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Archives for March 2013

Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night app review

Beautiful nonfiction app Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night (Bookerella and Story Worldwide, 2012) introduces primary and intermediate users to the world’s only flying mammal. Author Mary Kay Carson — whose many nonfiction print books for children include 2010 Scientists in the Field title The Bat Scientists — presents accessible information in seven brief chapters […]

Different Drums: Wiggiling

The Horn Book Magazine asked Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, “What’s the strangest children’s book you’ve ever enjoyed?” My mother introduced me and my siblings to the wonderful weirdness in Howard R. Garis’s Uncle Wiggily tales. Garis gave us old Uncle Wiggily Longears and his adventures with Sammie and Susie Littletail, Johnnie and Billie Bushytail, the Wibblewobbles, […]

Five Questions for Kitty Flynn

At our upcoming Fostering Lifelong Learners: Prescribing Books for Early Childhood Education conference, Horn Book Guide Executive Editor Kitty Flynn will be leading a presentation about how the Horn Book evaluates and reviews preschool books. This is one aspect of her work that also engages her off the clock: Kitty and her husband are parents […]

Lai v. Griffin

Did anyone see the recent episode of Project Runway where they designed tearaway clothes for strippers? BOTH teams lost. I wish we could do the same here. Pitting Starry River of the Sky against Splendors and Glooms, Thanhha Lai incomprehensibly evokes a video game junkie “from, say, Dallas” to say that both books work as “entertainment.” […]

Getting there

Claire Gross says in her article “What Makes a Good YA Coming-Out Novel?” (from the Horn Book Magazine March/April 2013 special issue Different Drummers), Since John Donovan’s groundbreaking 1969 I’ll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip, young adult novels featuring gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and questioning teens have come a long way. Once […]

Our Bertha

I’m over at Kidlit Celebrates Women’s History Month today,  talking about Horn Book founder Bertha Mahony Miller. See also my review of a new picture book biography of one of Bertha’s great friends, Miss Moore (Thought Otherwise). For more on Bertha Mahony Miller, see our Virtual History Exhibit and the tag Bertha Mahony Miller. For […]

Review of Miss Moore Thought Otherwise

Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children by Jan Pinborough; 
illus. by Debby Atwell Primary    Houghton    40 pp. 3/13    978-0-547-47105-1    $16.99 Nowadays, Anne Carroll Moore is remembered as the fiercest of the library ladies whose influence on children’s library service and publishing was both inspirational and — sometimes — intractable. […]

On Spies and Purple Socks and Such

If you were a queer kid like me growing up in the sixties, I hope you were fortunate enough to come across books by Louise Fitzhugh. She may have saved your life, or at least made it a bit more comfortable. When I was eleven, I didn’t know I was gay; I only knew that […]

Too Gay or Not Gay Enough?

Several years ago, I was invited to an all-day reading festival held at a brand-new library in a mid-sized town in South Carolina. Four authors had been invited to speak and sign books, one for each age group. I was the young adult author. At the lavish party held the night before the festival, I […]

A Second Look: Annie on My Mind

Annie on My Mind and I grew up together. Published twenty-five years ago in 1982, this now-canonical lesbian-coming-of-age novel was one of the first books I ever reviewed. Sally Holmes Holtze was then assistant editor at School Library Journal’s book review section, working with Pam Pollack, and I was a new SLJ reviewer. I was […]