From the Guide: Graphic Novels for Children

babymouse for president

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

sugar

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

imogen

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

markel_brave girl_244x300

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 […]

From the Guide: American Politics

America the Beautiful: Together We Stand by Katherine Lee Bates

This month, Barack Obama will be sworn in as president of the United States for his second term, making this an opportune moment to teach children about U.S. politics — both the development of our democratic system and the ways that process could shape their future. These recent books, recommended by The Horn Book Guide, […]

Middle School Confidential app reviews

msc 1

The Middle School Confidential apps written by Annie Fox are graphic novel “so-real-you’ll-squeal teen adventures” from Free Spirit Publishing and developer Electric Eggplant aimed at 11-14 year olds. Each offers helpful social advice through a cast of relatable teens “just trying to figure out what middle school is all about” while coping with issues that […]

From the Guide: Artists and Masterpieces

Chuck Close Facebook

This September, contemporary portrait artist Chuck Close’s unconventional autobiography, Chuck Close: Face Book (rev. 5/12), was awarded the 2012 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for nonfiction. The following are Horn Book Guide–recommended books (including BGHB Nonfiction Honor Award–winner Georgia in Hawaii) for elementary-age readers — some biographical, others historical and artistic overviews, still others instigators for […]

Funny folktales

Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?

Hard-boiled nursery rhymes, a one-that-got-away big-fish tale, and more. These four folklore-inspired picture books offer humorous shakeups of beloved story types and the characters who inhabit them. David Levinthal recasts the events of fairyland as crimes (“The Three Bears” is a breaking-and-entering case; “Snow White” is an attempted murder) in Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?: And […]