About Jennifer M. Brabander

Jennifer M. Brabander is senior editor of The Horn Book Magazine.

Review of Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, 
and Other Tourist Attractions

look_alvin ho great wall

Alvin Ho: Allergic to the Great Wall, the Forbidden Palace, 
and Other Tourist Attractions by Lenore Look; illus. by LeUyen Pham Primary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    163 pp. 8/14    978-0-385-36972-5    $15.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-36973-2    $18.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-449-81986-9    $7.99 Alvin Ho, who’s afraid even when safe at home, faces previously unknown fears when his […]

Review of Skies like These

hilmo_skies like these

Skies like These by Tess Hilmo Intermediate    Ferguson/Farrar    233 pp. 7/14    978-0-374-36998-9    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-374-36999-6    $9.99 Adventurous is the last word twelve-year-old Jade would use to describe herself — prudent would be closer to the mark — but that’s about to change. Though she’s always enjoyed her uneventful summers at home in Philadelphia, […]

Review of Hi, Koo!

muth_hi, koo

Hi, Koo!: A Year of Seasons by Jon J Muth; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Scholastic    32 pp. 3/14    978-0-545-16668-3    $17.99 Twenty-six haiku are presented by young panda Koo, whom fans of Muth’s Zen Ties will recognize as the haiku-spouting nephew of Stillwater, the Zen Buddhist panda from Zen Shorts and Zen Ghosts. Here, […]

Review of The Last Forever

caletti_last forever

The Last Forever by Deb Caletti Middle School, High School    Simon Pulse    321 pp. 4/14    978-1-4424-5000-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5001-1    $10.99 In her latest YA novel, Caletti returns to her fictional Northwest setting of Parrish Island, most recently visited in The Six Rules of Maybe (rev. 5/10). Six months after her mother’s death from cancer, […]

Review of West of the Moon

preus_west of the moon

West of the Moon by Margi Preus Intermediate, Middle School    Amulet/Abrams    216 pp. 4/14    978-1-4197-0896-1    $16.95 Preus, whose Shadow on the Mountain (rev. 11/12) was set in Nazi-occupied Norway, here takes readers to mid-nineteenth-century Norway in a tale strongly infused with myth. Fourteen-year-old Astri is determined to go to America to find her widowed father. […]

Review of Half a Chance

lord_half a chance

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord Intermediate    Scholastic    218 pp. 3/14    978-0-545-03533-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-62083-3    $16.99 When twelve-year-old Lucy enters a photography contest, she must decide whether or not to send in her very best photo — a picture of her new friend Nate’s grandmother, whose life has become punctuated with moments of dementia […]

Review of Lord and Lady Bunny — Almost Royalty!: By Mr. & Mrs. Bunny

horvath_lord and lady bunny

Lord and Lady Bunny — Almost Royalty!: By Mr. & Mrs. Bunny by Polly Horvath; illus. by Sophie Blackall Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    293 pp. 2/14    978-0-307-98065-6    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-307-98066-3    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-307-98067-0    $10.99 In this funny, meticulously crafted sequel to Mr. and Mrs. Bunny — Detectives Extraordinaire! (rev. 1/12), young Madeline […]

Review of All the Truth That’s in Me

all the truth that's in me

All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry High School Viking 274 pp. 9/13 978-0-670-78615-2 $17.99 g Berry’s (The Amaranth Enchantment, rev. 5/09) novel is set in fictional Roswell Station, a village that in its appearance and claustrophobic atmosphere seems to resemble an early American colonial settlement. Bit by bit, readers gradually learn “all […]

Review of Open Mic

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Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices edited by Mitali Perkins Middle School, High School     Candlewick     127 pp. 9/13     978-0-7636-5866-3     $15.99     g e-book ed. 978-0-7636-6719-1     $15.99 In her preface to this nicely compact collection, Perkins suggests that humor can help smooth the way in discussions about  race — […]

Review of Ask the Passengers

Ask the Passengers

Ask the Passengers by A. S. King High School    Little, Brown    295 pp. 10/12    978-0-316-19468-6    $17.99 Astrid would be the quintessential Q-for-Questioning girl in her high school’s LGBTQ support group if her small-town, small-minded school had such a thing — and the gay question is only one of many weighing her down. When her humanities […]