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The 2016 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction

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The 2016 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to The Hired Girl, by Laura Amy Schlitz, published by Candlewick Press. When Joan’s father burns her beloved books as an undeserved punishment for shirking her housework, the put-upon fourteen-year-old makes a reckless gambit for freedom, running away to Baltimore in search of paid work. There […]

Editorial: Climbing the Walls

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Last month, while reading and re-reading books for The Horn Book’s annual “Fanfare” discussion, I teased followers of the Read Roger blog with mention of a book that had me excited for YA publishing all over again: “Granted, the half-dozen books I have to get through before [the meeting] are themselves already separated from the […]

Merry Christmas darlings

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Winding things down here for the year, I’d like to wish readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, hoping there is plenty of candy in your immediate future. And if candy is not your thing, Katie also has a host of recommendations of food favorites from children’s books. And do not forget Laura’s gingerbread! […]

Marieke Nijkamp 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. Marieke Nijkamp’s first novel, This Is Where It Ends, is unfortunately timely, telling, through multiple points of view, of a young shooter who holds an entire school hostage for one harrowing hour. […]

The Nonsense Show

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The line between silliness and nonsense is fine but important, with the former largely random and self-generated, like a kid spinning in circles while intoning “I’m HILARIOUS” over and over. Nonsense is trickier: incongruity laid bare by juxtaposition with the world as we expect it to work. And in The Nonsense Show‘s series of eighteen double-page spreads, Eric Carle demonstrates […]

David Fickling 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. David Fickling, editor, has been with us for quite some time, since 1978 when he began his career with Oxford University Press and subsequently the UK arms of Doubleday and Scholastic, bringing […]

What is it you can’t face Reverend Mother?

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As the Scott O’Dell committee winds up its considerations (look for an announcement after New Year’s but before ALA), I find myself seeing and pondering my favorite historical-fiction nemesis: the info dump. The following example is NOT from one of the contenders but from Katherine Neville’s The Eight, an enormously entertaining pile of balderdash that anticipated […]

Children’s Books Boston presents!

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Join Children’s Books Boston for a special theater event with author Gregory Maguire! Thursday, December 17th | 7 pm Central Square Theater 450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge Be part of a special CBB night at the theater, featuring two children’s books brought to life on the stage. MATCHLESS, written by Gregory Maguire, is a rekindling of […]

Review of Oskar and the Eight Blessings

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Oskar and the Eight Blessings by Richard Simon and Tanya Simon; illus. by Mark Siegel Primary, Intermediate   Roaring Brook   40 pp. 9/15   978-1-59643-949-8   $17.99 In 1938, the last night of Hanukkah coincided with Christmas Eve, and for a young Jewish refugee in Manhattan, both holidays provided blessings. Following Kristallnacht, Oskar’s parents had put him on […]

Lynne Reid Banks: right for the wrong reasons

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I think we’ve all written letters like this one. Responding to the announcement that David Almond’s A Song for Ella Grey had won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, author Lynne Reid Banks wrote to that publication: “Buoyed up by David Almond’s beautiful description (21 November) of his inspiration for writing A Song for Ella Grey, which  has […]