Kathleen T. Horning

About Kathleen T. Horning

Kathleen T. Horning is the director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center, a library of the School of Education, University of Wisconsin–Madison. She is the author of From Cover to Cover: Evaluating and Reviewing Children’s Books and teaches a popular online course for ALSC on the history of the Newbery and Caldecott medals.

Five questions for Sharon G. Flake

Photo: Richard Kelly

Is Mr. Davenport a vampire, as Octobia May insists? The answer is not so cut-and-dried in Sharon G. Flake’s Unstoppable Octobia May, a historical-fiction-cum-mystery-novel with more than a dash of social commentary (Scholastic, 9–12 years). From the 1950s boarding house setting to the vivid characters — some plucky, some humorous, some downright sinister — the […]

Review of Unstoppable Octobia May

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Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G. Flake Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    281 pp. 9/14    978-0-545-60960-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-60961-6    $16.99 Unstoppable indeed is the dogged and imaginative protagonist of this fast-paced mystery novel set in 1953. Once narrator Octobia May gets an idea into her head, she follows it as far as it will take […]

Review of Draw!

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Draw! by Raúl Colón; illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    40 pp. 9/14    978-1-4424-9492-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-9493-0    $10.99 A young artist, inspired by his books about African animals, is transported to an imaginary safari in this dreamy wordless book. Armed only with his pencil, sketch pad, and easel, this budding Leonardo finds his models […]

Review of Little Roja Riding Hood

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Little Roja Riding Hood by Susan Middleton Elya; 
illus. by Susan Guevara Primary    Putnam    32 pp. 4/14    978-0-399-24767-5    $16.99    g Little Red rides an ATV to deliver la canasta (basket) to her ailing abuela in this hip updated version of the traditional tale. Liberally sprinkled with Spanish words and phrases, the rhyming text is fresh […]

A Profile of Rita Williams-Garcia: Being Eleven

K. T. Horning, Rita Williams-Garcia, Rosemary Brosnan

I first met Rita Williams-Garcia three years ago, soon after One Crazy Summer was published. Prior to that, though, I had known her through her books for many years, starting with her first novel, Blue Tights. It stood out among all the YA novels published in 1988 for its honest and realistic depiction of a […]

Review of Jake at Gymnastics

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Jake at Gymnastics by Rachel Isadora; illus. by the author Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp. 6/14    978-0-399-16048-6    $14.99    g As she did with Bea at Ballet (rev. 7/12), Isadora shows a group of roly-poly toddlers enjoying a beginning class, this time in gymnastics, with an Asian American boy as the focus. Teachers Dave and Toshi lead […]

Review of The Freedom Summer Murders and Freedom Summer

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The Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell Middle School, High School     Scholastic     250 pp. 4/14     978-0-545-47725-3     $18.99 e-book ed. 978-0-545-63393-2     $18.99 Freedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi by Susan Goldman Rubin Middle School, High School     Holiday     120 pp. 3/14     978-0-8234-2920-2     $18.95 With the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer this […]

Five questions for Don Mitchell

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Don Mitchell got his start as a legislative assistant for national security in the office of Senator John Glenn, about whom he then wrote a biography for young people, Liftoff: A Photobiography of John Glenn, which was followed by Driven: A Photobiography of Henry Ford (both National Geographic, 9–12 years). His new book The Freedom […]

Review of Sugar Hill

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Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary    Whitman    32 pp. 2/14    978-0-8075-7650-2    $16.99 “Sugar Hill, Sugar Hill where life is sweet” repeats throughout this rhymed tribute to Harlem’s storied neighborhood, the home of many well-to-do African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. Although we […]

Review of Josephine

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Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker by Patricia Hruby Powell; 
illus. by Christian Robinson Intermediate, Middle School    Chronicle    104 pp. 2/14    978-1-4521-0314-3    $17.99 To describe Josephine Baker’s life as “dazzling” is not an exaggeration. In this incomparable biography both Powell and Robinson convey the passion, exuberance, dignity, and eccentricity of their subject through words […]