About Anita L. Burkam

Horn Book reviewer Anita L. Burkam is former associate editor of The Horn Book Magazine.

Review of The Red Pencil

pinkney_red pencil

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by Shane W. Evans Middle School    Little, Brown    324 pp. 9/14    978-0-316-24780-1    $17.00 e-book ed.  978-0-316-24781-8    $9.99 The first part of this vivid novel, set from September 2003 to March 2004, celebrates twelve-year-old Amira’s life on her family farm in Darfur, Sudan. Her first-person prose poems and […]

Review of The Cabinet of Curiosities

bachmann_cabinet of curiosities

The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief & Sinister by Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Claire Legrand, 
and Emma Trevayne; illus. by Alexander Jansson Middle School    Greenwillow    488 pp. 6/14    978-0-06-233105-2    $16.99 Four “curators” — Bachmann, Catmull, Legrand, and Trevayne — travel to lands peregrine and outré to fill their Cabinet of Curiosities museum, sending back […]

What Makes a Good Horse Book?

lawrence_winter pony

Black Beauty. The Black Stallion. My Friend Flicka. National Velvet. Add in basically anything written by Marguerite Henry (Misty of Chincoteague), and you’ll see that horses hold a beloved place in 
classical children’s literature. But what qualities make a contemporary horse book stand out? For children who long to own a horse but can’t have […]

Review of The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to 
Their Younger Selves

The Letter Q: Queer Writers' Notes on Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon

The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to 
Their Younger Selves edited by Sarah Moon, with 
contributing editor James Lecesne Middle School, High School    Levine/Scholastic    
282 pp. 5/12    978-0-545-39932-6    $17.99 Inspired by mentors in her own childhood, editor Sarah Moon asked sixty-four gay, lesbian, and bisexual writers, illustrators, and publishing professionals to write letters to themselves […]

Review of Cold Cereal

Cold Cereal

Cold Cereal by Adam Rex; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins 422 pp. 2/12 978-0-06-206002-0 $16.99 g In the town of Goodborough, home to the Goodco cereal company, new kid Scott Doe is seeing things. Specifically, a rabbit-headed man, a unicat, and a leprechaun named Mick. His only friends, brainy twins […]

Mike Newell’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

goblet of fire movie poster

With millions of fans worldwide passionate in their devotion to the boy wizard, Harry Potter is practically in a publishing category by itself — J. K. Rowling can do no wrong. So when directors undertake to film a movie version of a Harry Potter book, the scrutiny is intense. Moviegoers demand a movie that is […]