7(.5) Totally Useless Questions for David Hyde Costello

lambert_crow of his own

After working the Horn Book booth at Saturday’s Hubbub Festival, I met up with David Hyde Costello, author/illustrator of Here They Come, I Can Help, and Little Pig Joins the Band before his scheduled event: a reading of his most recent illustrated work, A Crow of His Own (written by Megan Dowd Lambert). I could […]

Transformers: The Power of Storytelling

lester_john henry

I grew up in a small brick row house on a dead-end street in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In many ways, my neighborhood block in the 1940s was representative of African American culture as a whole: there were too many things we were told we could not do, too many places we might […]

Transformers: Ready or Not…

Lee_beauty and the beast

Translating Madame Villeneuve’s and Madame Leprince de Beaumont’s eighteenth-century French into contemporary American 
English for our picture book Beauty and the Beast was indeed a transformative event. In addition to the dramatic change in language, there were other differences, surprises brought on by time and the filter of many others before me. The process taught […]

Five questions for Ann Bausum

ann bausum

Ann Bausum has written nonfiction about U.S. presidents and first ladies, muckrakers, Freedom Riders, suffragists, immigrants, and world wars. Her latest book Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights (Viking, 11–15 years) focuses on the 1969 Stonewall riots, which helped kick things off (spectacularly; there was a kick-line) in NYC and galvanize the […]

Transformers: Reimagining the World


Back in my late twenties, when I decided to finally, earnestly try to be a novelist, I chose to start with something I thought would be easy: a fairy-tale retelling. I figured that since I already knew the plot, I wouldn’t get stuck. (All seasoned writers who are reading this are probably laughing.) I settled […]

What retellings tell

carter_bloody chamber

On Monday night I went to Harvard Book Store to hear author/editor/anthologist/publisher Kelly Link speak about Angela Carter’s 1979 short story collection The Bloody Chamber: And Other Stories. In May, Penguin Classics rereleased the collection in a 75th anniversary edition (the 75th anniversary of Carter’s birth, that is, not of the book’s original publication) with […]

Book & Me, Week 5

Book & Me by Charise Mericle Harper

Today we posted the final entry (*sniff!*) in Charise Harper Mericle’s original comics “Book & Me.” We’re sad to bid farewell to irrepressible Book and his erstwhile creator, but I imagine them walking hand-in-hand into the sunset, ready for their next bookish adventure. If you’re not ready to say goodbye, why not start over from […]

Book & Me | Comic #20

Book & Me by Charise Mericle Harper


Ilyasah Shabazz on X


In our May/June 2015 issue, reviewer Martha V. Parravano talks to author Ilyasah Shabazz about her approach to writing a novel about her father, Malcolm X. Read the starred review of X here. Martha V. Parravano: Why did you choose to present the story of Malcolm X’s formative years as fiction, rather than nonfiction — and […]

Book & Me | Comic #19

Book & Me by Charise Mericle Harper

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