Elissa Gershowitz

About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is senior editor of The Horn Book Magazine and online content editor for The Horn Book, Inc. She is a current member of the Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee.

Blowing the shofar for fine books for boys and girls

rosh-hashana-uk

I’ve been reading a lot of Jewish-themed books lately (thank you, Sydney Taylor Book Award committee ). I just finished Donna Jo Napoli’s very-alternate Noah’s Ark novel Storm about a teenage stowaway who’s saved by two bonobos. Strange and lovely. To celebrate Rosh Hashanah, here are some recent picture books. Lesléa Newman’s beautiful Here Is […]

Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame app review

breathe think do menu

Simple app Breathe, Think, Do with Sesame (Sesame Workshop, December 2013), starring a blue, horned Sesame Street monster, models the “Breathe, Think, Do” problem-solving strategy for the very youngest (ages 2-5): “First…breathe to calm down after facing a challenge; next, think of plans to solve the problem; and then choose one of the plans.” (From […]

Marla Frazee, wipe that smile off your face!

clown

The story below is one reason we love Marla Frazee. Find out many more by reading her Talks with Roger interview. I was once a clown, in high school. A bunch of us were nominated to be on the homecoming court — twenty-five or thirty people — and I did not want to be one […]

Jason Segel, we love you, man

segel

On Friday Cindy and I went to see actor Jason Segel discuss his new middle-grade novel (cowritten with Kirsten Miller) Nightmares! The sold-out event was sponsored by the Harvard Book Store and the nonprofit writing organization 826 Boston (program coordinator Karen Sama led the conversation with Segel). Cindy loves How I Met Your Mother (even […]

Review of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place

berry_scandalous sisterhood of prickwillow place

The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry Middle School    Roaring Brook    354 pp. 9/14    978-1-59634-956-6    $15.99    g This airy confection could not be more different from Berry’s most recent (and pitch-black) novel All the Truth That’s in Me (rev. 11/13). Part murder mystery, part girls’-school story, part dark drawing-room comedy (think Edwin Drood, […]

Middle-grade BFFs

curtis_madman of piney woods

The friends you make in childhood can be the best ones of your life. The following books highlight unlikely friendships that are made to last.    Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Madman of Piney Woods (companion to Newbery Honor Book Elijah of Buxton) takes place in 1901, with the American Civil War a not-so-distant memory for […]

More matchy-matchy

where the mountain

Apparently Katie’s not the only one with a matchy-matchy problem. Thanks to Lolly for noticing the similarities between the color palette of my dress (and for taking the picture) and of Grace Lin’s Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (reviewed by, well, me, in the September/October 2009 Horn Book Magazine).

Rockwell and Engelbreit

engelbreit_ferguson

Over the weekend my family visited the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. It was suggested as a things-to-do-with-kids-in-the-Berkshires activity because of Rockwell’s “accessibility” as an artist. (Be that as it may, the little boys were much more interested in climbing on the outdoor sculptures — allowed! — and running around on the lawn.) Amidst […]

Snark Week

portes_anatomyofamisfit

In honor of Shark Week, here’s a list of recent YA books featuring sharp-tongued narrators with biting wit. (Thanks to WE television network, home of Will & Grace reruns, for giving us this idea for “Snark Week.”) Hattemer, Kate The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy Middle School, High School    Knopf    327 pp. 4/14 978-0-385-75378-4 […]

World Elephant Day 2014

oconnell_a-baby-elephant-in-the-wild

To celebrate World Elephant Day (August 12, 2014), here are some books about those larger-than-life creatures, with reviews from The Horn Book Guide Online. Picture Books Bunting, Eve Tweak Tweak 40 pp. Clarion 2011. ISBN 978-0-618-99851-7 (Preschool) Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. “‘Hold on to my tail, Little Elephant,’ Mama Elephant said. ‘…If you want to […]