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On Ron Koertge’s “Lunacy” (from November 2011)

Here’s a truth that I believe is universally acknowledged (apologies to Jane Austen): at bedtime, parents want their kids to go the eff to sleep. Remember that parent-trap by Adam Mansbach from 2011? Inspired by that publishing phenomenon, Ron Koertge’s “Lunacy” was published in the November/December 2011 issue of The Horn Book Magazine. We offer […]

On Julie Hakim Azzam’s “Mommy, Do I Have White Skin?: Skin Color, Family, and Picture Books” (from November 2016)

“Using picture books, I set out to cultivate an image library that would give my children pictures of families that, like ours, were of mixed ancestry and had skin tones that ranged from light to dark.” Julie Hakim Azzam’s Books in the Home column from the November/December 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine discusses […]

On Patricia and Fredrick McKissack’s “You can be president” (from March 1997)

“Our Sunday evening news conferences with the presidents were always intense, informative, and a whole lot of fun.” I don’t know about you, but on this Monday before election day, I’m in dire need of something hopeful. “You can be president,” from the March/April 1997 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, is just that. I […]

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

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…

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)

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

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

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)

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”

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 […]