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Once Upon a Time It Was 1950

cleary_henry huggins

Ask any reader, teacher, librarian, author, or illustrator to rattle off their favorite Beverly Cleary books, and chances are the list will contain names of literary personalities we all know and love: Henry Huggins, Ramona Quimby, Ellen Tebbits, Ribsy, and (my favorite) the motorcycle-riding Ralph S. Mouse. Ask that same group if they know who […]

You Don’t DO That to Beverly Cleary!

Beverly Cleary Tweet

Husband Guy came home to find me digging a pit in our front yard. He recognized the little storm cloud over my head, so he knew what to ask: “Who irked you now?” “The mailman!” I said, tossing another shovelful of Jersey dirt. “He bent Beverly Cleary!” Husband Guy arched one eyebrow like I can’t […]

Marilyn’s great speech

nelson_carver a life in poems

Here’s a link to the speech Marilyn Nelson gave when she won the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Carver in 2001. The awards were given in Burlington, Vermont that October, a very fraught time, as you will recall. I remember that Marilyn’s son, then a student at McGill in Montreal, missed the ceremony as he […]

Julie Berry on The Passion of Dolssa

Photo: Bruce Lucier

In our March/April 2016 issue, Horn Book Magazine editor Martha V. Parravano talked with Julie Berry about how she researched and evoked thirteenth-century Provincia. Read the starred review of The Passion of Dolssa. Martha V. Parravano: An astounding amount of research went into this book — and surely you must now be the world’s leading […]

Beverly Cleary and the Art of Growing Up

cleary_ramona the brave

Like my own home street, I took Klickitat Street for granted until I had been gone for a long time and returned. I recently re-read the Ramona series and realized how many scenes had wormed their way into my memory and become indistinguishable from my own experiences. The paper-bag owl, Grandma Quimby’s proverbs, the dawnzer, […]

Telling the Truth While Making Things Up

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I met Beverly Cleary in 1980, when I was a barely published author and she was already an icon of children’s literature. As a new initiate into the writers’ group that was sponsoring a weekend writers’ conference, I was assigned the task of meeting Beverly’s plane. I remember being amazed at my good fortune, but […]

Zetta Elliott at Harvard

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Last night I had the pleasure of finally meeting Zetta Elliott (whose “Decolonizing the Imagination,” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine, is a thought-provoking Writer’s Page article and one of the pieces featured in The Horn Book’s Black History Month 2016 series). She was speaking at the Harvard College Women’s Center right in Hahvahd […]

The Writer’s Page: What Is Narrative Nonfiction?

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It’s been a topsy-turvy time in the education world recently: Common Core and high-stakes tests; then pushback; and now states are revising, revisiting, and renaming their standards. The recently passed ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) encourages this trend toward local choice. But if you look closely at the new standards across the board, one big […]

HBook Podcast 1.4 – Special Guest David Hyde Costello

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Podcast the fourth in which Siân makes guest author/illustrator David Hyde Costello take the Sorting Hat test, meets a hobgoblin, and manages to forget how many books are in the Harry Potter series (SEVEN books, Siân. Not eight!) Links David’s website Ezra Jack Keats New Writer honor Bank Street Center for Children’s Literature (under five […]

A Celebration of Beverly Cleary at Symphony Space

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If you live in New York City and are a Beverly Cleary super-fan, here’s a great-sounding event: Thalia Kids’ Book Club: A Celebration of Beverly Cleary An all-star cast of actors, including Condola Rashad (Billions), plus authors Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Lunch Lady series), Tony DiTerlizzi (The Spiderwick Chronicles), Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), and RJ Palacio (Wonder) […]