Subscribe to The Horn Book
Elissa Gershowitz

About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She is a current member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee.

Family curses, grief, and fate

These recent books for middle graders dip into the supernatural (ancestral curses, spectral mothers, ghost frenemies, growing skeletons) to raise larger questions about family, friendship, memory, grief, and love. In Lauren DeStefano’s The Girl with the Ghost Machine, ten-year-old Emmaline Beaumont and her father Julien are devastated by Emmaline’s mother’s sudden death, and grief drives […]

2017 Boston Teen Author Festival

On Saturday afternoon, the place to be for fans of YA literature was the sixth annual Boston Teen Author Festival, held at the Cambridge Public Library and the Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. Forty (!) authors participated throughout the day on panels including “Family Portrait” (authors S. K. Ali, Sarah Nicole Lemon, Jen Malone, […]

Chapter-book chums

As new readers head back to school, these recent chapter books will help cement a love of read-it-yourself stories. King, an exuberant dog, introduces himself in the initial two entries of a new early-chapter-book series by Dori Hillestad Butler: “Hello! My name is King. I’m a dog. This is Kayla. She is my human.” Each […]

Back-to-school silliness

School is in session. Here are some new picture books that play up the silliness for students and teachers — including one most ridiculous substitute. For more, look to our Back-to-School Horn Book Herald and What Makes a Good School Story? newsletters. The mischievous feline star of Here Comes Teacher Cat by Deborah Underwood is […]

Five questions for Anne Quirk

Anne Quirk’s The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (And How They Shaped the Nation) (Knopf, 10–14 years) highlights four sets of venerable opponents whose disputes helped set America’s path during its formative years. And just like its author — who was former publisher of The Horn Book — the book is smart, […]

“Choose Love…and Lemonade”

While thousands of people marched on Boston Common last Saturday, outside the main branch of the Cambridge Public Library, two third graders set up a lemonade stand with a twist. “Lemonade for Peace” was the brainchild of Declan Haley (right) with the help of his friend James Selvitella, assisted by their awesome moms Elizabeth and […]

Ramona + Sparrowboy = BFF

Who else imagines that these two would be friends? And maybe with him? And her! What other characters do you imagine as BFFs in Children’s Lit Land?

Board Book Roundup: Summer 2017 Edition

This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine. Alphabet Family Band by Sarah Jones Blue Manatee    18 […]

Dos and Don’ts of Writing Complex Teens…by an actual complex teen

As seen on Facebook: Friend of The Horn Book Christine M. Heppermann — author, poet, and mother of one most excellent teen Audrey Hinsdale (read her Family Reading post “My Own Discretion Advised”) — posted this advice from her daughter on the “Dos and Don’ts of Writing Complex Teens.”

OH! AH! WAAHOO! Concept books!

Learning about colors, numbers, sounds, and the ABCs can be a blast (“WAAHOO!”) with these concept books for preschoolers-and-up. Say Zoop!, the latest old-school interactive picture book by Hervé Tullet (author of Press Here), plays with sounds, primary colors, and creativity. The book begins: touch a small blue dot “and say a little oh!” Press […]