Authors & Illustrators

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

Sara Pennypacker on Completely Clementine

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In the March/April 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, reviewer Claire Gross talked to author Sara Pennypacker about the end of her long-running Clementine series. Read the full review of Completely Clementine here. Claire E. Gross: What was the hardest part about saying goodbye to Clementine? Sara Pennypacker: Clementine was a mix of my […]

Synthia Saint James at Simmons

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(Say *that* three times fast!) Next week, visual artist, author, and illustrator Dr. Synthia Saint James will be on the Simmons College campus as the Eileen Friars Leader-in-Residence. Right now some of her art is being installed along the hallway outside the Horn Book office. It’s lovely and thought-provoking — lucky us!

The Writer’s Page: Ex Libris

The author, age 15.

While I know there must be many books that feature great scenes 
set in libraries, one book that I’ve often thought about over the years is The Abortion (1971) by Richard Brautigan, whose narrator works in — and makes his home in — a public library whose shelves are filled with unpublished manuscripts that writers […]

Terry Pratchett’s 2009 Boston Globe-Horn Book Fiction Award Speech for Nation

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by Terry Pratchett I am sure that there are writers out there who are capable of telling the world, clearly and succinctly, why and how they wrote the books on which their names and likenesses now twinkle. These would be real writers, who keep things in filing cabinets rather than in piles. They will have […]

Five questions for Neal Shusterman

Brendan and Neal Shusterman.

Neal Shusterman’s novel Challenger Deep (HarperTeen, 14 years and up) is a swirling, surrealistic look inside the mind of one teen, Caden, who is struggling with mental illness. Chapters narrated by Caden alternate between a bizarre shipboard setting and the world we know, all viewed through the teen’s sometimes impenetrable perspective. It’s a very personal […]

Five Gay Picture-Book Prodigies and the Difference They’ve Made

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Andy Manley, a Scottish theater artist, travels the world putting on shows for children. In 2014, he was in New York doing My House, a “mostly wordless solo piece co-starring a cardboard box and a wayward melon,” according to the New York Times. That one was designed for youngsters eighteen months to three years old. […]

Five questions for Kwame Alexander

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Middle-school hoops star Josh “Filthy McNasty” Bell wants to play for Duke. His twin brother JB bleeds Carolina Blue. Is there a more apt metaphor for sibling rivalry?! Here we talk to 2015 Newbery Medal winner Kwame Alexander, for The Crossover (Houghton), about sports, music, sleep (who needs it?), and…Gangsta Cookies. 1. The book has […]

“These children need a champion”: an interview with Gretchen Bircher

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Gretchen Bircher is an instructional aide at Adam Elementary School in Santa Maria, California. (She’s also my amazing mom!) Today she is submitting a proposal to the Santa Maria–Bonita School District, advocating that a new elementary school be named in honor of Dr. Francisco Jiménez — author, recipient of a Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, and […]

Five questions for Lucy Cousins

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If you know any little girls named Maisy (or Tallulah; or, for that matter, any little boys named Cyril), chances are good that it’s because of Lucy Cousins. Her indomitable little-girl-mouse is beloved by toddlers and their grownups the world over, making Cousins one proud mama. 1. Your latest Maisy book — Count with Maisy, […]

Reviews of selected books by Patrick Jennings

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Putnam and Pennyroyal by Patrick Jennings; illus. by Jon J Muth Intermediate     Scholastic     165 pp. 11/99     0-439-07965-9     $15.95 From the beginning of his narrative, it’s evident that Cora Lee’s Uncle Frank is possessed by a contrary streak. Cora always spends New Year’s with Frank, fishing in one of Arizona’s rare ponds, because he won’t visit […]