Picturing 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

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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 […]

Middle School Confidential app reviews

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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 […]

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 […]

Introducing Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book


This afternoon, the inaugural issue of our new quarterly e-newsletter Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book went out to subscribers of our long-running monthly newsletter Notes from the Horn Book. Each issue will offer Horn Book Guide reviews of recommended informational books, grouped by subject, that we believe will be useful for schools adhering to […]

Dear Teen Me

Dear Teen Me

Writing to our younger, naive selves with words of wisdom? It’s a simple concept that’s presented brilliantly on DearTeenMe.com and in the paperback anthology Dear Teen Me: Authors Write Letters to Their Teen Selves (Zest Books, October 2012), edited by E. Kristin Anderson and Miranda Kenneally. Big name YA authors address their teenage versions on […]

New books, big authors

Liar and Spy

A middle-school mystery full of spies and intrigue (or is it?); a mash-up of sci-fi/fantasy and realistic family drama; an all-consuming-first-love story; and middle-grade-humor-done-right: these four novels you’ve been waiting for from favorite authors have arrived with a bang. In Newbery and Boston Globe Horn Book Award–winner Rebecca Stead’s new novel Liar & Spy, Brooklyn […]

Beach reads for teens

37 Things I Love

With friendship drama, summer flings, exotic locales, and even suspense, these novels offer teen readers of all tastes compelling summertime diversions. Kekla Magoon’s 37 Things I Love (in no particular order) takes place during the last few days of sophomore year before summer vacation begins for Ellis. Along with typical high school issues—friends, dating, etc.—Ellis […]

Review of Boy21

Boy 21

Boy21 by Matthew Quick High School    Little, Brown    252 pp. 3/12    978-0-316-12797-4    $17.99 When Russ moves to decrepit, race-torn, Irish-mob-ruled Bellmont after his parents’ brutal murder, the school’s basketball coach (a family friend) turns to team leader Finley to help him acclimate, but also to convince former-phenom Russ to play ball again; since the tragedy […]

Middle-grade mysteries

Caroline Lawrence Case of the Deadly Desperados cover

The following novels show that puzzles can be solved by detectives both seasoned and green. These four sleuth stories — action-packed, suspenseful, and sometimes goofy — will lure in mystery-lovers. Caroline Lawrence’s The Case of the Deadly Desperados is a bang-up series starter told in flashback by young P.K. Pinkerton. P.K.’s story opens when a […]