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HB NB February

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—Elissa and Katie are ransacking the archives to honor Black History Month with an article every day about African American books, authors, and illustrators. Up today, Yolanda Hare’s call for more books about “more black teens living mundane middle-class lives.” –On February 23rd, I’ll be moderating a panel discussion about the ALA awards and children’s […]

Whips AND chains

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I’d really like to ban the term “self-censorship” from discourse, given that we already have a spectrum of words–from “prudence” to “cowardice”–that say more precisely what we mean, and because it causes us to be confused about what censorship actually is. As Megan Schliesman at Reading While White posted last week, the discussion about A Birthday […]

A bumpy ride

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I had been content to let Calling Caldecott’s enlightening discussion about A Fine Dessert speak for itself, and the subsequent publication of A Birthday Cake for George Washington a year later was more than anything a spectacular example of bad timing–by the time A Fine Dessert was gathering outrage, A Birthday Cake was well on its […]

From the Editor – January 2016

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Well, a few years ago the Caldecott Medal went to what many people thought was a novel (The Invention of Hugo Cabret), and this week we have the Newbery going to a thirty-two page picture book, the first time this has happened since A Visit to William Blake’s Inn in 1982 and only the second […]

That clinking clanking sound

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With the (incoming, anyway) scandal at this weekend’s ALA conference being a question about the not-always-bright line between editorial independence and advertisers’ interests, I thought I would remind you of the Horn Book’s position on the relationship between those two things. Otherwise, I hope I see some of you this weekend: the Horn Book can […]

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 […]