Authors & Illustrators

Biographical information about writers and illustrators of books for young people.

Parrotfish Needed an Update: The Rapidly Changing Language of Transgender Awareness

wittlinger_parrotfish update

A decade ago, I wrote Parrotfish, the first young adult novel with a transgender protagonist. At the time I wrote it, most of my (middle-aged) friends didn’t understand the meaning of the word transgender. They guessed that it meant cross-dresser or drag queen, but the topic was not one that straight, mainstream Americans thought about, […]

Barry Deutsch on Hereville

deutsch_hereville how mirka caught a fish

In our November/December issue, reviewer Shoshana Flax asked Barry Deutsch about the third entry in his graphic novel series about “11-year-old time-traveling Jewish Orthodox babysitter” Mirka. Read the full starred review of Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish here. Shoshana Flax: We hear more about the modern world in this third installment. What do you […]

Jennifer Donnelly Talks with Roger

jennifer donnelly

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Fans of Jennifer Donnelly’s first novel, A Northern Light, will enjoy her return to the Gilded Age in These Shallow Graves, a rich tale of murder and romance set in 1890 Manhattan. […]

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson on The Book Itch

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

In our November/December issue, our editors asked Vaunda Micheaux Nelson about revisiting the source material of her BGHB Award–winning No Crystal Stair in new picture book The Book Itch. Read the full review of The Book Itch here. Horn Book Editors: What compelled you to revisit the material from No Crystal Stair to create your […]

Five questions for Tim Wynne-Jones


At the start of Tim Wynne-Jones’s The Emperor of Any Place (Candlewick, 14 years and up), Evan, reeling from the death of his single father, has no choice but to contact his paternal grandfather, Griff — whom Evan’s dad called a murderer. A gripping story-within-the-story unfolds about a WWII Japanese soldier stranded on a haunted […]

An Interview with Kate DiCamillo


Kate DiCamillo served as National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature from January 2014 to December 2015 and was this year’s National Summer Reading Champion. This past spring, Horn Book editors Elissa Gershowitz and Martha V. Parravano shared breakfast with the two-time Newbery Medalist (for Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures and The Tale of Despereaux) […]

Don Brown on Drowned City

brown_drowned city

In our September/October issue, reviewer Betty Carter asked Don Brown, author/illustrator of nonfiction graphic novel Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans, about what we can learn from the events of Hurricane Katrina. Read the full starred review of Drowned City here. Betty Carter: So many of your books cover a pivotal moment in American […]

2015 Boston Book Festival highlights

roger, rebecca stead, and kristin cashore

The annual Boston Book Festival took place over the weekend, and we had a blast seeing some familiar faces (and lots of new ones!) at the Horn Book booth and attending programming. Here are some highlights from events staff attended. Elissa: My family attended several Story Time sessions in the newly renovated, amazingly beautiful, perfectly […]

Vera B. Williams (1927–2015)


We were saddened to hear about the death last week of legendary children’s book author and illustrator Vera B. Williams. It’s a loss to our field; she was, truly, unique. Her groundbreaking picture books celebrated children and family and communities — all kinds of children, all kinds of families, and all kinds of communities. Both A Chair […]

Jodi Lynn Anderson Talks with Roger

jodi lynn anderson

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Ambitious but light-handed, My Diary from the Edge of the World is the story of twelve-year-old Gracie, whose family is being threatened by an ominous Cloud, sending them on a road trip […]