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Review of Me and Marvin Gardens

Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King Intermediate, Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    250 pp. 2/17    978-0-545-87074-0    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-87077-1    $10.99 The middle-grade debut of YA novelist A.S. King (Still Life with Tornado, rev. 9/16) was bound to be a little weird — and it is. It’s also a smart, environmentally conscious underdog story […]

Notes on Black History Month 2017

At the 2016 Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium, author Carole Boston Weatherford said, “Some people would like to close the book of our shared history around race because it is uncomfortable and seems ‘a long time ago.’ But we need to acknowledge realities of that history — from slavery to segregation to current police brutality […]

Hidden Figures

I went to see Hidden Figures the other night. To echo what everyone who is not behind the times and has already seen the movie has said: what an amazing story about truly amazing women (if soooo Hollywoodized: Kevin Costner: “I’m a busy, busy man. I’m so busy. But segregation is wrong. So I’m gonna […]

Refugee children

The following recently published picture books focus on very young children’s experiences as refugees — fleeing war, unspeakable violence, destruction of all they’ve known — and hoping against hope they’ll be welcomed into a new country where their families can find better lives. In a piercing first-person account, one of the two children in the […]

Look to the lunchroom

One of our Facebook followers, librarian Danielle Winter, who I know from the Association of Jewish Libraries, posted the following on January 30, 2017. Look to the lunchroom, friends. #HBMaD #MakingaDifference When I first started my job, I was told I would need to cover lunch duty, not my favorite of tasks. The cafeteria smelled […]

Raúl the Third, 2017 Pura Belpré Illustrator winner, at Cport School

On Monday, Raúl the Third (a.k.a. Raúl Gonzalez) was announced as winner of the 2017 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award for his middle-grade graphic novel Lowriders to the Center of the Earth, written by Cathy Camper. Some people go to Disney World. This guy went to Cambridgeport School! On Tuesday he spent the morning in the […]

On Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s “The Adventures of Mommy Buzzkill” (from 2009)

In her 2009 Horn Book Magazine article “The Adventures of Mommy Buzzkill,” Catherine Gilbert Murdock, author of Dairy Queen, Princess Ben, Heaven Is Paved with Oreos, and other YA books featuring complex and feisty teen girls who frequently subvert gender assumptions, wrote tongue-in-cheekily about the prevalence of dead, missing, or otherwise absentee mothers in children’s […]

Legislative breakfast at the library

She’d already encouraged us to be loud in the library. Now elementary school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro let us eat in the library while engaging with our elected officials. Last week Liz, who is legislative co-chair for the Massachusetts School Libraries Association, hosted “Your Community, Your Library” legislative breakfast at Cambridgeport School in Cambridge, MA. […]

2017 Sydney Taylor Book Awards announced

The winners of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards are: For Younger Readers: I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy; illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley (Simon) For Older Readers: The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog by Adam Gidwitz; with illustrations by Hatem Aly (Dutton) Read Fall 2016 […]

Five questions for Andrea Davis Pinkney

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day (Viking, 7–9 years) by Andrea Davis Pinkney is a loving tribute to an iconic picture-book character, Peter — one of the first African American children in picture books — and his creator, Ezra Jack Keats, author and illustrator […]