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The Real Ramona

cleary_ramona quimby age 8

I worked with Beverly Cleary for nearly twenty years, so it’s beyond difficult to pick from so many wonderful memories. Here are two that I hope capture both her remarkable sense of humor and her unwavering integrity. Soon after becoming editor in chief at Morrow, I accompanied Beverly to the ALA Annual convention in Philadelphia, […]

E. B. Lewis at Lesley University

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Last night I was able to see “artistrator” E. B. Lewis deliver the Evelyn M. Finnegan Children’s Literature Lecture at Lesley University. If you have a chance to see E. B. Lewis speak, you should. Teachers should hear him speak about the broken education system and how to fix it — namely, first figure out […]

Everyone Needs a Ramona

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I was a voracious reader growing up. I gorged on heaps of nonfiction from the public library, signing out all the shark books one day, clearing out every last volcano title the following week. I read Archie comics from the drugstore and dusty poetry books borrowed from the barn of the antique-books dealer who lived […]

Karen Blumenthal on Hillary Rodham Clinton

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In our March/April 2016 issue, the Horn Book Magazine editors talked with Karen Blumenthal about the challenges of writing a biography about a political figure whose story is rapidly changing. Read the full review of Hillary Rodham Clinton: A Woman Living History. The Horn Book: Things can change so quickly in politics. How did you […]

Five questions for Laura Dronzek

DronzekLaura credit Kevin Henkes

Laura Dronzek’s color-drenched illustrations for When Spring Comes (Greenwillow, 2–4 years) bring husband Kevin Henkes’s poetic text into full bloom. Looking at her lively renderings of rain-soaked earth, flowering trees, baby animals, and other springtime delights, it’s easy to see Dronzek’s fine-arts background; her saturated acrylic paintings feature many similar subjects. In fact, her paintings […]

Dear Mrs. Cleary

cleary_mouse and the motorcycle

Looking back, I’m amazed at the impact Beverly Cleary’s books had on my life, as both a reader and a writer. The first Cleary book I remember reading was The Mouse and the Motorcycle, which featured a talking rodent named Ralph who could ride a toy motorcycle just by saying “pb-pb-b-b-b.” I had just seen […]

Happy 100th Birthday, Beverly Cleary!

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April 12, 2016 marks the one hundredth birthday of children’s literature icon Beverly Cleary. To celebrate, the March/April 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine includes a series of tributes to the author and her work written by children’s book authors, illustrators, editors, and librarians whose lives and work were touched by Ms. Cleary. Each […]

Ramona in the 21st-Century Library

Beth McIntyre, Madison County (WI) Public librarian, shows off her Ramona Quimby Q tattoo.

“‘Oh, did people write that in those days, too?’ Beezus was surprised, because she had thought this was something very new to write in an autograph album…” (Beezus and Ramona) Sometimes a book becomes quickly dated, and sometimes it easily crosses decades or generations. Beezus finds this is also true for autograph albums, and she […]

Peter Dickinson, 1927-2015

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One-of-a-kind British writer Peter Dickinson died in December at age eighty-eight. His work cannot be easily categorized: a prolific author, he wrote everything from adult detective novels to speculative YA science fiction to heart-stopping adventures to intriguing almost-fantasies. The protagonists in his work for children range from an American-missionary boy who finds himself trekking through […]

A Second Look: The Long Life of a Mockingbird

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To make a Tequila Mockingbird, chill your martini glass and cocktail shaker in the freezer. After half an hour, remove the shaker,  throw in a handful of ice, one and a half ounces of tequila, three quarters of an ounce creme de menthe, and the juice of one lime. Shake vigorously, pour into a chilled […]