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Review of The Hired Girl

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 The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz Middle School   Candlewick   392 pp. 9/15   978-0-7636-7818-0   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-0-7636-7943-9   $17.99 In 1911, spirited fourteen-year-old Joan, the only girl in a family of three boys plus a verbally abusive father (her weak-of-constitution mother has died), musters her courage and leaves her rural Pennsylvania home for Baltimore, the […]

Not-scary magic

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Not everyone wants the pants scared off of them on Halloween. Some people like their witches sweet and their HobGrackles cuddly. Sadie’s Story, the first in the Backyard Witch series by Christine Heppermann and Ron Koertge, introduces readers to nine-year-old Sadie, her cat — and the small witch who takes up residence in the plastic […]

Blowing the shofar, again, for fine books for boys and girls

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List updated 9/15. Or should I say 5776? To celebrate Rosh Hashanah, here are some recent picture books. Lesléa Newman’s beautiful Here Is the World, illustrated by Susan Gall, is a lyrical, kid-friendly survey of Jewish holidays throughout the seasons.The sweet and rollicking Rabbi Benjamin’s Buttons by Alice B. McGinty, illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt, […]

Stuff and nonsense

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These new picture books put silly spins on their topics, with playful pigs, wily walruses, mischievous mice, hat-stealing creatures (not, this time, a fish) — and antic adventures for all.  In Anita Lobel’s Playful Pigs from A to Z, twenty-six pigs who are exploring the countryside find a field of “magical surprises”: brightly colored, freestanding […]

Horn Book Crossover Week roundup

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We’ve had lots of fun “crossing over” this week, on Out of the Box, with our adult-to-children’s-to-adult-books crossover authors. Here’s a recap: Shannon Hale started it all, with Roger reading Austenland Crossover authors A-K, from Alexie to Kinsella Crossover authors M-Y, from Maguire to Yancy (plus special bonus Gaiman!) Authors whose books go both ways: […]

Week in Review, August 31st-September 4th

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com… Table of Contents for the September/October 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. Roger Sutton’s editorial, Read Before You Write, from the September/October 2015 Horn Book Magazine, on MFA programs. Out of the Box: Horn Book Crossover Week: Authors who write for children and adults. Read Roger: If you only had […]

Steam Train, Dream Train app review

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Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld, of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site fame, chug along with the digital book app edition of their goodnight-train picture book Steam Train, Dream Train (Oceanhouse Media, February 2015). Just as with the Construction Site digital book app, this one includes soothing narration that can be turned on or off; you can […]

Crossover Week @ The Horn Book

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“I’m reading Austenland,” said boss-man Roger Sutton one day. “It’s a grownup book by that fantasy author who won a Newbery Honor. She did those fairy-tale graphic novels too. You know? Shannon Hale.” And from there sprang Crossover Week @ The Horn Book. Because it’s not just Shannon Hale. Lots of children’s authors have written […]

Week in Review, August 24th-28th

Week in Review

This week on hbook.com… From the September/October 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Jack Gantos’s Zena Sutherland Lecture “A Pair of Jacks to Open: Fact and Fiction.” Grab some popcorn first. A big tub. Our debut What Makes a Good…? e-newsletter: “What Makes Good Narrative Nonfiction?” Five questions for Steve Sheinkin: on Vietnam, whistle-blowers, and […]

Board Book Roundup: Summer 2015 Edition

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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. Max’s Mix & Match by Claudia Boldt NorthSouth   28 […]