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

perkins_open mic

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 […]

Review of Mom, It’s My First Day 
of Kindergarten!

Mom, It's My First Day of Kindergarten

 Mom, It’s My First Day 
of Kindergarten! by Hyewon Yum; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Foster/Farrar    40 pp. 7/12    978-0-374-35004-8    $16.99    g “Mom, wake up!” In the art, a young boy looms large, while his mom appears small and kind of blue (as in “sad,” though she’s also pale blue from head to toe). […]

Susan Katz on The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub

The President's Stuck in the Bathtub by Susan Katz

From the May/June 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Jennifer Brabander asks The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub author Susan Katz about writing presidential poetry. Read the full review of The President’s Stuck in the Bathtub here. Jennifer Brabander: Which president was the hardest to write a poem about? Susan Katz: James Monroe. The […]

Arts + crafts with Ivy + Bean

Owen is a big Ivy + Bean fan

I’m a big fan of the Ivy + Bean series, so when the Ivy + Bean Button Factory (Chronicle, March) arrived in the office, it made its way to my desk (thanks, Katie!). For $12.99 you get enough materials to make fifteen buttons, featuring illustrations of Ivy and Bean by Sophie Blackall plus such quotable […]

Bug books

Steve Jenkins The Beetle Book cover

You know it’s spring when, in any available yard or park, kids can be found kneeling on the ground, inspecting the local bug population. These four picture books will help answer kids’ questions about their favorite neighborhood critters as well as about a bunch they’re unlikely to encounter in real life. One insect you won’t […]

Review of Lady Hahn and Her Seven Friends

Lady Hahn and her Seven Friends

Lady Hahn and 
Her Seven Friends by Yumi Heo; illus. by the author Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    32 pp. 4/12    978-0-8050-4127-9    $16.99    g “Long, long ago when tigers still smoked pipes, there lived Lady Hahn.” Heo’s story, which originates from an unknown Korean author’s nineteenth-century classical essay, reads like a folktale: a straightforward telling, a simple refrain, […]

Friendship through fiction


Following the Great East Japan Earthquake, editor Holly Thompson, a YA author (Orchards, a 2012 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults book) and a longtime resident of Japan, became especially concerned about teen survivors of the quake and tsunami. She decided to collect YA short fiction from writers and translators connected to Japan either by […]

Chapter books you’ve been waiting for

Ivy and Bean No News is Good News

There’s nothing like a familiar protagonist, setting, and illustrations to make easing into a new book a smooth ride for young readers. Two of these chapter books are entries in popular series; one is a sequel to an award-winning book from New Zealand; and one, while not part of a series, will be sure to […]