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Cynthia K. Ritter

About Cynthia K. Ritter

Cynthia K. Ritter is associate editor of The Horn Book Guide. She earned a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons College.

Graphic-novel friendships and family

These realistic graphic novels (and one graphic memoir) offer a reminder to upper-elementary and middle-school readers that they are not alone when it comes to dealing with school and/or family drama. In her graphic memoir Real Friends, author Shannon Hale recounts her elementary-school years, focusing on the theme of childhood friendships. Young Shannon feels a […]

The great unknown

Adventure awaits not only those intrepid real-life explorers who brave the great unknown…but also the readers of these captivating historical narratives about the exploration of space, the Amazon rainforest, the high seas, and the Arctic. Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and Beyond is a thoughtful, informative guide to the history of space […]

Sesame Street app review

Can you tell me how to get to…tons of wonderful educational videos and games for preschoolers? Just like the neighborhood itself, the Sesame Street companion app (Sesame Workshop, 2014; iOS and Android) is the place to be: a free account gives a child access to a large selection of games as well as new and […]

Martha Speaks Word Spinner app review

Based on Susan Meddaugh’s picture book series about a loquacious canine, PBS Kids’s long-running television series Martha Speaks aims to bolster children’s oral vocabulary. The Martha Speaks Word Spinner (PBS Kids/WGBH, 2013; iOS and Android) app, a “family-style party game — but with a distinctly Martha twist,” entertainingly reinforces that goal. One to four players […]

“The Art of Ekua Holmes” exhibit

Last evening was the opening of “The Art of Ekua Holmes” exhibit, featuring original paintings from her books Voice of Freedom and Out of Wonder, at Simmons College’s Trustman Art Gallery. Friend of the Horn Book Megan Dowd Lambert tweeted many photos of the exhibit (including one of the artist in conversation with our Creative […]

Outta this world

In these middle-grade and middle-school science-fiction novels, aliens variously come in peace or seek to destroy humanity — but either way, their existence forces characters to ponder deep philosophical questions and experience life-changing journeys. Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth begins with narrator Prez Mellows (who is electively mute) opening the front […]

Review of Long May She Wave: The True Story of Caroline Pickersgill and Her Star-Spangled Creation

Long May She Wave: The True Story of Caroline Pickersgill and Her Star-Spangled Creation by Kristen Fulton; illus. by Holly Berry Primary    McElderry    40 pp. 5/17    978-1-4814-6096-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6097-2    $10.99 Caroline Pickersgill grew up around industrious women: her widowed mother ran a successful flag-making business from their Baltimore […]

Teach Your Monster to Read app review

I’m officially smitten with the Usborne Foundation’s phonics and reading game Teach Your Monster to Read (Teach Monster Games Ltd., 2014; iOS, Android, and desktop). Designed in collaboration with leading academics at the U.K.’s University of Roehampton to cover the first two years of literacy learning, this app serves as a nice complement to any […]

Here Comes Science…Marchers

On Saturday morning (a.k.a. Earth Day 2017), my friend, fellow science-enthusiast, and Scientists in the Field author Amy Cherrix and I braved the damp, drizzly weather to head down to the Parkman Bandstand, where the Kids’ March for Science Boston was taking place next to the adult march on the Boston Common. We only stayed […]

Batter up for Opening Day 2017!

The sun is shining (thank goodness — we need it after the slushy start to April this weekend) as a new season of America’s national pastime begins today. Down the street at Fenway Park, our Red Sox are set to take on the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon. Go Sox! Meanwhile, here at The Horn Book […]