Shara Hardeson

About Shara Hardeson

Shara Hardeson is a former editorial assistant at The Horn Book Guide.

Review of Gracefully Grayson

polonsky_gracefully grayson

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky Intermediate, Middle School    Hyperion    247 pp. 11/14    978-1-4231-8527-7    $16.99 Grayson, a sixth grader at Porter Middle School, passes the time doodling and daydreaming about what it would be like to go through life as a girl, despite being seen by everyone else as male. Struggling with the total isolation that […]

Review of Through the Woods

carroll_through the woods

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll; illus. by the author High School   McElderry   208 pp. 7/14   978-1-4424-6595-4   $21.99 Paper ed. 978-1-4424-6596-1   $14.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-6597-8   $10.92 Carroll crafts five unsettling tales in graphic-novel format inspired by common folkloric themes — from wolves in the woods to peculiar visitors to dark possessions. In “Our Neighbor’s House,” […]

Review of Bow-Wow’s Nightmare 

newgarden_bow-wow's nightmare neighbors

Bow-Wow’s Nightmare 
Neighbors by Mark Newgarden and Megan Montague Cash; illus. by the authors Preschool    Porter/Roaring Brook    64 pp. 9/14    978-1-59643-640-4    $17.99    g Bow-Wow is back in this fanciful wordless follow-up to Bow-Wow Bugs a Bug (rev. 7/07). This time, the stalwart canine sets out to retrieve his stolen doggy bed from the ornery ghost […]

Review of Beetle Boy

willey_beetle boy

Beetle Boy by Margaret Willey High School    Carolrhoda Lab    200 pp. 9/14    978-1-4677-2639-9    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-4677-4626-7    $12.95 As eighteen-year-old Charlie Porter slowly and painfully convalesces from a ruptured Achilles tendon at his girlfriend Clara’s house, bits of his past — years of being paraded around in a bug costume by his exploitive father as […]

Dog days of summer

stanton_monday, wednesday, and every other weekend

Dogs, cats, and…a sloth. These picture books showcase the comfort, companionship, aggravation, upheaval, and education that pets can bring into a family’s life. In Karen Stanton’s Monday, Wednesday, and Every Other Weekend, Henry and his dog Pomegranate live with Mama on Mondays, Wednesdays, and alternating weekends and with Papa the rest of the time. Rich, […]

We were the champions…eventually


The Horn Bookers — a.k.a. Goldilocks and the Free Beers, a.k.a. Elissa, Shara, Katrina, Lolly, and Rachel — got off to a slow start at last night’s Children’s Book Boston trivia event held at M. J. O’Connor’s Irish Pub located in Back Bay. We were two team members down at the start of the evening […]

The Adventures of Captain Underpants app review

captain underpants menu

The Adventures of Captain Underpants app (Scholastic, 2013) features an easy-to-navigate full-color digital adaptation of Dav Pilkey’s graphic novel of the same name, plus an avatar generator, a sound effects mixer, and a panoply of other mini-games based on the story. Best friends and class pranksters George and Harold create a comic book superhero, Captain […]

‘Til death do we part? The Undertaking of Lily Chen

novgorodoff_undertaking of lily chen

The Undertaking of Lily Chen (First Second, March 2014), Danica Novgorodoff’s latest graphic novel, begins with an excerpt from an article published by The Economist in 2007: Parts of rural China are seeing a burgeoning market for female corpses, the result of the reappearance of a strange custom called “ghost marriages.” Chinese tradition demands that […]

Funny business

broach_miniature world of marvin and james

Cockamamie mysteries, confectionary disasters, well-meaning primates, and oddball friendships. All of the above abound in the following fantastically funny chapter book series entries. Elise Broach’s new early chapter book series Masterpiece Adventures extends the antics of Marvin (a beetle) and James (a boy) from Broach’s middle grade book Masterpiece (Holt/Ottaviano, 8–11 years). In The Miniature […]

Notable novels in verse

grimes_words with wings

After highlighting a variety of poetry picture books in the April issue of Notes from the Horn Book and March issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book, we wanted to feature some of the notable novels in verse from the last year before National Poetry Month 2014 comes to a close. Intermediate After Gabby’s […]