Subscribe to The Horn Book

About Nell Beram

Nell Beram is coauthor of the young adult biography Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies (Amulet/Abrams), which made the 2014 Amelia Bloomer Project list and YALSA’s 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound list.

Review of The Book of Mistakes

Luyken, Corinna The Book of Mistakes 56 pp. Dial 2017. ISBN 978-0-7352-2792-7 (3) K–3 “It started / with one mistake”: a drawing of a girl’s head has mismatched eyes. “But the glasses — they were a good idea”: the eyes are now masked by glasses. The pattern of mistakes followed by cover-ups continues, becoming a […]

Review of Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Preschool    Hyperion    32 pp. 5/17    978-1-4847-6746-7    $15.99 An offstage narrator addresses listeners using the language of the hospitality industry: “THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. / Your arrival has been anxiously awaited…PLEASE / ENJOY YOUR STAY.” Our world is presented as a cruise […]

Review of Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm

Trudy’s Big Swim: How Gertrude Ederle Swam the English Channel and Took the World by Storm by Sue Macy; illus. by Matt Collins Primary    Holiday    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-8234-3665-1    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3825-9    $16.95 Bitter cold, fatigue, leg cramps, driftwood obstacles, jellyfish stings, threats of shark attacks — it’s the rare individual who would risk […]

Review of Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger

Let Your Voice Be Heard: The Life and Times of Pete Seeger by Anita Silvey Intermediate    Clarion    104 pp. 8/16    978-0-547-33012-9    $17.99 “Pete Seeger became the most important folk singer of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. But he might have chosen a very different path.” In addition to abundant primary source material, Silvey makes terrific […]

Review of Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist

Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood; illus. by Duncan Tonatiuh Primary, Intermediate    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 9/16    978-1-58089-673-3    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-825-2    $9.99 Growing up in Mexico, Juan Garcia Esquivel got an earful of mariachi, but he wanted to create his own sound. Self-taught and persistent, he was playing piano at a radio station at […]

Review of 88 Instruments

88 Instruments by Chris Barton; 
illus. by Louis Thomas Primary    Knopf    32 pp. 8/16    978-0-553-53814-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-53815-1    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-53823-6    $10.99 Move over, kid in the candy shop: a child has been unleashed in a music store, and the sight of its many — eighty-eight — instruments has the effect of […]

Review of Snappsy the Alligator: Did Not Ask to Be in This Book!

Snappsy the Alligator: Did Not Ask to Be in This Book! by Julie Falatko; illus. by Tim Miller Primary   Viking   40 pp. 2/16   978-0-451-46945-8   $16.99   g The omniscient narration begins normally enough: “Snappsy the alligator wasn’t feeling like himself.” After a bit more in this vein, Snappsy turns to the reader: “This is terrible!…Why is […]

Review of Don’t Call Me Grandma

Don’t Call Me Grandma by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; 
illus. by Elizabeth Zunon Primary   Carolrhoda   32 pp. 2/16   978-1-4677-4208-5   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4677-9559-3   $19.99 Ninety-six-year-old great-grandmother, Nell, doesn’t answer to “Grandma.” She doesn’t do hugs and kisses. She growls her disapproval at her great-granddaughter, who narrates this book. But belying Nell’s starchy exterior is the […]

Review of First Grade Dropout

First Grade Dropout by Audrey Vernick; 
illus. by Matthew Cordell Primary   Clarion   32 pp. 7/15   978-0-544-12985-6   $16.99 “I can’t stop thinking about it. How everyone laughed and slapped their desks and stomped their feet. And pointed. At me.” The narrator’s social infraction? “I. Called. My. Teacher. MOMMY!!!” It’s a typical-enough blunder among kids new to […]

Review of Last Stop on Market Street

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña; illus. by Christian Robinson Primary     Putnam     32 pp. 1/15     978-0-399-25774-2     $16.99 CJ, a young black boy, has a flurry of questions for his grandmother one rainy day: “How come we gotta wait for the bus in all this wet?” […]