NF Notes: The 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Award Winners

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Every fall, we give out the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards for excellence in children’s literature. To honor the tradition, this issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book includes reviews of all three 2013 nonfiction award recipients — winner Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd and honor books […]

From the Guide: Historical Fiction for Teens

jepp who defied the stars

Good historical fiction engages readers with different times, places, people, and cultures while still resonating today. In young adult books, this means raising issues that are universal for teens of any generation: overcoming social expectations, coming of age amidst struggle, and understanding one’s identity and place in the world. Here are some recent YA novels […]

Enjoyable and easy reading

Penny and Her Marble

Age-appropriate stories about friendship and impromptu adventure make easy reader books relatable and entertaining. With welcoming texts and complementary illustrations in engaging formats, these titles starring characters both beloved and soon-to-be-beloved have something to offer emergent and newly independent readers. In Kevin Henkes’s Penny and Her Marble, the mouse’s third early-reader outing, she spies a […]

Lisa! You’re back!

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Last winter, overcome with mid-nineties nostalgia, I excitedly blogged about Lisa Loeb’s Silly Sing-Along: The Disappointing Pancake and Other Zany Songs (Sterling, January 2012). The cute bespectacled songstress is back with another picture book/CD package, Lisa Loeb’s Songs for Movin’ & Shakin’: The Air Band Song and Other Toe-Tapping Tunes (Sterling, April 2013). These songs […]

From the Guide: Graphic Novels for Children

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Accessible text matched with dynamic illustrations in engaging cartoon-panel layouts help make graphic novels inviting packages for younger readers, struggling or reluctant readers, and comics-loving kids. The following sampling of recommended titles from the spring 2013 issue of The Horn Book Guide includes perennial-favorite characters, debut series, graphic-novel adaptations, and more. —Katrina Hedeen Assistant Editor, […]

Historical fiction starring girls

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Strong-willed, memorable female protagonists are the stars of these historical novels for middle-grade and middle-school readers. A small gold-mining town in Alaska; early-twentieth-century San Francisco; 1870s rural Wisconsin; and Reconstruction Louisiana provide the backdrops for their entertaining adventures. Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes is the story of a spirited ten-year-old African American girl who works […]

From the Guide: Novels in Verse

The Wild Book by Margarita Engle

To honor National Poetry Month in April, we’re spotlighting notable novels in verse from the past year. From illustrated lighthearted verse to historical fiction to contemporary realism, this eclectic potpourri of Horn Book Guide–recommended novels showcases the form and gives readers — from primary-age kids to older teens — good reasons to celebrate poetry. —Katrina […]

Eleanor & Park

Eleanor & Park

It feels like everyone (the Horn Book included) is talking about Rainbow Rowell’s Eleanor & Park (St. Martin’s Griffin, February 2013) — and for good reason. I recently read it when it up was for starring in the May/June issue (it was a shoe-in), and mourned the fact that Rachel Smith and I hadn’t come […]

Picturing Imogen

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In the March issue of Notes from the Horn Book, in honor of Women’s History Month, I picked out some recent picture-book biographies focusing on women who left their marks on society. Another worthy offering is Imogen: The Mother of Modernism and Three Boys (Cameron + Company, December 2012) by Amy Novesky, author of the […]

Women’s History Month

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March is Women’s History Month, and these four picture-book biographies of remarkable women who broke down boundaries and changed the world should find an audience of primary-aged girls and boys. Michelle Markel brings the plight of early-twentieth-century female garment workers to life in Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909. Persecuted in […]