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Archives for April 2012

Brave new worlds

In her article “What Makes a Good YA Dystopian Novel?” from the May/June Horn Book Magazine, April Spisak offers thirteen recommendations for young adult dystopian books and series. We’ve also suggested some recently published Hunger Games trilogy readalikes for both YA and younger audiences here on Out of the Box. But since it’s always good […]

Old friends

Had a wonderful day with great friend (and former boss) Betsy Hearne at the Eric Carle on Saturday. Together we led a little lunchtime discussion–I started it by asking Betsy what she found to be most different about children’s books from when she became a librarian in the late sixties and now. She had a […]

“In the air…” and “On the water…”

It’s Byron Barton’s Planes (March) and Boats (April) in app format from Oceanhouse Media and HarperCollins. Matching the books’ engaging simplicity and directness, both apps enhance the print versions without distracting users with over-the-top interactive elements. The text is read by an enthusiastic narrator, whether the sound is on or off. If you choose to […]

What Makes a Good YA Dystopian Novel?

Dystopias are characterized as a society that is a counter-utopia, a repressed, controlled, restricted system with multiple social controls put into place via government, military, or a powerful authority figure. Issues of surveillance and invasive technologies are often key, as is a consistent emphasis that this is not a place where you’d want to live. […]

New verse narrative recommendations

In honor of National Poetry Month and Poem in Your Pocket Day, we’ve put together a booklist of verse narratives across audience age and genre. Want a historical fiction verse novel or a picture book in poems? Look no further. These books were all published in the last few years and recommended by The Horn […]

Verse narratives

The books recommended below were published within the last several years. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.   PICTURE BOOKS Suggested grade level for all entries: K-3 The Great Migration: Journey to the North written by Eloise Greenfield; illus. by Jan Spivey Gilchrist (HarperCollins/Amistad) Poignant poems (accompanied by collage […]

Another Belle of Amherst

This coming Saturday, I’ll be introducing my old friend Betsy Hearne at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, where she will be delivering the Barbara Elleman Research Library Lecture. 25 bucks for lunch with Betsy and me at noon; the BERL lecture (hey Barbara–how’s it feel to be an acronym?) is  at 2:00 […]

Friendship through fiction

Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, editor Holly Thompson, a YA author (Orchards, a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults book) and a longtime resident of Japan, became especially concerned about teen survivors of the quake and tsunami. She decided to collect YA short fiction from writers and translators connected to Japan either by […]

The e-Future

The topic is daunting. Imagine someone coming up to Gutenberg while he was working out the kinks on his first press and asking, “So, John, where’s this printing thing going?” I’ve spent the last few years prowling in the digital space and am more or less up to speed on what’s happening now, but the […]

Review of Green

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger; illus. by the author Preschool    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 3/12    978-1-59643-397-7    $16.99 Lemons Are Not Red (rev. 1/05) was a concept book about color, so you might think this offering on various shades of a single color would be simpler. But Seeger once again sets up a challenge for herself, […]