TBT

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I’m at home today reading and re-reading books the Magazine loved this year, in preparation for our final Fanfare meeting next week where we will determine that these, yes these, are the very best books of 2015. And without giving anything away I want to comment (again!) on just how different the young adult literature of today […]

Jennifer Donnelly Talks with Roger

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Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Fans of Jennifer Donnelly’s first novel, A Northern Light, will enjoy her return to the Gilded Age in These Shallow Graves, a rich tale of murder and romance set in 1890 Manhattan. […]

Fairytale of New York

Brooklyn

If I ruled the world, Brooklyn would be the teen movie of the season. It has the vicissitudes of young romance, a love triangle, a heroine who blossoms from being pleasant-looking to full-on Titanic-era Kate Winslet, right down to the hair blowing and glowing in the ocean sunrise. It’s probably too quiet for wide appeal, though, […]

Review of The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore

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The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s 
Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary, Intermediate   Carolrhoda   32 pp. 11/15   978-0-7613-3943-4   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4677-4618-2   $17.99 If the central character of Nelson’s Boston Globe–Horn Book Award-winning No Crystal Stair (rev. 3/12) was the author’s great-uncle, Lewis Michaux, this picture book adaptation […]

and clunk clunk clunk went the folktale market

aardema_bringing the rain to kapiti plain

Betsy Bird at Fuse #8 is rightfully mourning the relative dearth of African folktale publishing and simultaneously celebrating one of its legends from the glory days, Verna Aardema. All I can say is God bless Verna Aardema, who knew just how to write a picture-book text that would bring any library story hour to life. […]

From the Editor — November 2015

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People are already fighting about Starbucks’s holiday cups, there were Christmas tree ornaments on sale at CVS this morning, and The Horn Book is pulling together Fanfare, our list of the best books of the year. While I see that Publishers Weekly has already published its list of bests (which is really rushing the season, […]

Doctor, doctor, give me the news

Portrait of Vivien Thomas by Bob Gee

After reading Jim Murphy’s Breakthrough! How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever, our current nonfiction review of the week, I mentioned it to my cousin Dr. Anne Murphy, a pediatric cardiologist at Johns Hopkins. It turns out she knew two of those three, which is both pretty neat and means that, yes, […]

Editorial: We’re Not Rainbow Sprinkles

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Last month at the Cambridge Public Library, I moderated a panel of five middle-grade writers brought to town by their publisher, Random House: Jeanne Birdsall, Bruce Coville, Alice Hoffman, R. J. Palacio, and Rebecca Stead. The place was packed and the conversation lively. With just a few minutes left for questions at the end of […]

Picture book moments

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In picture-book goings-on, bloggers Julie Danielson, Betsy Bird, Travis Jonker, and Minh Lê have a seasonally appropriate discussion about creepy picture books. (And here are the Horn Book’s recommendations for Halloween reading.) –and the New York Times Best Illustrated list is out and includes A Fine Dessert, so don’t look for that discussion to die down […]

Which book will hurt which reader how?

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There are some lively debates going on at Heavy Medal and Fuse #8 about Laura Amy Schlitz’s The Hired Girl, a presumed favorite for 2016 Newbery consideration. The Horn Book starred it; I like it too (and here’s a brief interview I did with Schlitz in the September Magazine). What’s interesting about this debate is […]