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Authors & Illustrators

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

Five questions for Robin Smith of Calling Caldecott

Since its debut in 2011, The Horn Book’s Calling Caldecott blog has been a destination for picture-book lovers eager to discuss favorite books in the months leading up to ALA annual — and to make their best guesses about what will win Caldecott gold. The Calling Caldecott team is Martha Parravano, executive editor of The Horn […]

Massachusetts Book Awards 2016

On Tuesday, December 6th, I was lucky to be the plus-one, with amazing school librarian Liz Phipps Soeiro, at the sixteenth annual Massachusetts Book Awards ceremony at the State House, in recognition of “significant works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children’s/young adult literature published by Commonwealth residents or about Massachusetts subjects.” The award is administered […]

Voice of Freedom: Illustrator Ekua Holmes’s 2016 BGHB NF Honor Speech

I am extremely honored to be here. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine work that I’ve done being honored in this way. It’s my maiden voyage. I’m so fortunate that I worked with an amazing publisher, Candlewick; I worked with an amazing and prolific author, Carole Boston Weatherford; and I worked on an […]

Voice of Freedom: Author Carole Boston Weatherford’s 2016 BGHB NF Honor Speech

I could not have written these poems without the ancestors. I call on them again and again, and their spirits continue to speak to and through me. This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine. Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine. That African American spiritual was Fannie Lou Hamer’s favorite […]

Symphony for the City of the Dead: Author M. T. Anderson’s 2016 BGHB NF Honor Speech

This book is a hymn, I hope, to a composer I love and to the power of music in general. It began when my interest was piqued by the idea of a symphony considered so important that it was transferred onto microfilm like some dossier in a spy novel and smuggled halfway across the globe. […]

The Lie Tree: Author Frances Hardinge’s 2016 BGHB Fiction Award Speech

Writing is a thoroughly weird job. Writers perform in a void for an invisible audience. We show the tender insides of our brains to people we will probably never meet. Sometimes I’m asked whether I write for an “ideal reader” or a particular “market.” To be honest, I don’t really know how you write for […]

Goodbye Stranger: Author Rebecca Stead’s 2016 BGHB Fiction Honor Speech

My childhood took place in the 1970s, and because my parents were lefties who moved to New York to lead liberated lives, they wanted me to have a certain number of touchy-feely activities. One of these was a class where we hit defenseless floor pillows with Bataka encounter bats in order to vent our naturally […]

The Hired Girl: Author Laura Amy Schlitz’s 2016 BGHB Fiction Honor Speech

Joan would be happy that I’m here. She’d be thrilled to find herself in the Athens of America: the city of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Isabella Stewart Gardner, and Candlewick Press. I’m thrilled too, so gleeful that I’m going to share a secret, a truth not universally acknowledged in the writing world: Sometimes things go well. Not […]

Jazz Day: Illustrator Francis Vallejo’s 2016 BGHB Picture Book Award Speech

My sincere thanks to all those who have made this day possible: the wonderful Candlewick team, and my home team — my parents and my remarkable girlfriend. And of course my partner in this project, Roxane! I am truly honored that Jazz Day has received this award. The arts are in a tricky place. Art […]

Jazz Day: Author Roxane Orgill’s 2016 BGHB Picture Book Award Speech

When I’m asked how this book came to be, I usually say that I was at a party and a woman I hadn’t met before, a person in children’s book publishing, said, “Someone should write a book about the famous Harlem jazz photograph.” That’s true. But it’s not the whole story. Jazz Day began much […]