Recommended Narrative Nonfiction: Young Adult

pinkney_rhythm ride

Bausum, Ann Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights 120 pp. Viking 2015. ISBN 978-0-670-01679-2 Bausum begins with a detailed, nuanced exposition of the June 1969 Stonewall riots as a galvanizing moment for the gay rights movement, then traces the movement’s evolution (in a somewhat more cursory way) for the second half of […]

Recommended Narrative Nonfiction: Intermediate

bartoletti_terrible typhoid mary

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America    230 pp. Houghton 2015. ISBN 978-0-544-31367-5 What was it like to be a servant, an immigrant, a woman in the early twentieth century? Bartoletti weaves the answers into the beginning of “Typhoid Mary” Mallon’s story — using Mary as […]

Recommended Narrative Nonfiction: Picture Books


Applegate, Katherine Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla 40 pp. Clarion 2014. ISBN 978-0-544-25230-1 Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Applegate introduces picture-book readers to the true story that inspired her Newbery-winning The One and Only Ivan. In poetic prose she describes gorilla Ivan’s early life in Africa; his dramatic capture; his […]

2014-2015 yearbook superlatives

grad cupcake

Summer is winding down (say it ain’t so!) and the new school year is approaching. Get into the back-to-school mood with our senior superlatives for characters in the class of 2014-2015. What superlative would you award your favorite character? Best friends: Sam and Dave (Sam & Dave Dig a Hole); Pom and Pim (Where Is […]

Books mentioned in the August 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Sonia Manzano Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx, Scholastic, 14 years and up. This is my life Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood to Columbia University by Francisco Jiménez, Houghton, 14 years and up. Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoir by Margarita Engle, Atheneum, 14 years and up. […]

Reviews of select books by Ashley Bryan


Ashley Bryan’s Puppets: Making Something from Everything by Ashley Bryan; photos by Ken Hannon; photos edited by Rich Entel Primary    Atheneum    80 pp. 7/14    978-1-4424-8728-4   e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8729-1 It’s impossible to come away from this book without renewed respect for Ashley Bryan as a fine artist. In addition to being a storyteller and illustrator, Bryan […]

Preview September/October 2015 Horn Book Magazine

September/October 2015 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art from Carl’s Halloween by Alexandra Day. (Very Eventually) the Zena Sutherland Lecture: Jack Gantos ruminates on Rotten Ralph, Ralph Rotten, and “a pair of Jacks.” The Woman Who Drew Narnia: Kirkus Reviews editor Vicky Smith takes us “through the wardrobe” with illustrator Pauline Baynes. Foreign Correspondence: Margaret Robson Kett discusses Kids’ Own Publishing […]

Profile of 2009 Wilder Award winner Ashley Bryan

Ashley Bryan

By Caitlyn Dlouhy In a recent interview, Ashley Bryan was asked to name a favorite time in his life. Without a pause, he smiled his dazzling smile and exclaimed, “Right now!” At that particular Right Now, Ashley was sitting on a hard plastic chair in a closet-sized studio, portrait lights surely hurting his eyes. Right […]

2015 Simmons Summer Institute: Homecoming

Roger Sutton talks with Bryan Collier.

What an invigorating weekend here on the Simmons College campus, as current students, alums, authors, illustrators, teachers, librarians, academics, booksellers, book lovers, etc., etc., etc., came together for the 2015 Summer Children’s Literature Institute: Homecoming. Some highlights are below, and in no particular order. We know. We tried to make it brief. But we just […]

Alice’s adventures in panorama

alice panorama pops

by Alex Mazariegos Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a stone-cold classic in the world of children’s literature, and I’ll hear no words to the contrary. The original Tenniel illustrations, however, are a different beast entirely. His renderings of Alice and crew do fit the tone of story at times, but it’s always nice […]