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Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheHornBook


On Rachel Kamin’s “Move Over, Shmelf…There Are Other Books on the Shelf” (from 2016)

The first night of Hanukkah is Wednesday, December 13, Tuesday, December 12 [thanks to Julie Rosemarin for alerting us to the error!], and if you’re tempted to add the story of Shmelf, the Hanukkah Elf to your family’s holiday traditions, well, read what librarian and anti-Shmelfer Rachel Kamin had to say last year in “Move […]

Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s Literature

Children’s literature scholar and long-time friend of the Horn Book, Carolyn Shute recently let me know about a seasonal exhibit at the Concord (MA) Museum. If you live in the area or will be in or near eastern Massachusetts in the next few weeks, I recommend making the museum’s Family Trees: A Celebration of Children’s […]

Love at First Read: Spotting the Moment When My Children Fell For Books

When my oldest son first fell in love, I recognized the symptoms instantly. He lost his appetite, couldn’t sleep, and spent hours in his room with a daydream-y glimmer in his eyes. It wasn’t a person he’d fallen for, though; it was a book. At age five, he’d always been enthusiastic about books, but up […]

Remember

Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, which honors those who have died as a result of anti-transgender violence. Katie’s Out of the Box post from last week is rich with links not only to trans- and queer-related articles and reviews from the Horn Book but also to organizations and recommended reading from all over. This […]

Interview with a Highly Sensitive 8-year-old reader

My eight-year-old daughter is a voracious reader, devouring mysteries, dramas, action/adventure, and fantasy books at, frankly, an alarming pace. It’s not surprising that three of her friends gave her books for her birthday and that she immediately dove in to read them. What was surprising was when, halfway through one of the books — A […]

On Susan Kusel’s “Book or Treat!” (from 2016)

“Over the years, I’ve been amazed at the number of kids who arrive at my house looking forward to selecting their book.” In “Book or Treat!,” librarian and “frequent book-award committee member” Susan Kusel writes about the genius way she divests herself of the many review copies she receives throughout the year. On Halloween, she […]

Halloween treats

The Halloween countdown is on. As certain people in my house wait not-so-patiently for the witching hour on October 31, we’ve been working our way through our pile of favorite spooky picture books and are looking forward to checking out some new ones from the library. Happily, the ghosts and ghouls at The Horn Book […]

National Bullying Prevention Month 2017 Unity Day

October is National Bullying Prevention Month. Today is Unity Day, when people wear orange to spotlight the issue of bullying and raise awareness of bullying prevention. “Together against bullying — united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion.” Click here for additional ways to show your support, and look for the hashtag #UnityDay2017. The following picture books […]

Parenting inspiration from Kazu Kibuishi and other graphic novelists at the MICE expo

“What is the hardest character for you to draw?” my second-grade son, Miles, asked Kazu Kibuishi, author and illustrator of his favorite graphic novels series, Amulet. Kibuishi had just finished an inspiring talk and demonstration for a group of children and adults at MICE (Massachusetts Independent Comics Exposition) at Lesley University on October 21 and […]

On Summer Clark’s “What My First Grader Taught Me About Reading” (from 2017)

“Our library harbors a large supply of early readers. I helped him choose a stack that I found to be at an appropriate beginner level, with few words per page, basic beginning sight words, repetition of frequently used spelling patterns, and engaging topics that related to his interests — all of which I hoped would […]