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Let’s get special

On Thursday, the Horn Book staff will be at my house stuffing our faces with pastry and planning our 2018 editorial calendar. You can help! As Magazine readers will know, we publish one special themed issue each year. We’ve done this from the start, with most early special issues being devoted to one great lady […]

It is so our business

I see SLJ is taking some heat for its stand against Trump’s deplorable actions re DACA. Welcome to my world. I’d love to put together a panel discussion of the children’s-book journal editors on the topic of pulpit-pounding. We all do it, in different ways to different ends, and it might be a good opportunity to […]

Double takes

We saw the 40th anniversary release of Close Encounters of the Third Kind* this weekend, which seemed like a great end-of-summer thing to do. I swear that movie has been cut differently every time I’ve seen it, but I was once again thrilled to see one of my favorite shots in cinema: that early scene […]

Home run!

Over at SLJ, Kiera Parrott makes a thorough case against reading levels. I wish I’d had her on hand when we were visiting the children last month. The grandpas had sent eight-year-old Miles some books a few weeks before, mainly Magic Treehouse. When I said something about them he mumbled that they weren’t on his Fountas […]

Books in a lee light

Julie Hakim Azzam’s diagnosis of ADHD for Ramona Quimby has me of two minds AT LEAST. I agree it’s good that readers with ADHD can find in Ramona a mirror, friend, or hero. But if we position the character as a child with ADHD, are we being faithful to the text, which leaves her undiagnosed? […]

Everybody’s talking

My brief thoughts about two current scandals. The first is the bouncing of a Newbery committee member for mentioning a book on Twitter. I said at the time ALSC revamped its social media policy that it was a bad idea. It still is, and Angie Manfredi would have been a great contributor to that committee’s work. […]

There’s only color and light

Today we are meeting with a group of consultants and some of the New York brass to rethink the Horn Book’s digital presence–the website, the Guide Online, maybe the newsletters and e-editions of our print publications. (The Horn Book Guide will be digital-only starting this fall.) I told Lolly I was even open to discussion–well, […]

Always something there to remind me

Here is the sole note I took during last weekend’s “(im)possible dreams,” Simmons College’s Summer Institute, but for the life of me I cannot recall what it was intended to recall. Any ideas? Candy? Neal? Luckily, Shoshana was also there and can give you a fuller account. And I will take this opportunity to remind […]

Horn Book Magazine September/October 2017 starred books

The following books will received starred reviews in the September/October 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine:   When’s My Birthday?; by Julie Fogliano; illustrated by Christian Robinson (Porter/Roaring Brook) Home in the Rain; written and illustrated by Bob Graham (Candlewick) Red Again; written and illustrated by Barbara Lehman (Houghton) A Different Pond; by Bao Phi; illustrated by Thi Bui (Capstone) […]

Oh boy

I call bullshit on Daniel Handler’s Sunday New York Times essay about the need of teenaged boys for dirty books. Of course, yes, kids read for the dirty parts, girls as well as boys. And you could make an argument, and I don’t understand why Handler didn’t, that the prurient interests of girls are better […]