734-296-0 Booth #3058
When a lioness kills a zebra, the carcass becomes food not only for her pride but also for vultures, hyenas, jackals and, finally, meat-eating beetles that clean the skeleton, leaving it to turn to dust on Africaâ€™s Serengeti Plain. The cover illustration summarizes the narrative: A lioness, mouth open and long canines visible, reaches out with large clawed paws; lion, jackal and hyena are close behind. A vulture perches on the title page. This is a realistic depiction of predation in the wild. Aimed at elementary-school readers, this title has none of the sweetness of the Smithsonian mammologistâ€™s earlier works about bumblebee bats, meerkats and baby belugas. Lundeâ€™s explicit description doesnâ€™t mince words: â€œ[T]he lioness rips the carcass open and feeds on the soft internal organs first.â€? Informational paragraphs, set off in a different type, accompany the narrative, adding intriguing details about each species. These dual texts are set on full-bleed double-page paintings done in pencil, watercolor and gouache. The jumble of animals around the kill is realistic; yellows and browns of the sunlit Serengeti landscape and red of the blood predominate. The action in these paintings moves relentlessly forward until the last arrivals, the lappet-faced vultures and beetles, finish the job. Pair this with Sudipta Bardhan-Quallenâ€™s Flying Eagle, illustrated by Deborah Kogan Ray (2009), for more â€œnature red in tooth and clawâ€? science. ÄŤ,QIRUPDÄŚ WLRQDOSLFWXUHERRN7-10ÄŹ
A dystopic thriller joins the crowded shelves but doesnâ€™t distinguish itself. Juliette was torn from her home and thrown into an asylum by The Reestablishment, a militaristic regime in control since an environmental catastrophe left society in ruins. Julietteâ€™s journal holds her tortured thoughts in an attempt to repress memories of the horrific act that landed her in a cell. Mysteriously, Julietteâ€™s touch kills. After months of isolation, her captors suddenly give her a cellmateâ€”Adam, a drop-dead gorgeous guy. Adam, it turns out, is immune to her deadly touch. Unfortunately, heâ€™s a soldier under orders from Warner, a power-hungry 19-year-old. But Adam belongs to a resistance movement; he helps Juliette escape to their stronghold, where she finds that sheâ€™s not the only one with superhuman abilities. The ending falls flat as the plot devolves into comic-book territory. Fast-paced action scenes convey imminent danger vividly, but thereâ€™s little sense of a broader world here. Overreliance on metaphor to express Julietteâ€™s jaw-dropping surprise wears thin: â€œMy mouth is sitting on my kneecaps. My eyebrows are dangling from the ceiling.â€? For all of her independence and superpowers, Juliette never moves beyond her role as a pawn in someone elseâ€™s schemes. |
THE IRON WITCH 0DKRQH\.DUHQ Flux (288 pp.) paper: $9.95 | February 1, 2011 978-0-7387-2582-6 Booth #2525 This book begins and ends with a diary entry from the journal of Donna Underwood, whose strongest childhood memoryâ€”seeing her father killedâ€”was followed by her motherâ€™s entry to a pri-
vate sanatorium. His killers, vicious wood elves, mangled Donnaâ€™s hands and arms so badly that only magical surgery would save them. Now the wood elves are back; theyâ€™ve kidnapped Donnaâ€™s friend, Navin, and, itâ€™s up to Donna to save him. The protagonists of this fantasy adventureâ€”Donna, Navin and romantic interest Zanâ€”are well drawn and engaging. Secondary characters (mostly adults)â€”sketchily developed humans and feyâ€” mainly exist to drive the solid plot. And what a plot! Complex in structure, it includes a secret society of alchemists whose motives are veiled, the mystery of Donnaâ€™s dadâ€™s death and a budding romance between Donna and the half-fey Zan. The success of the story depends heavily upon the geographical contrast between small-town Ironbridge, Mass., and the dark forest that leads to the home of the wood elves. The suspense and tension built into the story lead to a smashing climax and an ambivalent solution. Enough plot threads are left dangling that readers should expect at least one sequel. This story has it all for fans of (sub)urban fantasy: vicious adversaries, devoted friendship and first romance. ÄŤ)DQWDV\ 13-16ÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
SHATTER ME 0DĂ€7DKHUHK HarperTeen (352 pp.) $17.99 | November 15, 2011 978-0-06-208548-1 Booth #3338-3339
Part cautionary tale, part juicy love story, this will appeal to action and adventure fans who arenâ€™t yet sick of the genre. ÄŤ6FLHQFHĂ€FWLRQ12 XSÄŹ
THE BLUES GO EXTREME BIRDING 0DOQRU&DURO/DQG6DQG\))XOOHU ,OOXVWUDWRU6FKURHGHU/RXLVH Dawn Publications (36 pp.) $16.95 | March 1, 2011 978-1-58469-133-4 Booth #3140 A band of five cartoon bluebirds travel the world in search of record-setting bird speciesâ€”the fastest, best mimic, highest flying, pinkest and more. This third in a series, which began with 7KH %/8(6 *R %LUGLQJ $FURVV $PHULFD (2010), continues to promote birdwatching among young readers through the antics of bluebirds musicians Bing, Lulu, Uno, Eggbert and Sammiâ€”each with identifiable characteristics and easily distinguished from the kirkusreviews.com
TEN RULES FOR LIVING WITH MY SISTER
more realistic birds illustrated on the pages. Each of the dozen species is introduced in the narrative and described further through entries in a nature notebook and a field guide. â€œExtra Extremesâ€? mention species that set similar records. Some of the birds may be familiar to young readersâ€”the peregrine falcon, emperor penguin and ostrich, for instanceâ€”but others will be new. Their trip ends with a sighting of the horned sungem hummingbird in Brazil, an opportunity for the authors to promote an upcoming volume about the rain forest. The bandâ€™s trip is mapped at the end on a world map with labeled continents; a handy list reviews the species and notes where they were sighted. The facts have been vetted by a birding expert, sources are given in the acknowledgements and birding closer to home is encouraged. This is a clever extension of the series, taking advantage of childrenâ€™s interest in records and in Xtreme sports of all kinds. ÄŤ,QIRUPDWLRQDOSLFWXUHERRN5-9ÄŹ
0DUWLQ$QQ0 Feiwel & Friends (240 pp.) $16.99 | September 27, 2011 978-0-312-36766-4 Booth #3352 New York City is the setting of Newbery Honor winner Martinâ€™s ($ &RUQHU RIWKH8QLYHUVH, 2002) latest, which deftly explores the discord between two sisters. Just barely nine, Pearl Littlefield, at times wise beyond her years, knows all too well that being the younger sister of a 14-year-old has its ups and downs. To keep harmony, Pearl needs to figure out how to live with Lexie without irritating her. This is especially hard now that they are forced to share a tiny bedroom because their grandfather, Daddy Bo, is living with them while he awaits his move to an assisted-living facility. To keep the peace, Pearl makes the titular list. â€œRule #3. Try not to tease Lexie, sometimes this is hard because she says stupid things.â€? Throughout the school year, Pearl discovers that adhering to her rules does make a difference. Pearl, as narrator, shows herself to be a keen observer of the people around her and mature enough to handle some sticky situations, all with a sense of humor and aplomb. Readers will welcome Pearlâ€™s insights as she grapples with loneliness after her best friend moves across town, Lexieâ€™s frequent outbursts and her concern for Daddy Bo as he grows increasingly forgetful. Martin has a gift for creating appealing characters in an atmosphere of caring and forgiveness. ÄŤ)LFWLRQ9-12ÄŹ
ONE LOVE 0DUOH\%RE $GDSWRU0DUOH\&HGHOOD ,OOXVWUDWRU%UDQWOH\ÄŚ1HZWRQ9DQHVVD Chronicle (32 pp.) $16.99 | October 5, 2011 978-1-4521-0224-5 Booth #4452 A sugary poem, very loosely based on the familiar song, lacks focus. Using only the refrain from the original (â€œOne love, one heart, letâ€™s get together and feel all right!â€?), the reggae greatâ€™s daughter Cedella Marley sees this song as her â€œhappy songâ€? and adapts it for children. However, the adaptation robs it of life. After the opening lines, readers familiar with the original song (or the tourism advertisement for Jamaica) will be humming along only to be stopped by the bland lines that follow: â€œOne love, what the flower gives the bee.â€? and then â€œOne love, what Mother Earth gives the tree.â€? Brantley-Newtonâ€™s sunny illustrations perfectly reflect the saccharine quality of the text. Starting at the beginning of the day, readers see a little girl first in bed, under a photograph of Bob Marley, the sun streaming into her room, a bird at the window. Each spread is completely redundantâ€”when the text is about family love, the illustration actually shows little hearts floating from her parents to the little girl. An image of a diverse group getting ready to plant a community garden, walking on top of a river accompanies the words â€œOne love, like the river runs to the sea.â€? Though this celebration of community is joyful, there just is not much here. (afterword) ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 3-5ÄŹ
EAT YOUR MATH HOMEWORK: Recipes for Hungry Minds 0F&DOOXP$QQ ,OOXVWUDWRU+HUQDQGH]/HH]D Charlesbridge (48 pp.) $16.95 | paper $7.95 | e-book $6.99 July 1, 2011 | 978-1-57091-779-0 paper 978-1-57091-780-6 e-book 978-1-60734-302-8 Booth #3058 Math and cooking have always gone hand in hand, but McCallum takes it to a whole new level that allows young number lovers to explore (and eat!) a wide range of mathematical topics. While the supply list and preparation time may preclude these from actually being assigned as homework, kids who are mathematically minded will enjoy snacking and learning their way through the recipes. Well-written and easily followed, the recipes include Fibonacci snack sticks based on the famous sequence of numbers, fraction chips made from cut-up tortillas, tessellating two-color brownies, milk and tangram cookies, variable pizza pi and probability trail mix. McCallum does not shy away from using appropriate vocabulary, defining it both in context and in the glossary at the back. She also includes fascinating historical tidbits |
that allow readers to see the precursors of todayâ€™s math and the mathematicians that first explored them. Hernandez cleverly folds math into her illustrations, tooâ€”observant readers will notice the numbers emblazoned somewhere on each character, but only the mathematically informed will figure out their pattern. Her highenergy mixed-media artwork is filled with humorous details, while her cartoon rabbits are likely to remind kids of the Arthur cartoons. Excellent backmatter helps review concepts. A yummy way to get parents and kids to more deeply understand mathâ€Śand spend some time together in the kitchen. (index, table of contents)ÄŤ1RQĂ€FWLRQ7-12ÄŹ
THE UNWANTEDS 0F0DQQ/LVD Aladdin (400 pp.) $16.99 | September 20, 2011 978-1-4424-0768-8 Booth #3653
WILDWOOD 0HOR\&ROLQ ,OOXVWUDWRU(OOLV&DUVRQ Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins (560 pp.) $16.99 | August 30, 2011 978-0-06-202468-8 Booth #3338-3339 Fans of Meloyâ€™s indie-rock band, The Decemberists, will recognize themes |
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter in this middle-grade departure from McMannâ€™s string of paranormal mysteries with romance for young adults. On the day of Purge in totalitarian Quill, which is run by the High Priest Justine, 13-year-olds learn if they are deemed Wanted to attend the university, Necessary to tend the land or Unwanted and purged by execution. Without a good-bye from his Wanted identical brother Aaron, Alex Stowe and the other Unwanteds travel to the Death Farm. Instead of death, they meet the lush and magical world of ArtimĂ¨, kept secret from Justine by mage Marcus Today. In a third-person narration characterized by even pacing and whimsical inventions, Alex and his peers learn that their creativity threatened Justineâ€™s power. Surrounded by talking blackboards, transporting tubes and such fantastical creatures as an octagator (with the head of an alligator and body of an octopus) for instructors, the teens hone their drawing, music and acting skills while also wielding paintbrushes for invisibility spells and iambic pentameter to stun attackers during Magical Warrior Training, in preparation for battle against the Quillitary. As the youths explore fear, responsibility and free thinking, their spells may be used sooner than they think when Alexâ€™s twin bond is tested and rivals vie for Aaronâ€™s new position in Justineâ€™s government. Blending elements from two popular genres, this is sure to be a double hit. ÄŤ'\VWRSLDQIDQWDV\10-14ÄŹ
running through his engaging debut celebrating the struggle of ordinary folk (including plants and animals) to throw off tyranny and shape their destinies. When her baby brother is carried off by crows to the Impassable Wilderness at the heart of Portland, Ore., stubbornly courageous Prue McKeel, 12, sets out to reclaim him, accompanied by annoying schoolfellow and class pariah Curtis Mehlberg. Their quest soon becomes entangled with longstanding conflicts among residents of this magical wilderness, which harbors secrets both strange (talking animals, sentient plants) and familiar (xenophobic mistrust, government red tape). Overcoming a slow start, the story gains momentum when Prue and Curtis enter the woods, encountering its vividly portrayed denizens, human and otherwise. Captured by the mysterious Dowager Governess, Curtis must choose sides in a confusing conflict; either way, heâ€™ll need courage and ingenuity to survive. Prueâ€™s search leads through South Woodâ€™s impenetrable bureaucracy to North Wood, where mystics commune with nature. Gritty urban settings abound in contemporary fantasy (Holly Black, Neil Gaiman and China MiĂŠville are exemplars). Faithfully recreating Portlandâ€™s wild Forest Park, Meloy gives his world a uniquely Pacific Northwest spin. Illustrations by Ellis, Meloyâ€™s wife, bring forest and inhabitants to gently whimsical life. A satisfying blend of fantasy, adventure story, ecofable and political satire with broad appeal; especially recommended for preteen boys. ÄŤ)DQWDV\10 XSÄŹ
THE APOTHECARY 0HOR\0DLOH Putnam (368 pp.) $16.99 | October 4, 2011 978-0-399-25627-1 Booth #3255 Following the paths of Neil Gaiman, Julia Alvarez and Carl Hiaasen, bestselling author Meloy (%RWK:D\V,VWKH2QO\ :D\ , :DQW ,t, 2009, etc.) takes a successful plunge into middle-grade fiction. Before the House Committee on Un-American Activities can interrogate Janie Scottâ€™s Hollywood writing-team parents for being possible Communists, they move to London. â€œI was no witty, patient, adaptable Jane Austen,â€? the 14-year-old admits as she recalls helping to save the world in 1952. While palling around with Benjamin Burrows, whoâ€™d rather be a spy than follow in the apothecary family tradition, Janie becomes entangled with Cold War espionage after Benjaminâ€™s father mysteriously disappears, leaving behind a secret 700-year-old book of magic elixirs. As the teens, joined by pickpocket Pip (seemingly plucked out of *UHDW ([SHFWDWLRQV), search for the apothecary (truly an alchemist), they must also outrun their dreamy Latin teacher (who could be a double agent), rescue a kidnapped Chinese chemist and work with other scientists from around the world to thwart the Sovietâ€™s detonation of an atomic bomb 20 times more powerful than Hiroshimaâ€™s, all while testing out some of the elixirs along the way. kirkusreviews.com
Although Janieâ€™s narration loses some of its charm and humor as the adventure escalates, its blend of history, culture and the anxiety of the time with magical â€œscienceâ€? will keep readers just as spellbound as the characters. ÄŤ+LVWRULFDOIDQWDV\10-14ÄŹ
CafĂŠ are learned witches and wizards from the top European universities. Astral Place is named for an important family, and J.P. Morgaunt rules just about everything. Sacha can see magic even when itâ€™s hidden, so he is drafted into the Inquisitors, the arm of the police dedicated to eradicating magic, at least among the poor. What follows are wild adventures involving spells and dybbuks and deathly struggles between good and evil. Moriarty beckons readers into this alternate universe and makes even the most bizarre elements totally believable. Sacha, Lily and Inspector Wolf are all fully developed and multilayered characters, as are the many other distinctive personalities that appear in the tale. The author employs rich language and syntax that please the ear and touch the senses, making it all come alive, especially the very real magic of New York City itself. A marvelous, mystical romp that doesnâ€™t ignore reality. A hint of a possible sequel whets readersâ€™ appetite for more: Yes, please! (authorâ€™s note) ÄŤ)DQWDV\12 XSÄŹ
LIPMAN PIKE: Americaâ€™s First Home Run King 0LFKHOVRQ5LFKDUG ,OOXVWUDWRU3XOOHQ=DFKDU\ Sleeping Bear Press (32 pp.) $16.95 | March 1, 2011 978-1-58536-465-7 Booth #4756 Lipman Pike played â€œBaseâ€? every chance he could get in his Brooklyn neighborhood. His parents were not sure it was the right thing for a Jewish boy to be doing, but they also want him to fit in with his peers. This was postâ€“Civil War America, and the game was still in its infancy, at least in terms of organized play. The first leagues were loosely formed and were for amateurs, although several players were secretly paid. When Lip grew up, he was fast and strong and could hit for distance. He played variously for teams in Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York City and Troy, N.Y. He often faced anti-Semitism and distrust, but he won over his teammates and the â€œcranksâ€? with his outstanding play. He led his league in home runs and even proved he could outrun a racehorse. Michelson adeptly employs fictional conversations interwoven with factual details as he reconstructs a long-forgotten time, managing to bring Pikeâ€™s story out of obscurity and relate it to modern young readers. Pullenâ€™s lively, large-scale, brightly colored illustrations vividly capture the action and the time period. Text pages are augmented with sepia drawings of 19th-century newspapers, baseball scenes and equipment. An insight into baseball and America that is at once historical and timeless. (authorâ€™s note) ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN6-10ÄŹ
WISDOMâ€™S KISS: A Thrilling and Romantic Adventure Incorporating Magic, Villainy, and a Cat 0XUGRFN&DWKHULQH*LOEHUW Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (304 pp.) $16.99 | September 12, 2011 978-0547566870 Booth #3438 From the author of the Dairy Queen series comes this ebullient fairy tale, set in a vaguely Teutonic empire of small baronies, duchies and kingdoms. Charting the adventures of humble orphans Trudy, a kitchen maid, and Tips, a millerâ€™s son and object of Trudyâ€™s affections, the storyâ€™s scope soon broadens to include Princess Wisdom and her grandmother, Benevolence, from the female-led ruling family of Montagne, a small kingdom coveted by larger, wealthier Farina (3ULQFHVV %HQ, 2008). All are nominally subjects of Emperor RĂźdiger IV, whose passion is his grand circus. â€œTold through seven voicesâ€? in diaries, letters, encyclopedia entries, self-published family history and a play, the complicated plot unfolds briskly with panache and humor, braiding imperial ambition and marriages of convenience with true love and longing. Trudy yearns for Tips; Tips yearns for Wisdom; Wisdom yearns for the circus; the Duchess of Farina yearns to absorb Montagne. All work out their destinies with gusto and determination (aided or thwarted by witchcraft courtesy of Montagneâ€™s royal family). Only the ending, referencing the storyâ€™s fairy-tale provenance, fails to thoroughly satisfy. If not quite the sumptuous banquet anticipated, the novel still makes a satisfying, tasty treat. (glossary of terms) ÄŤ)DQWDV\10 XSÄŹ
THE INQUISITORâ€™S APPRENTICE 0RULDUW\&KULV ,OOXVWUDWRU*H\HU0DUN(GZDUG Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (320 pp.) $16.99 | October 3, 2011 978-0-547-58135-4 Booth #3438 Thirteen-year-old Sacha lives in New York Cityâ€™s Lower East Side at the turn of the 20th century. Or does he? The sights and sounds and smells, social ills and rampant racism and anti-Semitism all seem to be as they really were. But hexers are all around, and the regulars at the Metropole 48
KATHERINE & JOHN PATERSON, AUTHORS OF THE FLINT HEART BOOTH #2452
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LIESL & PO 2OLYHU/DXUHQ ,OOXVWUDWRU$FHGHUD.HL Harper/HarperCollins (320 pp.) $16.99 | October 4, 2011 978-0-06-201451-1 Booth #3338-3339
P HOTO BY S A M A N T HA LO OM IS PAT E RS O N
BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON Saint Francis of Assisiâ€™s Canticle of the Creatures
978-0-8118-7734-3 Booth #4452
5HWHOOHU3DWHUVRQ.DWKHULQH ,OOXVWUDWRU'DOWRQ3DPHOD Handprint/Chronicle (36 pp.) $17.99 | May 4, 2011
A gorgeous visual paean to the natural world that reflects and echoes the prayer it accompanies. Beloved author Paterson â€œreimaginesâ€? Francis of Assisiâ€™s â€œCanticle of the Creaturesâ€? in crystalline language. â€œFor this life and the life to come, we sing our praise to you, / O Lord, the Father and Mother of all creation.â€? The song starts with Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Brother Air and Sister Water, and leads on to thanksgiving for Sister Earth and Brother |
THE FLINT HEART 3DWHUVRQ.DWKHULQHDQG -RKQ3DWHUVRQ ,OOXVWUDWRU5RFFR-RKQ Candlewick (304 pp.) $19.99 | September 27, 2011 978-0-7636-4712-4 Booth #2452 KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
A wonderfully imaginative, startlingly moving and at times wickedly funny fantasy. In her first work for middle-grade readers, the versatile Oliver (%HIRUH , )DOO, 2010, and 'HOLULXP, 2011) deftly creates two worlds that run parallel, â€œlike two mirrors sitting face-toface.â€? On the â€œLiving Side,â€? the sun hasnâ€™t come out in 1,728 days, and Liesl (about 11) has been locked in a small attic bedroom for 13 months by her conniving stepmother, Augusta. Three nights after her beloved father dies, she is visited by a child-sized ghost named Po and Bundle, a ghost-pet, both of whom come from the â€œOther Side,â€? where dead souls in various stages of â€œbecoming part of the Everythingâ€? linger till they can go â€œBeyond.â€? They become unlikely best friends, and Po helps Liesl escape so she can take her fatherâ€™s ashes home. Meanwhile... an egomaniacal alchemist whose specialty is potions and transfigurations has created â€œThe Most Powerful Magic in the Worldâ€? for the Very Important Lady Premiere. â€œThe dead will rise / From glade to glen / And ancient will be young again.â€? But the alchemistâ€™s mistreated apprentice Will, an orphan, mixes up the delivery and.... By alternating quietly lyrical, philosophical passages with laugh-out-loud broad comedy/farce, the author takes her readers on a fantastic voyage from loss to healing and joy. With nods to Dahl, Dickens, the Grimms and even Burnett, the author has made something truly original. Acederaâ€™s frequent black-and-white illustrations are a perfect complement. An irresistible read: This book sings. ÄŤ)DQWDV\8-12ÄŹ
Fire, through praise for those who can forgive, comfort for those who suffer, courage for those who make peace. There is praise for Sister Death, acknowledging fear but recognizing her as part of love â€œfor this life and the life to come.â€? Daltonâ€™s extraordinary images, made with papercuts and watercolor lain on a black background, have the same stately rhythm, repetition and beauty as the text. Borders of fruit branches, flowers and leaves set off the text and the center frame, which is in two or three lines of images like a medieval panel painting or a contemporary sequential tale. A farmer plows and reaps, children play and work. Exquisitely rendered butterflies and oxen, sunflowers and apples, wheat and bread make the world vivid, present and lovely. Grace and joy for all ages and almost any faith. (authorâ€™s, editorâ€™s and illustratorâ€™s notes, â€œCanticleâ€? translated by Bill Barrett)ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRNUHOLJLRQ 5-10ÄŹ
A heart-shaped talisman created in the Stone Age brings terribly corrupting power to those who possess it, until 12-year-old Charles Jago manages to destroy it permanently. This magical adventure begins with the fashioning of a piece of flint into a charm for hardening hearts. A hardhearted individual can rule his tribe in the Stone Age and, fast-forwarding to the early 20th century, become the leader in oneâ€™s community, but at a cost to his good nature, family and friends. Thatâ€™s what happens first to Charlesâ€™ father, then to an imp called a Jacky Toad and then to a badger. Happily and with help from his little sister, his dog, the king of Fairyland, a talking hot-water bottle and the all-knowing Zagabog, Charles wrests the stone away from each one in turn, with no harm done. After all, this is a fairy tale. Written by Eden Phillpotts and first published in 1910, this traditional story has been deftly abridged and brought up to date by the Patersons. Theyâ€™ve preserved the faintly English narrative voice and humor, idiosyncratic characters, lively action, distinctive Dartmoor setting and even many of the words. The 21st-century version features thoughtful design and Roccoâ€™s digitally colored film-animationâ€“style illustrations, including chapterheads, full-page images and decorations throughout. A grand tale skillfully updated and tightened up, this should win the hearts of a new generation. ÄŤ)DQWDV\ 8-12ÄŹ
THE FOX INHERITANCE
she and her family, secreted in one of the Cranstonsâ€™ steamer trunks, are carried onboard ship, where they discover an aristocratic mouse society heretofore unknown, including the Mouse-in-Waiting to Princess Louise, Queen Victoriaâ€™s daughter, who shows Helena that mice can in fact change historyâ€”at least on a mouse-sized scale. Peck must have had a blast writing this. Whimsical language, sure characterization, unflagging adventure, even romanceâ€”all seen through Helenaâ€™s relentlessly practical beady little eyes. Think 7KH7DOHRI 'HVSHUHDX[ without the twee. Sheer delight. ÄŤ$QLPDOIDQWDV\8-12ÄŹ
3HDUVRQ0DU\( Henry Holt (304 pp.) $16.99 | August 30, 2011 978-0-8050-8829-8 The Jenna Fox Chronicles, 2 Booth #3352 In a thought-provoking, atmospheric follow-up to 7KH $GRUDWLRQ RI -HQQD )R[ (2008), Pearson again contemplates bioengineering and the nature of humanity. Some 260 years after Jenna Foxâ€™s father used controversial technology to upload Jennaâ€™s mind into an imitation body, Jennaâ€™s friends Locke and Kara, presumed dead in the same car accident, are uploaded into new bodies of their own. Both traumatized and connected to each other by the years their minds spent locked in claustrophobic â€œenvironments,â€? the pair live for a year with Gatsbro, the doctor who brought them back. Then Kara discovers the exploitative ends for which he is keeping them, and the two flee their captivity with the (perhaps too convenient) help of an unexpected ally. Their journey from Gatsbroâ€™s facility through a greatly changed America and ultimately toward Jenna Fox, still alive in her BioGel body, is harrowing and eye-opening, but the heart of the story is its meditation on what it means to be human. Is Locke human, his consciousness uploaded into a taller, more malleable body? Is Kara, who has lost her compassion? What about Dot, a legless robot engineered only to drive a cab, who is nonetheless strong-willed, brave and rebellious? Though action scenes are occasionally predictable or over too soon, the bookâ€™s timely and haunting questions will leave thoughtful readers with much to ponder. ÄŤ6FLÄŚ HQFHĂ€FWLRQ12 XSÄŹ
THIS THING CALLED THE FUTURE 3RZHUV-/ Cinco Puntos (208 pp.) $16.95 | May 1, 2011 978-1-933693-95-8 Booth #4508 Set in an impoverished South African shantytown where post-Apartheid freedom is overshadowed by rampant AIDS and intractable poverty, this novel takes a loving, clear-eyed look at the clash of old and new through the experience of one appealing teenager. Khosi, 14, lives in an all-female household with her sister, Zi, and frail grandmother, Gogo, subsisting on Gogoâ€™s pension and Mamaâ€™s salary as a teacher in the city (she comes home on weekends). Everyone in Khosiâ€™s world is poor. Where the struggle to survive is all-consuming, family loyalty trumps community. Clashes between Zulu customs and contemporary values further erode cultural ties and divide families. A scholarship student, Khosi loves science, but getting to school means dodging gangs and rapists hunting AIDS-free virgins. After a witch curses Khosiâ€™s family and Mama falls ill, Khosi and Gogo seek aid from a traditional Zulu healer, which Mama dismisses as superstition while fear and poverty keep her from accessing modern medicine. As stresses mount, Khosiâ€™s ancestors speak, offering her guidance. Supported by them, her family and classmate Little Man, Khosi vows to create a better future by synthesizing old and new ways, yet the obstacles she facesâ€”some inherited, others newly acquiredâ€”are staggering. A compassionate and moving window on a harsh world. (glossary of Zulu words) ÄŤ3DUDQRUPDOĂ€FWLRQ12 XSÄŹ
SECRETS AT SEA 3HFN5LFKDUG Dial (203 pp.) $16.99 | October 13, 2011 978-0-8037-3455-5 Booth #4420 Problem novels, ghost stories, historical fictionâ€”is there anything Newbery Medalist Peck cannot do? Apparently not. Helena Cranston, oldest surviving member of her family after the deaths of both her parents and her sisters Vicky and Alice, has her hands full: dreamy sister Beatrice and skittery sister Louise keep sneaking out at nightâ€”Helena fears inappropriate liaisonsâ€”while brother Lamont skips school for more dangerous pursuits. Worse yet, the Upper Cranstons, dissatisfied with Hudson Valley beaux, are embarking for England to catch daughter Olive a husband. Europe, as Helena knows, is across a very large body of water, and Helena, being a mouse, fears water with all her heart. Yet soon 50
A sweetly loopy look at domestic travails filtered through a wickedly subversive lens. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 5-8ÄŹ
5D\0DU\/\Q ,OOXVWUDWRU)UD]HH0DUOD Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster (40 pp.) $16.99 | April 11, 2011 978-1-4424-2249-0 Booth #3652-3653
FOX AND HEN TOGETHER 5RGULJXH]%pDWULFH ,OOXVWUDWRU5RGULJXH]%pDWULFH Enchanted Lion Books (32 pp.) $14.95 | June 15, 2011 | 978-1-59270-109-4 Booth #4508-4509 Bringing home the bacon (or, in this case, the fish) is not as simple as it may seem. The title of this wordless continuation of 7KH&KLFNHQ7KLHI (2010) is something of a misnomer, as Hen spends much of this eventful day apart from Fox. The connubial bliss of Hen and Fox is marred by an empty refrigerator, so Hen kisses her egg goodbye and leaves it in the care of Fox while she and friend Crab head out for a day of fishing. She lands a big one in short order, but an equally short order it is snaggled by a giant bird that flies off with fish, Hen (clinging to the rod) and Crab (clinging to Henâ€™s tail feathers). Comical misadventures ensue, all laid out in super-wide-screen format with Rodriguezâ€™s characteristic fine line and sense of absurdity. This story does not present the same emotional nuance of its predecessor, but children will get plenty of giggles watching Hen and Crab fend off giant, ravenous hatchlings and battle a sea serpent. The complexity comes when Hen opens the door to see a cracked egg shell and a skillet on the table; about to bop Fox with said skillet, she holds herself back when she sees him cuddling an adorable fox-hen baby. |
Picking up where 7KH &KLFNHQ 7KLHI (2010) left off, this companion follows Henâ€™s erstwhile friends Rabbit, Bear and jilted Rooster as they make their way back home. As the trio wordlessly traverses much the same scenery they traveled in the first book, only in reverse, readers will notice Roosterâ€™s overweening disgruntlement. (Kids will need familiarity with the first book to understand his funk.) He brightens up only when he discovers a large egg next to very large skeleton in a cave where the friends take shelter. Through various surreal landscapes they pass, all spread out in the same super-wide format as The Chicken Thief and this bookâ€™s parallel story, )R[ DQG +HQ7RJHWKHU (2011). Rooster all the while cackles maniacally with pride in his egg even as he juggles it rather injudiciously (Bear adopts a glowing newt in a more understated expression of the parental urge). Readers will not be at all surprised by what hatches, and all (finally) live happily ever after. Taken all together, the three books give children a look at adult feelings and the emotional negotiation that goes with them. Will they understand everything? Probably not. But the snapshot, presented so very whimsically, may help give them some intuitive sense of the emotional currents that swirl around them. Plenty to look at and much to think about in this complex and funny trilogy conclusion. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN5-8ÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
A poetic paean to stars both real and metaphorical brings the heavenly down to readers without robbing it of mystery. Calmly and directly, Ray addresses the reader in this gentle, somnolent narrative. â€œA star is how you know itâ€™s night. / As soon as you see one, thereâ€™s another, and another. / And the dark that comes doesnâ€™t feel as dark.â€? Like a lulling tide, the text moves easily between grounded practical advice (â€œâ€Ś[Y]ou can draw a star on / shiny paper and cut around it. / Then you can put it in your pocketâ€?) and naturalistic metaphor: â€œBlow a ball of dandelion and you blow / a thousand stars into the sky.â€? Frazee excels at illustrating textual details in fresh ways, keeping young children engaged and curious. In a spread attesting that stars are there, even if they sometimes canâ€™t be seen, the artist depictsâ€”low and dwarfed on the picture planeâ€”a long row of people viewing spectacular fireworks. Her pictures ebb and flow with the text, alternating charming spots of self-possessed, spirited youngsters with ink-black or gloriously blue, starry heavens inviting dreamy meditation. Ideal for bedtime, this will shine on through repeat readings. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN3-7ÄŹ
5RGULJXH]%pDWULFH ,OOXVWUDWRU5RGULJXH]%pDWULFH Enchanted Lion Books (32 pp.) $14.95 | September 1, 2011 978-1-58270-112-4
MUSIC WAS IT <RXQJ/HRQDUG%HUQVWHLQ 5XELQ6XVDQ*ROGPDQ Charlesbridge (192 pp.) $19.95 | e-book $9.99 | February 1, 2011 978-1-58089-344-2 e-book 978-1-60734-276-2 Booth #3058 An impeccably researched and told biography of Leonard Bernsteinâ€™s musical apprenticeship, from toddlerhood to his conducting debut with the New York Philharmonic at age 25. Rubin traces Lennyâ€™s education, musical influences and enduring friendships. Lenny reveled in mounting elaborate musical productions in Sharon, Mass., his familyâ€™s summer community. As a student, he augmented support from his family by giving lessons, accompanying singers, transcribing music and more; the narrative sparkles with details that match its subjectâ€™s energy and verve. Especially crystalline are kirkusreviews.com
the links drawn between father Samâ€™s decades-long dismissal of his sonâ€™s musical gifts and the consequential importance of mentors and supportive teachers in the young manâ€™s life. In exploring Lennyâ€™s devout Jewish roots and coming of age during the persecution of Jews in Europe, the author reveals how dramatically Bernstein altered the landscape for conductors on the American scene. In an epilogue sketching Bernsteinâ€™s later life, she briefly mentions his bisexuality, marriage and children. Drawn from interviews, family memoirs and other print resources, quotations are well-integrated and assiduously attributed. Photos, concert programs, early doodles and letters, excerpts from musical scores and other primary documentation enhance the text. Excellent bookmakingâ€”from type to trim sizeâ€” complements a remarkable celebration of a uniquely American musical genius. (chronology, biographical sketches, authorâ€™s note, discography, bibliography, quotation sources, index) ÄŤ%LRJUDSK\9-12ÄŹ
5\DQ$P\.DWKOHHQ St. Martinâ€™s Griffin (320 pp.) $17.99 | September 27, 2011 978-0-312-59056-7 The Sky Chasers 1 Booth #3352 When preserving the human species through deep-space colonization, fertility is both currency and curse. Everyone expects wedding bells for Waverly and Kieran, the eldest of the first generation conceived in space during the Empyreanâ€™s multi-decade mission to colonize New Earth. Waverlyâ€™s hesitations about golden-boy Kieranâ€”and curiosities about Kieranâ€™s broody rival Sethâ€”are tossed to the wayside when an ambush leaves all of them navigating a deadly nebula of lies, schemes and misinformation. While Waverly launches a careful resistance as a captive of Pastor Anne Matherâ€™s childless ship the New Horizon, Kieran and Seth butt heads in an escalating contest for leadership over the distressed Empyrean. Waverlyâ€™s initiative and intellect ensure that even as a prisoner she is far from a damsel in distress. Ryan sets Kieran and Seth apart from standard lovetriangle anchors through emphasis on their well-matched flaws. The split narrative gives enough breathing room for a balance of introspection and high-stakes action. Along the way, hints of the older generationâ€™s secrets are tossed out but not resolved, leaving the protagonists unsure of whom to trust and readers unsure of whose side to take. Desire to find out which of the proactive charactersâ€™ bold moves end in disaster will leave readers clamoring for the next installment of this space saga. ÄŤ6FLHQFHĂ€FWLRQ XSÄŹ
CHASING THE NIGHTBIRD 5XVVHOO.ULVWD Peachtree (192 pp.) $15.95 | September 1, 2011 978-1-56145-597-3 Booth #2955 Abolitionists square off against slave catchers in this well-crafted debut, complicating the schemes of a stranded young sailor. Kidnapped off the streets of New Bedford by his harsh half-brother, held until his whaler had departed and then forced to work in a local cotton mill, Lucky Valera, a 14-year-old orphan of Cape Verdean descent, finds his efforts to escape stymied at every turn. His attachments to his coworker and new friend Daniel, a fugitive slave, and Emmeline, activist daughter of a Quaker abolitionist, involve him in plans to protect the large number of fugitives in town from approaching slave catchers. Along with a few references to â€œdarkiesâ€? and â€œdark devilsâ€? that evoke the eraâ€™s negative racial attitudes, Russell folds in enough historical detail to establish a sense of setting. Without burdening the tale with info dumps, she lays out a basic view of the conflict between the recently passed Fugitive Slave Act and the moral stance of those who opposed it. The author also provides ample tests of character for Lucky and Daniel alike as she speeds her tale to a climactic escape and happy resolution after Luckyâ€™s halfsib treacherously tries to collect a reward for both lads and is himself briefly seized. Solid work, featuring a strong-minded protagonist bent on doing the best he can with what heâ€™s been given. (afterword, bibliography) ÄŤ+LVWRULFDOĂ€FWLRQÄŚÄŹ
AU REVOIR, CRAZY EUROPEAN CHICK 6FKUHLEHU-RH Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (192 pp.) $16.99 | October 24, 2011 978-0-547-57738-8 Booth #3438 In Schreiberâ€™s debut novel for teens, an awkward high-school exchange student morphs into a beautiful assassin, changing a boring prom night into a dangerous race against time. Perry, a senior in high school, is focused on three things: his internship at his fatherâ€™s law office, playing guitar and, most of all, getting accepted into Columbia University. His mother, in an attempt to infuse some culture into their family, decides they should host a foreign exchange student. The socially awkward and unattractive Gobi is at best invisible and at worst a target for ridicule. Her one request before returning home is to attend the prom with Perry as her date. Under duress, Perry agrees to take her. However, Gobi has other plans, insisting he drive her to Manhattan instead. There she leads Perry on a killing spree that |
culminates in a confrontation with a very deadly and very familiar adversary. Stilted dialogue, unlikable characters and scenes that seem patched together from dozens of familiar action movies are only a sampling of this novelâ€™s many problems. Readers will quickly become frustrated with the predictable plot, overly familiar setting and Perryâ€™s obtuseness, though the framing device of college-application essay questions is mildly amusing. Filled with gratuitous violence, unnecessary vulgarity and unending clichĂŠ, this story often slides from merely bad into truly offensive. ÄŤ7KULOOHU14 XSÄŹ
TILLY THE TRICKSTER 6KDQQRQ0ROO\ ,OOXVWUDWRU+R\W$UG Abrams (32 pp.) $16.95 | September 1, 2011 978-1-4197-0030-9 Booth #3552
SEVENTEEN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO STYLE 6KRNHW$QQ Running Press (192 pp.) paper: $19.95 | July 1, 2011 978-0-7624-4193-8 Booth #4203 This highly visual and very pink fashion primer dissects six â€œstyle vibesâ€? for teen girls, pointing readers toward wardrobe essentials, celebrity inspirations and shopping destinations for looks from â€œbohoâ€? to â€œclassicâ€? to â€œglam.â€? |
ZOOZICAL 6LHUUD-XG\ ,OOXVWUDWRU%URZQ0DUF Knopf (40 pp.) $17.99 | PLB: $20.99 | August 23, 2011 978-0-375-86847-4 PLB 978-0-375-96847-1 Booth #4420
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Young Tilly is not just a trickster; she is a wayward imp of the just-thisside-of-mean school of mischief making. She pricks a discreet hole in daddyâ€™s paper cup at breakfast. â€œDaddy doesnâ€™t look happy,â€? deadpans Tilly; he sure doesnâ€™t, and Hoyt catches his appalled, rubbery face to a T. She tricks her teacher into eating a hot cinnamon cookie disguised as a strawberry treat (the teacher is not amused, nor is the school principal: â€œI am not pleased with her petty little pranks,â€? he says to her hastily summoned parents). But when Tilly fills her brotherâ€™s Oreo with toothpaste, making him sick in the process, doubts start to cloud her conscience. And when her family turns the tables and fills her slippers with shaving creamâ€”ay caramba!â€”enough with the tricksâ€Śuntil tomorrow (which promises to involve a spider). Clearly, Tillyâ€™s pique of conscience is only a glancing episode; sheâ€™s really just a naughty girl. Hoytâ€™s artwork is a delightful throwback to the Little Rascalsâ€™ worldâ€”not guileless; actually rather difficultâ€” and in keeping with that television program, the dogâ€”here, a jowly, spindle-legged bulldogâ€”steals the show. Not many deep lessons hereâ€”just good mean fun. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN4-8ÄŹ
Each section in the guide explores a particular look, beginning with a photographic spread of â€œmust-haves,â€? each labeled and annotated (e.g., â€œQUILTED PURSE: The perfect pieceâ€”TRENDY YET TIMELESSâ€?). Readers are led through spreads of suggested add-ons (â€œPair a drapey cardi with a FLIRTY MINI for an extra dose of femininity!â€?), then introduced to young women whose fashion suits the chapter. A final â€œlook bookâ€? spread shows celebrities, runway models and women in the street who exemplify the chapterâ€™s look. After covering â€œgirly,â€? â€œboho,â€? â€œclassic,â€? â€œedgy,â€? â€œglamâ€? and â€œindie,â€? the editors present two catch-all chapters, one guide to accessories and one to choosing jeans, swimwear, bras and underwear that hide and accentuate different body shapes. The book assumes an intermediate fashion vocabulary: The terms â€œruchingâ€? and â€œcapelet,â€? for example, are not defined, though illustrations offer some clues. There is, as promised, variation among the styles, but the range of acceptable looks is still fairly narrow, and many tips focus on making oneself different but not too different. A wealth of attractively-packaged information for fashion-conscious girls with some money to spend. ÄŤ1RQÄŚ Ă€FWLRQ12-18ÄŹ
Carrying on where they left off with :LOG $ERXW %RRNV (2004), their Seuss homage, Sierra and Brown find the good citizens of Springfield, and especially the residents of the zoo, overcome by the doldrums of winter. Itâ€™s windy and cold and snowy, and the sky canâ€™t get any lower. Leave it to two youngâ€™unsâ€”a hippo and a kangarooâ€” to light the kind of fire that will get folks up and moving. In this case, a musicalâ€”or, more appropriately, a ZooZicalâ€”in which all the animals find a niche and partake in a peaceable kingdom mega-performance. Sierra and Brown have worked together enough by now to feel comfortable in each otherâ€™s presence. They play off one another extremely well. Sierraâ€™s rhymed text is playful, with sassy touchesâ€”â€œThen on to the stage rolled ten seals on a bus, / Barking, â€˜Letâ€™s sing a tune that is all about us!â€™ â€?â€”and her pacing is peerless. In lockstep with the proceedings are Brownâ€™s illustrations: merry and alive with energy. Here the raccoons are doing a jitterbug, there the snakes are exuberantly tying themselves into knots, while chorus lines of giraffes and macaques step out in style. A book of sheer exuberanceâ€”vocal and visualâ€”which surely will be reflected during read-alouds. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN 4-8ÄŹ
Âł$ORQJVLGHMR\RXVH[SORUDWLRQKHDUWÄĽSRXQGLQJ DFWLRQDQGLQYHQWLYHO\KRUULI\LQJLPDJHU\ LVDFRPSOH[VHWRIPHWDSK\VLFDOTXHVWLRQVÂ´
JON SKOVRON, AUTHOR OF MISFIT BOOTH #3552
YUVIâ€™S CANDY TREE
influence the elements. Much tension comes from Jaelâ€™s rebellious and sometimes reckless choices: She experiments with her powers and confides in a classmate despite her fatherâ€™s insistence that the pair stay completely hidden. Refreshingly, Jael is largely proven right: Her actions bring her the intimacies, romantic and familial, that her human half craves, even while attracting the familyâ€™s sinister and powerful enemy, the demon Belial. Alongside joyous exploration, heart-pounding action and inventively horrifying imagery is a complex set of metaphysical questions: Does reality define belief or belief define reality? What is the nature of Hell? What makes a family? Thoughtful, scary and captivating. ÄŤ8UEDQIDQWDV\14 XSÄŹ
6LPSVRQ/HVOH\ ,OOXVWUDWRU3RUWHU-DQLFH/HH Kar-Ben (32 pp.) $17.95 | paper $7.95 | March 1, 2011 978-0-7613-5651-6 paper 978-0-7613-5652-3 Booth #2158 The hardship many Ethiopian Jews faced to successfully reach Israel is recounted in the voice of a 5-year-old girl who escapes with her grandmother, determined to reach their destination. Yuviâ€™s trip begins on a donkey at night with her grandmotherâ€™s strong religious conviction that angels will help them join mother and baby brother in their real home. â€œWe are going to Jerusalem. We have angels with us. Weâ€™ll fly home.â€? The long, arduous and dangerous journey is made bearable through roleplaying familiar family Shabbat rituals. Several encounters with robbers take almost all their money, except for the small amount Yuvi cleverly hides within her hair curls. Starved and parched from the endless days and nights of traveling, mostly on foot, Grandmotherâ€™s new promise of unlimited candy, clothes, games and bread is a wonder to Yuvi. Finally when they reach Jerusalem aboard a big plane, Yuvi sees her first orange tree and learns that after picking and eating one, so juicy and sweet, another will grow backâ€”the candy tree she imagined. Large, mostly double-page paintings in soft yellow, tan and blue hues on a textured canvas reflect the intrigue, emotion and difficulty of the journey. Uncomplicated language expressed in a direct and honest voice plus vibrant illustrations make Israelâ€™s Operation Moses easily accessible for early-elementary children. (afterword) ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN5-8ÄŹ
ALIENS ON VACATION 6PLWK&OHWH%DUUHWW ,OOXVWUDWRU6ODGH&KULVWLDQ Disney Hyperion (272 pp.) $16.99 | May 3, 2011 978-1-4231-3363-6 Series: The Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast 1 Booth #3324 Summer with grandma: boring, right? David, aka Scrub, is dreading it. His too-busy parents have sent him to stay with his hippiedippy grandma in a small town in Washington. Grandma runs the Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, which caters to weirdoes who pretend theyâ€™re from outer space. The obvious becomes unavoidable when Scrub witnesses one guest devouring aluminum foil while guzzling bleach and Scrubâ€™s closet door turns out to be a portal for all manner of tentacled, many-eyed, rubbery-skinned creatures. Grandma enlists Scrub to outfit the vacationing guests in earthly disguises, and he discovers he likes this new feeling of being trusted. But his head and tongue go wonky when curious neighbor Amy, daughter of the town sheriff (who wants to close the inn), starts poking around. Though the momentum takes a while to rev, the hijinks hit full gear when Scrub takes three puckish alien youngsters on a camping trip and they cross paths with the sheriff â€™s scouting troop. The jig is up, and Scrub feels the weight of grandmaâ€™s disappointment. What can he do to set things right? With goofy alien illustrations to kick start each chapter, this tale explores the confusion of impending teen-hood and the importance of a sense of purpose, plus how cool it would be to have friendly aliens living among us. Ideal for upper-elementary readers dabbling in sci-fi. ÄŤ6FLHQFHĂ€FWLRQ9-13ÄŹ
MISFIT 6NRYURQ-RQ Amulet/Abrams (384 pp.) $16.95 | August 1, 2011 978-1-4197-0021-7 Booth #3552 In an impeccably paced and unusually profound urban-fantasy novel, 16-year-old half-demon Catholic-school student Jael Thompson comes into her powers, explores her heritage and battles a tyrannical Hell beast. Jael, who grew up on the run with her strict, tight-lipped father, knows little of her history until her 16th birthday. Then, fulfilling a promise to his late wife, Jaelâ€™s father gives her a gem that allows her access to her demon half. Through flashbacks and visions, Jael finally encounters traces of her mother, once the Phoenician goddess Astarte. She also meets her uncle, a kindly but grotesque (by the mortal realmâ€™s standards) fish demon, who helps her harness her newfound ability to 54
ASHLEY SPIRES, AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR OF BINKY UNDER PRESSURE BOOTH #2863
Âł$OOWKHLQJUHGLHQWVDUHSUHVHQWIRU6SLUHVÂś chubby and sweetly delusional kittyâ€™s return: Binkyâ€™s wild imaginings, deadpan KXPRURFFDVLRQDOVSDFHJDVÄŞSRRWÄŤÂ´ from binky under pressure
GRANDPA GREEN 6PLWK/DQH ,OOXVWUDWRU6PLWK/DQH Roaring Brook (32 pp.) $16.99 | August 30, 2011 978-1-59643-607-7 Booth #3352
MARCEL MARCEAU: Master of Mime
P HOTO BY RYA N M A C D O N A L D
6SLHOPDQ*ORULD ,OOXVWUDWRU*DXWKLHU0DQRQ Kar-Ben (32 pp.) $17.95 | paper $7.95 | September 1, 2011 978-0-7613-3961-8 paper 978-0-7613-3962-5 Booth #2158 The legendary mime is introduced to a new generation, though not entirely successfully. As a child, Marceau loved to silently entertain his friends, like his idol, Charlie Chaplin. During the Nazi occupation of France, Marcel and his brother took on new identities in the French Underground, where they forged documents for Jewish children and helped many to escape to Switzerland. Spielman assumes that her young audience will understand references to deportation and concentration camps; unfortunately for those that donâ€™t, her matter-of-fact tone speaks more of adventure than deadly peril. Her tone subtly changes when she lovingly describes Marceauâ€™s training and development as a mime and his stage persona of Bip the clown, admiring his skills in the |
BINKY UNDER PRESSURE 6SLUHV$VKOH\ ,OOXVWUDWRU6SLUHV$VKOH\ Kids Can (64 pp.) $16.95 | paper $8.95 | September 1, 2011 978-1-55453-504-0 | paper 978-1-55453-767-9 Series: Binky 3 Booth #2863 Binky the Space Cat returns for his third not-so-quite-out-of-this-world adventure. The doughty astronaut keeps his humans safe in their space station (suburban house), but his life has become boringâ€Śnap, snack, cuddle, nap, catch aliens (bugs), nap. Then his humans bring home foster cat Gracie. And quelle horreur! He must share his food, litter and best friend, Ted! When explaining the situation to Gracie doesnâ€™t work, Binky stalks her, taking notes. Sheâ€™s too perfect; maybe the aliens created a robot cat in an attempt to infiltrate the space station. But no, when Binky tests Gracie to see if she hates aliens as much as he, she reveals her true identity: Captain Gracie of F.U.R.S.T. (Felines of the Universe Ready for Space Travel), clearance level 6, License to Scratch; sheâ€™s Binkyâ€™s superior and itâ€™s time for his annual review! Binky must prove himself or lose his commission. Heâ€™s made some mistakes in the past, but his humans and his space station need him now! Then aliens actually do invade; will Gracie and Binky be able to beat back the attack? All the ingredients are present for Spiresâ€™ chubby and sweetly delusional kittyâ€™s return: Binkyâ€™s wild imaginings, deadpan humor, occasional space gas (poot). Fans will celebrate; aliens will quiver in fright. ÄŤ*UDSKLF Ă€FWLRQ7-14ÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
An adoring great-grandson and a topiary garden tell the stories of one manâ€™s life. Watering a garden, pulling a wagon, collecting dropped gardening gloves and tools, a little fellow works in an amazing topiary world made of memories. The trees tell the story of his great-grandfatherâ€™s lifeâ€”from birth to chicken pox to high school to military service and, later, marriage. Many of the illustrations morph with page turns: Tears from the baby become water from a hose; a mysterious conical shape becomes a cannon; a bunny near a tiny tree munches a carrot topiary. Splashes of redâ€”berries, a hair bow, gunfire and a heartâ€”make brief appearances in this green world, but green, like Grandpaâ€™s name, is the star of this show. When the boy reunites Grandpa Green with his missing things, readers discover that though Grandpa sometimes forgets, the garden remembers for him. The illustrations say what the text doesnâ€™t need toâ€”that the love between boy and elder is elemental and honest. One surprising and sparkling gatefold shows the whole garden, with Grandpa Green working on his newest creation: his grandson fighting a dragon. Readers who slow down will be rewarded by this visual feast that grows richer with each visit. Though this book has lots of adult appeal, it will also be a wonderful bridge to exploring family history with the very young. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN5ÄŚ9ÄŹ
â€œart of silenceâ€? that won him international renown. But here too, comparisons to the Little Tramp and Pierrot may be outside readersâ€™ frame of reference. Though the illustrations carefully complement the textual content with period details, Gauthierâ€™s cartoon faces are all nearly identical, with only the screen image of Chaplin and Marceauâ€™s Bip having distinctive features. A double-page spread at the conclusion provides photographs of Bip in action and is the only clear indication of Marceauâ€™s stagecraft. At its best when the emphasis is on the skill and artistry of Mimeâ€™s most accomplished practitionerâ€”alas, too much of the book looks elsewhere. ÄŤ3LFWXUH ERRNELRJÄŚ UDSK\8-10ÄŹ
are given internal justification and believable motives, making them more than merely plot devices. Unraveling everyone elseâ€™s complicated secrets traps Braden into keeping some of his own, especially from love interest Trey. The two boysâ€™ palpable connection and fledgling relationship is balanced with the intrigue and interwoven seamlessly into the plot, resulting in a well-paced novel that takes advantage of every tension available. The storyâ€™s climax is logical and earned, leading to a denouement filled with bittersweet consequences. Traceyâ€™s promising debut neither panders nor patronizes, trusting readers to solve Belle Damâ€™s complex mysteries alongside a capable, self-assured hero. ÄŤ3DUDQRUPDO URPDQFH12 XSÄŹ
6WHQJO$QQH(OLVDEHWK Bethany House (284 pp.) paperback $14.99 | July 1, 2011 paperback 978-0-7642-0782-2 Booth #2238 Prince Leo and ugly Rose Red make epic, separate journeys across kingdoms and to the dragon-infested doors of Death in this fantasy from an evangelical publisher. The companion work to +HDUWOHVV (2010), this illuminates different aspects of the same tale. Mysteriously veiled, kindhearted Rose Red dwells up the mountainside; her grotesque appearance frightens villagers. Leo, not just the wealthy boy he first appears, but in fact the Prince of Southlands, befriends her, yet many believe heâ€™s actually bewitched, not making this choice of his own free will. Daylily, the lovely, spiritedâ€”but not especially sympatheticâ€”maiden to whom Leo is promised, lacks the depth of the other two protagonists. After dark forces invade dreams of both Leo and Rose Red and then a dragon attacks and enslaves their land, each is faced with hard choices of the potential costs of their efforts to defeat the rising evil. They receive guidance from ethereal voices whose trustworthiness they must judge. From frequent allusions, itâ€™s obvious that a complex back story provides depth to this faerie world, but readers must often guess at its components, making some aspects of the tale confusing. The conclusion leaves the story unfinished, setting up the next entry in the series. This inventive fairy tale with subtle Christian overtones includes enough suspenseful content to make it entertaining, in spite of leaving too many somewhatbewildering threads hanging. ÄŤ)DQWDV\ 11-18ÄŹ
HOUND DOG TRUE 8UEDQ/LQGD Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (176 pp.) $15.99 | September 19, 2011 978-0-547-55869-1 Booth #3438 With a little help from a caring adult, a child crippled by shyness begins to bloom. Soon-to-be fifth grader Mattie is painfully shy, making the frequent moves her mother has initiated especially difficult. In the last days of summer, after she and her mother move in with her Uncle Potluck, the elementaryschool custodian, he quickly recognizes both her talent and her difficulties and begins bringing her to work with him, where she records everything he does in her journal (since sheâ€™s a writer). She hopes that if she learns enough custodial skills, she can become his junior apprentice during lunch and recess and so avoid the most challenging times of the school day. Meanwhile, she is studiously steering clear of Quincy, a slightly older girl visiting next door; in trying to avoid the social minefield of friendship, she fails to recognize that Quincy is a kindred spirit. As amiable Potluck gently guides her, and her jittery but loving mother comes to better understand her, Mattie believably begins to turn from her inwardly focused timidity to an eye-opening awareness of the complexity of othersâ€™ emotional landscapes. Combining Mattieâ€™s poignant writing and interior monologue, exquisite character development and a slow, deliberate pace, Urban spins a story that rings true. This outstanding, emotionally resonant effort will appeal to middle-grade readers. ÄŤ)LFWLRQ8-12ÄŹ
WITCH EYES 7UDFH\6FRWW Flux (360 pp.) $9.95 paperback original | October 8, 2011 978-0-7387-2595-6 Booth #2572 A bewitching blend of paranormal romance and intrigue. Bradenâ€™s witch eyes enable him to see the world, unfiltered, as a mashup of memories and magic. He lives in seclusion while his uncle trains him to handle the sensory overload and physical toll of his impressive natural abilities. When a dark premonition spells doom for Uncle John, the signs compel Braden to seek answers in Belle Dam, a small town in Washington that is besieged by two feuding families of witches. While both sides would gladly use Braden as a weapon, he attempts to stay neutral and focused on unlocking the mysteries in his visions. Characters who withhold information 56
THE CHRONICLES OF HARRIS BURDICK: Fourteen Amazing Authors Tell the Tales 9DQ$OOVEXUJ&KULVHWDO ,OOXVWUDWRU9DQ$OOVEXUJ&KULV Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (208 pp.) $24.99 | October 25, 2011 978-0547548104 Booth #3438
BETWEEN :DUPDQ-HVVLFD Walker (464 pp.) $17.99 | August 2, 2011 978-0-8027-2182-2 Booth #3358 Drowned on her 18th birthday, a rich, popular girl struggles to discover what happened and learns some unpleasant truths. Liz has always been a golden girl, the center of the most popular clique in her tony Connecticut suburb. Drowning is bad enough, but itâ€™s even worse that she has to share her afterlife with poor-kid |
ANGEL BURN :HDWKHUO\/$ Candlewick (464 pp.) $17.99 | May 24, 2011 978-0-7636-5652-2 Booth #2452 A beautiful blond half-angel and the dark, handsome assassin sent to kill her fall in love in this fast-paced thriller romance, the first installment of a series first published in Britain (the sequel, $QJHO)LUH, is due out in December 2011). Due to an energy crisis, the ethereal sphere is dying and angels are crossing over to feed off humans, who are too bedazzled to connect visits from heavenly beings with growing mental/physical illness, aka angel burn. Alex, raised to be an AK (angel killer), is one of the few to realize the danger. When he tracks down his assigned target, he is surprised to discover sheâ€™s only half-angel and that the Church of Angels cult wants her dead. Willow is just as surprised. She thought the only reason she was considered â€œQueen Weirdâ€? at school was because she was psychic and a whiz car mechanic. The two go on the run and eventually become involved in a plan to save the world from a Second Wave of angelic invasion. The story is told alternately via Willowâ€™s voice and a third-person account that provides the perspective of Alex and others. Itâ€™s worth noting that the secondary but substantial falling-in-love plotline is quite chaste (they donâ€™t kiss until three-quarters of the way through the book). Perfect for the Twilight crowd. ÄŤ3DUDQRUPDOURPDQFH12 XSÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Fourteen award-winning authors craft stories to accompany the captioned pictures from Van Allsburgâ€™s 1984 enigma, 7KH0\VWHULHVRI+DUULV%XUGLFN. That title contained 14 exquisitely rendered pencil drawings, purportedly deposited with an editor by their selfascribed creator. Promising to return with companion texts, Burdick disappeared instead, leaving a generation of readers to puzzle over the incongruous illustrations. United only by the sense of macabre disequilibrium permeating each illustration, this volumeâ€™s stories vary in approach and effectiveness. Jules Feiffer delivers a clever but self-aggrandizing fable about a picture book author/illustrator whose increasingly mad attachment to his characters signals his demise. Jon Scieszkaâ€™s intentionally clichĂŠd â€œUnder the Rugâ€? seems shallow and dashed-off compared to deeply imagined pieces like M.T. Andersonâ€™s twitchily metaphysical â€œJust Desert.â€? Kate DiCamilloâ€™s adroit epistolary tale, set on the World War II home front, uses the image of an escaping wallpaper bird as the touchstone for a traumatized girlâ€™s breakthrough beyond silence and fear. Cory Doctorowâ€™s time-space ramble centers on four adventuring children, ignoring that the accompanying drawing depicts the travelers as two children, a thickset woman and a derby-hatted man. Linda Sue Parkâ€™s â€œThe Harpâ€? deftly directs charming characters in parallel plots to a meshed, triply happy ending, and Lois Lowry dazzles with a sophisticated meditation on â€œThe Seven Chairs,â€? wherein mid-century Catholicism bows beneath the archetypal (and, perhaps, renascent) rise of women. Engaging, with strokes of brilliance. (new and original introductions, author bios) ÄŤ)LFWLRQ8-13ÄŹ
Alex, killed in a hit-and-run several months ago, who takes pleasure in showing her what a bitch she isâ€”or at least was. Warman introduces readers and her protagonist to the girl Liz was gradually and simultaneously. In her afterlife, ghosts have hazy memories, so Lizâ€™s understanding of her life is incomplete. With Alexâ€™s help (heâ€™s a pro at being dead), Liz learns that her family was not as perfect as she wants to believe and that she was mixed up in some seriously bad stuff. She also learns that she was shockingly, horrifically shallow. For much of the book the mystery surrounding Lizâ€™s death is subsumed in her growing recognition of her frankly unlikable personality. That readers will like her ghostly persona despite her unpleasant living one is testament to Warmanâ€™s skill. While they will figure out the mystery before Liz does, they will appreciate her growth if not the rather tidy ending. A rich and compelling character study wrapped around a mystery. ÄŤ0\VWHU\14-18ÄŹ
creatures always ready to spout off a wise word or three. This entry is relatively light on the steam-powered clankers and genetically engineered beasties that drove the first two volumes of the trilogy, replacing them with repeated airborne drama. Still, any lost steampunky science is compensated for by nonstop action; itâ€™s hard to mind theatrical revelations when they occur in a made-for-CGI storm. Besides, in the midst of all that action Alek learns the art of navigation and how to measure the weight of water; how cool is that? Madcap adventure ends much too quickly. ÄŤ6WHDPÄŚ SXQN12-15ÄŹ
:HOOV5RELVRQ HarperTeen (356 pp.) $17.99 | October 18, 2011 978-0-06-202608-9 Booth #3338-3339 Wells introduces Benson Fisher, a teen in search of a â€œrealâ€? life instead of a long series of unwanted foster homesâ€” but instead of the utopia heâ€™s searching for, he finds the direct opposite. Benson thinks heâ€™s found the perfect school in Maxfield Academy, a private school in the wilds of New Mexico. Winning a scholarship with unexpected ease, he looks forward to establishing real friendships and getting a good education at last. What he finds, however, is far from normal. Within minutes of the front doors closingâ€”and lockingâ€”behind him, he finds himself in a fight for his life. He joins a gang, the Variants, just to survive. With no adults on campus, classes are taught by fellow students, punishments are passed on by computer and nothing seems to follow a logical path. Benson decides itâ€™s time to make a run for it, until he finds out that no one makes it out of Maxfieldâ€Śnot alive, at any rate. Bensonâ€™s account unfolds in a speedy, unadorned first person, doling information out to readers as he learns it himself. Hard to put down from the very first page, this fastpaced novel with Stepford overtones answers only some of the questions it poses, holding some of the most tantalizing open for the next installment in a series that is anything but ordinary. ÄŤ7KULOOHU12 XSÄŹ
CAN YOU SEE WHAT I SEE? TOYLAND EXPRESS :LFN:DOWHU ,OOXVWUDWRU:LFN:DOWHU Scholastic (40 pp.) $13.99 | October 1, 2011 978-0-545-24483-1 Series: Can You See What I See? Complex seek-and-find images provide an intriguing backdrop for the story of a tenacious toy train. This latest collection of picture puzzles in the Can You See What I See? series provides a nostalgic glimpse into the life, death and resurrection of a wooden train. The engine huffs from creation to exploration as it races past blocks, around dolls and through miniature villages. Thereâ€™s a vulnerable depth as the once-cherished birthday present is discarded in the dusty attic. Rescued in a yard sale and restored to its former beauty, the vehicle races with new purpose. The text follows a repetitive format as an inviting question encourages the eagle-eyed audience to peruse each page for items strategically placed within. Without effusive description, straightforward rhymes of concealed objects add to the challenge of the hunt. A direct title oversees each expansive double-page spread, and the pace naturally builds to repeated references to the train and its tumultuous journey. Wick plays with similar colors to enhance these expressive camouflaged spreads. Digitally processed photographs capture crisp dimensions with remarkable clarity. No puzzle hereâ€”these well-designed scenes are another success from the picture-challenge master. ÄŤ3LFÄŚ WXUHERRN4-8ÄŹ
GOLIATH :HVWHUIHOG6FRWW ,OOXVWUDWRU7KRPSVRQ.HLWK Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster (432 pp.) $19.99 | September 20, 2011 978-1-4169-7177-1 Series: Legendary Journeys 3 Booth #3652-3653 The Leviathan trilogy-ender delivers on the promise of the series: thrilling airship battles, world travel, ginormous Tesla coils and a few daring smooches. A revolution in Istanbul behind them, Alek and Deryn travel wherever the living airship Leviathan is ordered by the British Empire. Deryn knows Alekâ€™s secretâ€”that he is heir to the Austro-Hungarian Empireâ€”but Alek doesnâ€™t know that Deryn is truly a girl. They donâ€™t have much time to spare for their own personal soap opera as they freewheel around wartorn continents, from Siberia to Japan to the United States to Mexico. Alek and Deryn escape ravenous fighting bears tall as houses, ride atop a gale-tossed airship and star in motion pictures. The whole is peppered with sagacious statements from the tragically underused Perspicacious Lorises, faux-simple 58
DOWN THE MYSTERLY RIVER :LOOLQJKDP%LOO Starscape/Tom Doherty (333 pp.) $15.99 | September 13, 2011 978-0-7653-2792-5 Booth #3352
THE DRAGONâ€™S TOOTH :LOVRQ1' Random (496 pp.) $16.99 | PLB $19.99 | August 23, 2011 978-0375864391 | PLB 978-0-375-96439-8 Series: The Ashtown Burials 1 Booth #4420 A wild fantasy romp through a creatively imagined alternative world takes a classic quest format. Cyrus and Antigone, siblings ages 12 and 13 1/2, respectively, are thrown into adventure when they must leave the ancient motel in Wisconsin that has been their home in ashes and are driven by a lawyer with very strange speech patterns in a limo to Ashtown, where an alternate world awaits. Might their parents, thought dead, actually be alive? By the use of the third person, the author keeps events rolling and the pace swift, with barely a moment to breathe for the characters. |
THE FINGERTIPS OF DUNCAN DORFMAN :ROLW]HU0HJ Dutton (252 pp.) $16.99 | September 20, 2011 978-0-525-42304-1 Booth #3252 Wolitzer turns to writing for young readers with an ever-so-slightly magical tale of friendship and what it takes to be a winner. Just before starting in a new school, 12-year-old Duncan Dorfman discovers he can read through the fingertips of his left hand. His single mother makes him promise not to tell anyone. When he just canâ€™t take being a nobody any longer, though, he shows his table mate at lunch and draws the attention of Carl Slater, who is determined to win the national Youth Scrabble Tournament by any means necessary. In Portland, Ore., April Blunt and her Scrabble partner practice regularly and search for a boy April met and lost touch with. In New York, Nate Saviano is struggling under the yolk of homeschooling (which is just his fatherâ€™s way of making him study 24/7 to win the tournament; Mr. Saviano lost when he was 12). The teams bond over Scrabble boards, helping each other win in ways that surprise even them. The novel is shot through with Scrabble words and rules in a way that is reminiscent of Louis Sacharâ€™s 7KH&DUGWXUQHU (2010). Readers will identify with and root for the characters as their tales intertwine to a satisfying if slightly too cheery close. Word wizards arenâ€™t the only ones who will enjoy this readable rumination on ethics, competition and identity. ÄŤ)LFWLRQ9-14ÄŹ
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
An intrepid Boy Scout sleuth meets talking animals, creators of worlds and viciously evangelical conformists in a coming-of-age tale first issued in slightly different form in 2001. Hardly has Max had a chance to wonder how he comes to be walking down a forest road with great gaps in his memory than he meets a similarly afflicted badger who introduces himself as Banderbrock. With a raffish cat named McTavish and Walden, a peaceable bear, joining along the way, that walk soon turns into a flight ahead of a large company of dedicated men and women armed with special swords that can surgically remove troublesome personal characteristics like independence and creativity. Nonetheless, aside from the occasional narrow squeak, that flight is more like a leisurely amble, punctuated with pauses for extended bickering and reminiscences, plus conversations with a sociable talking tree and a wandering coot who claims to deliver universes. Even before finding safe haven with a â€œwizardâ€? (here a synonym for â€œauthorâ€?) who lays it all out, Max has reached a dismal realization about who he and his friends really are. But going out of print can be a beginning rather than an ending, promises the wizard, pointing out several roads to second careers for fictional characters. Though itâ€™s been done before and better (see Roderick Townleyâ€™s Great Good Thing, 2001), thereâ€™s still room in the premise for clever twists. ÄŤ0HWDILFWLRQDOIDQÄŚ WDV\12-15DGXOWÄŹ
While certain of their foes are immortal, others are just plain old incredible creatures, such as whip spiders and feathered vipers, but all require the courage of the trusty duo, who manages to befriend the right sorts just in time to be saved. Naturally, world dominion is at stake, and the evil Dr. Phoenix at the heart of the plot. The somewhat bombastic prose matches the derring-do required of the heroes, who have a certain winsome charm, and the nonstop action doesnâ€™t allow for any reflection on the absurdity of the premise. For readers whoâ€™ve reread all of Harry Potter multiple times, this will be just what the doctor ordered. Blissfully free of any deeper message, the adventures will continue in future volumes. ÄŤ)DQWDV\10-15ÄŹ
ALL THESE THINGS Iâ€™VE DONE =HYLQ*DEULHOOH Farrar, Straus and Giroux (368 pp.) $16.99 | September 27, 2011 978-0-374-30210-8 Booth #3352 Some four years after 0HPRLUV RI D 7HHQDJH $PQHVLDF (2007), Zevin returns to teen fiction with a story about the daughter of a Russian-American crime boss making her way in a grimly familiar 2083. This is no post-apocalyptic nightmare land. The only real clues readers have to a changed America are references to shortages of natural resources and increased regulation of just about everything. Most significantly for Anya Balanchine, chocolate is a controlled substance in this America, and her family is one of the five great chocolate families worldwide. Her parents both dead and her older brother brain-damaged as a result of their shadowy activities, Anya is de facto head of her own family, though not the Family. When she falls for Win Delacroix, the son of the new assistant DA, she knows the match is problematic. And when her ex-boyfriend is nearly fatally poisoned by a bar of illicit Balanchine Chocolate and sheâ€™s briefly taken into custody, things become even more complicated. Zevin excels at inviting readers into Anyaâ€™s mafiya paranoiaâ€”so much so that readers will be expecting double crosses that never happen, at least in this series opener. Anya is a likable character, though her retrospective and at times self-conscious account may distance readers. Still, the love storyâ€™s to die for, and the tangled web of relationships will keep readers intrigued to the last page. ÄŤ7KULOOHU14 XSÄŹ
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index children & teens
Abrams Abrams Abrams Abrams Abrams Abrams Baker Anne Bloomsbury Bloomsbury Bloomsbury Boyds Mills
Tom Angleberger Jonathan Auxier Phyllis Rose de Brunhoff; illus. by Laurent de Brunhoff Julia Pimsleur Levine Molly Shannon; illus. by Ard Hoyt Jon Skovron Elisabeth Stengl Jessica Day George Carrie Jones & Steven Wedel Jessica Warman Larry Dane Brimner
3552 3552 3552 3552 3552 3552 2238 3358 3358 3358
Boyds Mills Candlewick Candlewick Candlewick Candlewick Carolrhoda Carolrhoda Charlesbridge Charlesbridge Charlesbridge Chronicle Chronicle
Mary Ann Fraser; illus. by the author Steven Kroll; illus. by Hilary Knight Katherine & John Paterson; illus. by Jon Rocco Michael Rosen; illus by Robert Sabuda L.A. Weatherly Kate Hosford; illus. by Holly Clifton-Brown Carrie Jones; illus. by Mark Oldroyd Darrin Lunde; illus. by Catherine Stock Ann McCallum; illus. by Leeza Hernandez Susan Goldman Rubin Keith Graves Tom Lichtenheld & Ezra Fields-Meyer; illus. by Tom Lichtenheld Michaela MacCall Bob Marley; adapted by Cedella Marley & illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton Illus. by Pamela Dalton Katherine Paterson; illus. by Pamela Dalton J.L. Powers Shirley Reza Vernick Marianne Berkes; illus. by Jill Dubin Anthony D. Fredericks; illus. by Jennifer DiRubbio Carol L. Malnor & Sandy F. Fuller; illus. by Lisa Schroeder Mac Barnett; illus. by Kevin Cornell Clete Barrett Smith; illus. by Christian Slade Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson Blexbolex Nadine Brun Cosme; illus. by Olivier Tallec Yukiko Kato; illus. by Komako Sakai Béatrice Rodriguez; illus. by the author Béatrice Rodriguez; illus. by the author Nick James Karen Mahoney Scott Tracey Peter Brown; illus. by the author Sophie Flack Daniel Handler; illus. by Maira Kalman Meg Haston Kody Keplinger James Patterson Laini Taylor Anna Carey Patrick Carman
Darth Paper Strikes Back Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes Babar’s Celesteville Games Little Pim: Colors / Little Pim: Feelings Tilly the Trickster Misfit Veiled Rose Tuesdays at the Castle After Obsession Between Black and White: The Confrontation of Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth and Eugene “Bull” Connor Heebie-Jeebie Jamboree Nina In That Makes Me Mad The Flint Heart Chanukah Lights Angel Burn Big Bouffant Sarah Emma Edmonds Was a Great Pretender After the Kill Eat Your Math Homework Music Was It! Young Leonard Bernstein The Orphan of Awkward Falls
2698 2698 2452 2452 2452 2452 2158 2158 3058 3058 3058 4452
E-Mergency Promise the Night
One Love The Story of Christmas Brother Sun, Sister Moon This Thing Called the Future The Blood Lie Over in Australia Around One Log The Blues Go Extreme Birding Mustache! Aliens on Vacation The Bridge to Never Land People Big Wolf & Little Wolf, Such a Beautiful Orange! In the Meadow Fox and Hen Together Rooster’s Revenge Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars The Iron Witch Witch Eyes You Will Be My Friend Bunheads Why We Broke Up How to Rock Braces and Glasses Shut Out Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Daughter of Smoke and Bone Eve Dark Eden
4452 4452 4452 4508 4508 3140 3140 3140 3324 3324 3324 4508 3352 3352 3352 3352 2525 2525 2525 3630 3630 3630 3630 3630 3630 3630 3339 3339
Chronicle Chronicle Cinco Puntos Cinco Puntos Dawn Publications Dawn Publications Dawn Publications Disney Hyperion Disney Hyperion Disney Hyperion Enchanted Lion Enchanted Lion Enchanted Lion Enchanted Lion Enchanted Lion Flux Flux Flux Hachette Hachette Hachette Hachette Hachette Hachette Hachette HarperCollins HarperCollins
p. 27 p. 33 p. 53 p. 54 p. 56 p. 37 p. 41 p. 57
p. 36 p. 43 p. 49 p. 57 p. 39 p. 41 p. 44 p. 46 p. 51
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
p. 46 p. 49 p. 50 p. 29 p. 36 p. 45 p. 28 p. 54 p. 28 p. 29 p. 30 p. 42 p. 51 p. 51 p. 45 p. 56
p. 31 p. 31
C H I L DR E N
& TE E NS
HarperCollins HarperCollins HarperCollins HarperCollins HarperCollins Holiday House Holiday House Holiday House Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Kar-Ben Kar-Ben Kar-Ben Kar-Ben Kids Can Kids Can Kids Can Lemniscaat USA Lemniscaat USA Luminis Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan Macmillan McSweeney’s McSweeney’s Milkweed Milkweed Peachtree
Amy Garvey Tahereh Mafi Colin Meloy; illus. by Carson Ellis Lauren Oliver Robinson Wells Patricia Elliott Dawn Lairamore Hilary Wagner Beth Fantaskey Kersten Hamilton Chris Moriarty; illus. by Mark Edward Geyer Catherine Gilbert Murdock Joe Schreiber Linda Urban Chris Van Allsburg et al.; illus by Chris Van Allsburg Ellen Bari; illus. by Raquel García Maciá Eric A. Kimmel; illus. by Martina Peluso Lesley Simpson; illus. by Janice Lee Porter Gloria Spielman; illus. by Manon Gauthier David Bruins; illus. by Hilary Leung Annika Dunklee; illus. by Matthew Forsythe Ashley Spires; illus. by the author Christopher Franceschelli Jesse Goossens G.M. Dyrek Jack Gantos Ann M. Martin Mary E. Pearson Lane Smith; illus by the author Gabrielle Zevin Dave Eggers; illus by the author Sheila Heti; illus by Clare Rojas Jessica Lee Anderson Julia Crabtree Carmen Agra Deedy & Randall Wright; illus. by Barry Moser Krista Russell Jan Brett; illus. by the author Eric Carle; illus. by the author Harlan Coben Ally Condie Sarah Dessen Maureen Johnson Marie Lu Rachelle Mead Maile Meloy Richard Peck Jenny Slate & Dean, Marcel the Shell Meg Wolitzer Tyra Banks James Dashner Christopher Paolini Judy Sierra; illus by Marc Brown N.D. Wilson Kathie Lee Gifford; illus by Peter Bay Alexandersen
Cold Kiss Shatter Me Wildwood Liesl & Po Variant The Traitor’s Smile Ivy and the Meanstalk The White Assassin Jessica Rules the Dark Side In the Forests of the Night The Inquisitor’s Apprentice Wisdom’s Kiss Au Revoir, Crazy European Chick Hound Dog True The Chronicles of Harris Burdick Jumping Jenny Joseph and the Sabbath Fish Yuvi’s Candy Tree Marcel Marceau Ninja Cowboy Bear Presents the Call of Cowboy My Name is Elizabeth! Binky Under Pressure Oliver Plastic Soup Spear of Destiny Dead End in Norvelt Ten Rules for Living With My Sister The Fox Inheritance Grandpa Green All These Things I’ve Done When Marlana Pulled a Thread We Need a Horse Calli The Crepe Makers’ Bond
3339 3339 3339 3338-3339 3339 2547 2547 2547 3438 3438 3438 3438 3438 3438 3438 2158 2158 2158 2158 2863 2863 2863 2867 2867
The Chesire Cheese Cat Chasing the Nightbird Home for Christmas The Artist Who Painted the Blue Horse Shelter Crossed What Happened to Goodbye The Name of the Star Legend Bloodlines The Apothecary Secrets at Sea Marcel the Shell with Shoes on: Things About Me The Fingertips of Duncan Dorfman Modelland The Death Cure Inheritance (Inheritance #4) Zoozical The Dragon’s Tooth The Legend Of Messy M’Cheany
2955 2955 3252 3252 3252 3252 3252 3252 3252 3252 3252 4420 3252 3252 4420 4420 4420 4420 4420 4203
Peachtree Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin Penguin Random House Random House Random House Random House Random House Running Press
INDE X C ON TI N UED
3352 3352 3352 3352 3352 4969 4969 4627 4627
REVIEW p. 37 p. 45 p. 47 p. 49 p. 58 p. 43 p. 35 p. 38 p. 48 p. 48 p. 52 p. 56 p. 57 p. 27 p. 42 p. 54 p. 55 p. 29 p. 34 p. 55 p. 35 p. 38 p. 34 p. 36 p. 46 p. 50 p. 55 p. 60 p. 35 p. 39 p. 27 p. 33 p. 34 p. 52
p. 32 p. 34 p. 40 p. 44 p. 47 p. 50 p. 59
p. 53 p. 59 p. 38
C H I L DR E N
& TE E NS
INDE X C ON TI N UED
Running Press Running Press Scholastic Scholastic Scholastic Scholastic Scholastic Scholastic Scholastic Scholastic Scholastic Scholastic Scholastic Simon & Schuster Simon & Schuster Simon & Schuster Simon & Schuster Simon & Schuster Simon & Schuster Simon & Schuster Simon & Schuster Sleeping Bear Press Sleeping Bear Press Sleeping Bear Press Sleeping Bear Press Sleeping Bear Press St. Martin’s Steiner Books Steiner Books Tor
Jennifer Knight Ann Shoket Harry Bliss; illus. by the author Patrick Carman Lucy Christopher Michael Garland Jeff Hirsch Matthew Kirby Wendy Mass Chris Raschka Brian Selznick; illus. by the author Sarah Weeks Walter Wick; illus. by the author Mary Higgins Clark; illus. by Wendell Minor Doreen Cronin; illus. by Laura Cornell Ellen Hopkins William Joyce; illus. by the author Lisa McMann Mary Lyn Ray; illus. by Marla Frazee Matthew Van Fleet; photographs by Brian Stanton Scott Westerfeld; illus by Keith Thompson Brynne Barnes; illus by Annika M. Nelson Eve Bunting Eve Bunting; illus. by Josée Masse J. Patrick Lewis; illus. by Christopher Denise Robert Michelson; illus. by Zachary Pullen Amy Kathleen Ryan Diana Cohn; illus. by Amy Córdova Amy Córdova & Eugene Gollogly; illus. by Amy Córdova Orson Scott Card & Emily Card with Zina Margaret Card; illus. by Honoel A. Ibardolaza David Lubar Bill Willingham Marjorie Gann & Janet Willen Marthe Jocelyn Marthe Jocelyn; illus. by Nell Jocelyn
Blood on the Moon Seventeen Ultimate Guide to Style Bailey Floors Flyaway Oh, What a Christmas! The Eleventh Plague Icefall 13 Gifts Seriously, Norman! Wonderstruck Pie Can You See What I See? Toyland Express The Magical Christmas Horse M.O.M. (Mom Operating Manual) Perfect The Man in the Moon The Unwanteds Stars Moo Goliath Colors of Me The Pirate Captain’s Daughter Frog and Friends Tugg and Teeny Lipman Pike: America’s First Home Run King Glow Roses for Isabella Talking Eagle and the Lady of the Roses
4106 4203 2753 2753 2753 2572 2572 2753 2753 2753 2753 2753 2753 3653 3653 3653 3653 3653 3653 3653 3653 4756 4756 4756 4756 4756 3352 3533 3533
Laddertop Attack of the Vampire Weenies Down the Mysterly River Five Thousand Years of Slavery Scribbling Women Ones and Twos The Wizard of Oz Scanimation
3352 3352 3352 4431 4431 4431 4252
Tor Tor Tundra Tundra Tundra Workman
REVIEW p. 43 p. 53 p. 31 p. 37 p. 39 p. 42
p. 58 p. 33 p. 39 p. 41 p. 47 p. 40 p. 58 p. 28 p. 30 p. 30 p. 44 p. 48 p. 52 p. 32 p. 32
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
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kirkus reviewsâ€™ guide to the
STARS k i rku s re vi e ws: the top 2 6 books at bookexpo am erica
CANDLEWICK booth #2452
THE FLINT HEART Paterson, Katherine and John Paterson A grand tale skillfully updated and tightened up, this should win the hearts of a new genÄĽ eration. ÄŤ)DQWDV\ÄŚÄŹp. 49
MY NAME IS ELIZABETH! Dunklee, Annika 7KLVGHEXWSLFWXUHÄĽERRN RÉąHULQJIURP'XQNOHHDQG Forsythe is close enough to perfect in its tone, pacing and interplay between words and pictures: Wonderful. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRNÄŚÄŹ p. 34
BINKY UNDER PRESSURE 6SLUHV$VKOH\ Fans will celebrate; aliens will quiver in fright. ÄŤ*UDSKLF Ă€FWLRQÄŚÄŹ p. 55
THE CHESHIRE CHEESE CAT: A Dickens of a Tale 'HHG\&DUPHQ$JUDDQG 5DQGDOO:ULJKW Readers with great expectaÄĽ WLRQVZLOOÂżQGWKHPIXOO\ VDWLVÂżHGE\WKLVWRQJXHÄĽLQÄĽ FKHHNURPSWKURXJKDKLVWRULF public House that is the very opposite of Bleak. ÄŤ$QLPDO IDQWDV\ÄŚÄŹ p. 34
MUSIC WAS IT Young Leonard Bernstein 5XELQ6XVDQ*ROGPDQ ([FHOOHQWERRNPDNLQJ Ä§IURPW\SHWRWULPVL]HÄ§ FRPSOHPHQWVDUHPDUNDEOH celebration of a uniquely $PHULFDQPXVLFDOJHQLXV ÄŤ%LRJUDSK\ÄŚÄŹ p. 51
HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT booth #3438
Lu, Marie 7KLVLVQRGLGDFWLFQHDUÄĽIXWXUH warning of present evils, but a FLQHPDWLFDGYHQWXUHIHDWXULQJ HQGHDULQJFRPSHOOLQJKHURHV ÄŤ6FLHQFHĂ€FWLRQÄŚÄŹ p. 44
3HUURWWD7RP Thereâ€™s even a happy ending of sorts, as characters adapt DQGNHHSJRLQJIRUWLÂżHG by the knowledge that they ÂłZHUHPRUHWKDQWKHVXPRI ZKDWKDGEHHQWDNHQIURPÂ´ WKHPÄŤĂ€FWLRQÄŹ p. 19
KNOCKING ON HEAVENâ€™S DOOR: How Physics and Scientific Thinking Illuminate the Universe and the Modern World
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2OLYHU/DXUHQÄŤDXWKRUÄŹ $FHGHUD.HLÄŤ,OOXVWUDWRUÄŹ An irresistible read: This book sings. ÄŤ)DQWDV\ÄŚÄŹ p. 49
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KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
Randall, Lisa $WRXURIVXEDWRPLFSK\VLFV WKDWGD]]OHVOLNHWKHVWDUV ÄŤQRQĂ€FWLRQÄŹ p. 20
0RULDUW\&KULV $PDUYHORXVP\VWLFDOURPS that doesnâ€™t ignore reality. A hint of a possible sequel whets readersâ€™ appetite for PRUH<HVSOHDVH ÄŤ)DQWDV\ XSÄŹ p. 48
SECRETS AT SEA 3HFN5LFKDUG Sheer delight. ÄŤ$QLPDOIDQWDV\ ÄŚÄŹ p. 50
THE QUANTUM THIEF 5DMDQLHPL+DQQX Spectacularly and convincÄĽ ingly inventive, assured and wholly spellbinding: one of WKHPRVWLPSUHVVLYHGHEXWVLQ years. ÄŤVFLÄŚĂ€ÄŹ p. 19
DEAD END IN NORVELT *DQWRV-DFN Characteristically provocative JRWKLFFRPHG\ZLWKVXEOLPH undertones. ÄŤ$XWRELRJUDSKLFDO Ă€FWLRQÄŚÄŹ p. 36 |
kirkus reviewsâ€™ guide to the stars
15 april 2011
MISFIT Skovron, John Thoughtful, scary and captivating. ÄŤ8UEDQIDQWDV\ XSÄŹ p. 54
MIGHTY THEIR POWERS BE: How Sisterhood, Prayer, And Sex Changed a nation
THE CATâ€™S TABLE
Didion, Joan $VOLPVRPEHUFODVVLF ÄŤQRQĂ€FWLRQÄŹ p. 7
2QGDDWMH0LFKDHO (OHJLDFPDWXUHDQGQRVWDOÄĽ JLFÄ§DÂżQHHYRFDWLRQRI childhood, and of days irretrievably past. ÄŤĂ€FWLRQÄŹ p. 18
*ERZHH/H\PDK A patriotic chronicle reverberÄĽ ant with valor and perseverÄĽ ance. ÄŤQRQĂ€FWLRQÄŹ p. 8
IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitlerâ€™s Berlin Larson, Erik An excellent study, taking a WLQ\LQVWDQWRIPRGHUQKLVWRU\ DQGJLYLQJLWVSHFLÂżFZHLJKW GHSWKDQGPHDQLQJ ÄŤQRQĂ€FWLRQÄŹ p. 14
THE NIGHT CIRCUS 0RUJHQVWHUQ(ULQ Generous in its vision and fun to read. Likely to be a big ERRNÄ§DQGVRRQDELJPRYLH ZLWKDOOWKHIUDQFKLVHWULPÄĽ PLQJVÄŤĂ€FWLRQÄŹ p. 17
THE CREPE MAKERSâ€™ BOND
)ULHGPDQ%UXFH-D\ A life story that consistently FKDUPVZLWKFDQGRUDQGWKH VHDVRQHGZLWRIDPDVWHU storyteller whoâ€™s certainly been around the block. ÄŤQRQĂ€FWLRQÄŹ p. 8
&UDEWUHH-XOLH Creative and refreshing like a JRRGVRXÉšpWKLVSHUFHSWLYH heartfelt narrative nevertheÄĽ OHVVKDVUHDOPHDWRQLWVERQHV ÄŤ)LFWLRQÄŚÄŹ p. 33
ONES AND TWOS -RFHO\Q0DUWKH A worthy contribution to any todÄĽ dler bookshelf...and hopefully just the beginning of a long partnership. ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRNÄŚÄŹ p. 40
THE BODY POLITIC: The Battle over Science in America
HANDPRINT/CHRONICLE booth #4452
Moreno, Jonathan +LJKO\UHFRPPHQGHGIRU anyone interested in the vital issues of this â€œbiological cenÄĽ WXU\Â´ÄŤQRQĂ€FWLRQÄŹ p. 17
ENCHANTED LION booth #4508
KIRKUS REVIEWS GUIDE TO THE STARS
BROTHER SUN, SISTER MOON Saint Francis of Assisiâ€™s Canticle of the Creatures Paterson, Katherine Grace and joy for all ages and DOPRVWDQ\IDLWKÄŤ3LFWXUHERRN UHOLJLRQÄŚÄŹ p. 49
PEOPLE %OH[EROH[ $PHPRUDEOHJDOOHU\RI KXPDQLW\ÄŞDQGLWVRXWOLHUVÄŤ ÄŤ3LFWXUHERRNÄŚÄŹ p. 29
kirkus reviewsâ€™ guide to the stars
15 april 2011