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On Andrea Fox’s “The Secret Garden’s Perennial Wisdom…for Parents” (from September 2012)

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Writer, reader, and former English teacher Andrea Fox loved Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden when she was a child. She gained a new appreciation for the classic, however, when she reread it as a parent. In an article published in the September/October 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, Andrea reflects on how her […]

If There’s Something Strange in the Neighborhood…

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I’ve been collecting Halloween-y type books for a few years, and when my kids were old enough to understand the significance of the candy-fueled holiday, they really got into reading about ghosts and goblins and trick-or-treating mishaps. We’ve actually made something of a tradition of bringing out the Halloween books at the beginning of October, […]

On Meg Medina’s “The Writer’s Page: On Writing the American Familia” (from January 2016)

medina_tia isa wants a car

Children’s author Meg Medina finds inspiration in the family stories she heard as a child, which “opened inside of me a sense of cultural history that wasn’t reflected in any book I was reading in school or seeing on any of my favorite television shows.” In an article from the January/February 2016 issue of the […]

Review of To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party

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To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party by Skila Brown Middle School, High School    Candlewick    292 pp. 10/16    978-0-7636-7811-1    $17.99 In this compelling verse novel, Brown (Caminar, rev. 3/14) imagines the Donner Party’s harrowing survival tale as experienced by nineteen-year-old Mary Ann Graves, a real-life member of the […]

Five questions for Skila Brown

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Skila Brown’s verse novel To Stay Alive: Mary Ann Graves and the Tragic Journey of the Donner Party (Candlewick, 14 years and up) tells the gripping story of the Donner Party’s doomed 1846 expedition west to California. Brown’s narrator is based on an actual member of the group: nineteen-year-old Mary Ann Graves, who was traveling […]

On Robin Smith’s “A Letter to Parents” (from Sept/Oct 2006)

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When it comes to second-grade reading, veteran teacher Robin Smith has seen it all. As the parent of a second grader, I have seen many things that we won’t go into, but seeing my eight-year-old reading voraciously isn’t one of them. I know he can read; if given the choice, however, he prefers not to. […]

On Crescent Dragonwagon’s “Over and Over”

charlotte zolotow

Published on our website in 2012 as part of The Horn Book’s celebration of Picture Book Month, Over and Over is Crescent Dragonwagon’s achingly beautiful tribute to her mother, legendary children’s book editor and author, Charlotte Zolotow. When Crescent wrote this piece, Charlotte was ninety-seven and in failing health; her mother’s picture book Over and […]

On Angela Johnson’s “Family Is What You Have” (from March/April 1997)

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Award-winning author Angela Johnson (three Coretta Scott King awards, the Michael L. Printz Award in 2004, the 1991 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award—not to mention being a 2003 MacArthur Fellow), contributed “Family Is What You Have” to the Magazine‘s Family Reading issue in 1997. Her message of embracing difference is as powerful today as […]

On Ashley Waring’s “Reading on the Spectrum” (from Sept/Oct 2010)

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

“Many people see Ferdinand as a pacifist. I see him as a bull on the autism spectrum: confined to a private world, comforted by his rituals.” Children’s librarian and mom of a son with autism, Ashley Waring writes about her struggles with and strategies for engaging her child in books in her article, “Reading on […]

Review of Rescue Squad No. 9

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Rescue Squad No. 9 by Mike Austin; illus. by the author Preschool    Random    40 pp. 9/16    978-1-101-93662-7    $16.99    g As in Fire Engine No. 9 (rev. 9/15), Austin live-streams an intense rescue mission, immediately pulling readers into the action. His dynamic illustrations and forceful text are skillfully incorporated in a propulsive, left-to-right design that telegraphs […]