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Review of Forever, or a Long, Long Time

Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter Intermediate    Harper/HarperCollins    311 pp. 3/17    978-0-06-238568-0    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-238570-3    $9.99 Eleven-year-old (but still in the fourth grade) narrator Flora and her younger brother Julian had been in foster care for as long as they could remember. Now they’ve […]

Board Book Roundup: Spring 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. Tinyville Town: I’m a Librarian [Tinyville Town] by Brian […]

Review of If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed

If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed by Denise Vega; illus. by Zachariah OHora Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-553-49655-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-49656-7    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-49657-4    $10.99 In tongue-in-cheek direct-address text, Vega provides children with an entertaining manual for putting unruly monsters to sleep: “Let’s […]

Reflex app review

In addition to hearing the Duran Duran song in my head, I know Reflex (ExploreLearning, iPad app released 2014; iOS and desktop) as a program that my child’s teacher uses to supplement the class’s math curriculum…and with which my kid is obsessed. While it’s geared toward classroom use (and homeschooling), we play it happily on […]

Diversifying Barbie & Mortal Kombat: 20 Years Later Celebration at MIT

On April 6, the Women’s & Gender Studies and Comparative Media Studies departments at MIT sponsored the daylong conference “Diversifying Barbie & Mortal Kombat: 20 Years Later Celebration” — spearheaded by the amazing and indefatigable Dr. Kishonna L. Gray and with “opening reflections” by Dr. T.L. Taylor — to explore race, gender, sexuality, representation, and […]

Love the Earth 2017

Earth Day and the March for Science are coming up on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The following picture books introduce children to some of the challenges facing our Earth, and provide suggestions to help on a scale they can manage. For more on this topic, see Kathleen T. Isaacs’s Horn Book Magazine article “Fostering Wonder.” […]

Five questions for David Elliott

“Whaddup, bitches?” says Poseidon at the start of David Elliott’s Bull (Houghton, 14 years and up) a verse-novel retelling of the Minotaur story from ancient Greek mythology that keeps readers on their toes with whip-smart dialogue, narrative double-crosses, changing poetic forms (seven main characters each has his or her own), and, of course, the stormy, […]

Passover picture books

Here’s an updated list of Passover books to nibble on when the matzo runs dry. Please visit the Association of Jewish Libraries website for more book recommendations and Resources for Troubled Times. Preschool Two Shalom Sesame series entries, written by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer and illustrated by Tom Leigh, follow Sesame Street characters in […]

On “Unlucky Arithmetic: Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader” (from 2001)

One of our most popular handouts at conferences and meetings has always been Dean Schneider and Robin Smith’s brilliant, biting “Unlucky Arithmetic: Thirteen Ways to Raise a Nonreader“(from the March/April 2001 issue of The Horn Book Magazine). Times may have changed somewhat — “#2. Put a TV or computer in every room. Don’t neglect the […]

On “Squeaky Little Wheels” (December 2016)

In December, Liz Phipps Soeiro followed up her Horn Book Magazine Field Notes article “Loud in the Library: Creating Social Activists at School” with the Family Reading blog post “Squeaky Little Wheels,” about encouraging critical thinking and activism at home. This amazing school librarian, mom, and Family Reading contributor was just named a “Mover & […]