Subscribe to The Horn Book
Family Reading logo

Read more Family Reading posts | Subscribe via RSS

Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at

Welcome, families!

Family Reading


Roger’s baby brother with his “bloopah”

Welcome to The Horn Book’s newest blog, Family Reading, a place to find children’s book recommendations, vigorous discussion and debate, advice, and humor about sharing books in the home.

We are using both the words family and reading in the broadest possible sense. If, as Sister Sledge sings it, “We Are Family,” then “family” expands to include all of us, whether we are parents or not. And “reading” can include reading aloud, listening to audiobooks, allowing babies to chew on board books, interacting with book apps, and leaving kids alone to make their own choices.

March/April 1997 Horn Book MagazineThe idea for this blog has been percolating for some time. In 1997, The Horn Book Magazine’s annual Special Issue theme was “Family Reading,” with articles by such luminaries as Betsy Hearne, Lesléa Newman, and K. T. Horning, on topics ranging from board books to Walt Disney to picture books featuring same-sex parents. Roger and Martha’s book A Family of Readers (Candlewick, 2010) further explored the subject of reading in the home, from birth through the teen years. And over the years the Magazine’s “Books in the Home” column has featured pieces on reading and homeschooling, race, adoption, kids on the autism spectrum, a grown daughter caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s — to name just a few topics. Not to mention, thanks to the Horn Book Guide‘s mission to review all hardcover children’s books published in the United States in any given year (or as close to it as we can get), we are literally surrounded by children’s books all day, every day. It’s what we do.

The library after school is a place for families. Photo: Liz Phipps Soeiro.

The library after school is a place for families. Photo: Liz Phipps Soeiro.

The Horn Book editors, reviewers, and colleagues are parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins, neighbors, babysitters, casual observers, librarians, teachers, and writers. Some of us have babies in our lives, others school-age kids, others grownup children (and some of us are “parents” to cats and dogs; is that not a family?). And our family configurations, too, are varied. Not to sound too cliched, but The Horn Book itself is a family — dysfunctional at times, sure, but also filled with love.

The Family Reading blog will include both existing Horn Book material that is useful to families and original content written by Horn Book staff and guest bloggers. If you have an idea for a post, pop it into the Comments below or email us at: newsletter <at>

Families are complicated, but reading about them doesn’t have to be! Welcome to Family Reading.

Elissa Gershowitz and Kitty Flynn About Elissa Gershowitz and Kitty Flynn

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor and Kitty Flynn is consulting editor of The Horn Book, Inc. They co-parent the Horn Book's Family Reading blog at



  1. I’m doing spirit fingers AND jazz hands for this.

  2. Elissa Gershowitz Elissa Gershowitz says:
  3. Megan Lingo | Chickadee Lit says:

    I have been looking forward to this since it was announced! Can’t wait to dig in.

  4. Robin Smith Robin Smith says:

    I am very very happy about this!

  5. Elissa Gershowitz Elissa Gershowitz says:
  6. Happy book blog birthday! I am excited for this.

  7. Thrilled about this. Thank you all for continuing to provide invaluable resources to the community.

  8. Beth Osborne says:

    Sounds awesome. I know that anything with Kitty’s name on it is going to be terrific. Looking forward to seeing it.

  9. Kelly Ahlfeld says:

    Congratulations and I look forward to this!

  10. This is a marvelous idea for a blog! Looking forward to new posts!

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind