On Spies and Purple Socks and Such

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

If you were a queer kid like me growing up in the sixties, I hope you were fortunate enough to come across books by Louise Fitzhugh. She may have saved your life, or at least made it a bit more comfortable. When I was eleven, I didn’t know I was gay; I only knew that […]

Review of The Man from the Land of Fandango

The Man from the Land of Fandango by Margaret Mahy

Review of The Man from the 
Land of Fandango by Margaret Mahy. From the November/December 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Thomas Handforth, China, and the Real Mei Li

Pu Mei Li holding the book she inspired. Photo courtesy of Zi Tan and Peggy Hartzell.

An online-only companion to Kathleen T. Horning’s “Mei Li and the Making of a Picture Book” article from the January/February 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Review of Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey

Spirit Seeker by Gary Golio

Spirit Seeker: John Coltrane’s Musical Journey by Gary Golio; illus. by Rudy Gutierrez Intermediate, Middle School    Clarion    48 pp. 10/12    978-0-547-23994-1    $17.99 There have been other picture books about gifted jazz musician and composer John Coltrane that have focused on his music or his childhood, but this one dares to take on the complexity of […]

Review of A Certain October

a certain october

A Certain October by Angela Johnson High School     Simon     158 pp. 8/12     978-0-689-86505-3     $15.99     g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-1726-7     $9.99 At the start of the book, Scotty is an average high school junior living in East Cleveland. She hangs out with friends, makes plans for the homecoming dance, and avoids writing a book report on Anna […]

The Search for Distinguished

“Robust” boy books of the 1920s.

In a much talked about opinion piece published in School Library Journal in 2008, former Horn Book editor Anita Silvey asked, “Has the Newbery lost its way?” She made it clear that she thought it had, after interviewing “more than 100 people—including media specialists, children’s librarians, teachers, and booksellers—in 15 states across the country.” A […]

Review of Animal Masquerade

Dubuc Animal Masquerade 300x299

Animal Masquerade by Marianne Dubuc; trans. from 
the French by Yvette Ghione; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Kids Can    120 pp. 3/12    978-1-55453-782-2    $16.95 For kids who never tire of driving one joke into the ground, this is the perfect book—and for their adults, there are enough surprises to make that one joke tolerable […]

Review of The Hero of Little Street

The Hero of Little Street

The Hero of Little Street by Gregory Rogers; illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 3/12    978-0-59643-729-6    $17.99    g The same bulb-headed boy who was chased through Elizabethan London in The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard (rev. 11/04) is time-traveling again, this time to seventeenth-century Delft, an important center of the […]

Review of No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller

No Crystal Stair

No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illus. by R. Gregory Christie Middle School, High School    Carolrhoda Lab    188 pp. 2/12    978-0-7613-6169-5    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-0-7613-8727-5    $12.95 Inspired by Marcus Garvey and the drive to make a difference, Lewis Michaux opened the […]

Review of Z Is for Moose

z is for moose

Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham; illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky Primary    Greenwillow    32 pp. 3/12    978-0-06-079984-7    $16.99 If you think you’ve seen every possible idea for an alphabet book played out, think again. Even before the title page of this very funny and inventive ABC, cast members Apple, Ball, Cat, Duck, Elephant, Fox, […]