Blogs

The Horn Book's blogs include Read Roger, Out of the Box, Calling Caldecott, and Lolly's Classroom. You can follow them all here, or individually via each blog's own URL and/or RSS feed.

Core values

Go-to Guide

Narrative nonfiction is on the lesson plan in Lolly’s Classroom today. Is anyone else worried that the CCSS demand for more nonfiction reading does not seem to be translating into more nonfiction publishing? I have the feeling that publishers are mostly sitting this one out. (As well they might, now that no one seems to […]

Anybody want a peanut?

obey1

We recently received the (adult) graphic novel biography Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown (May 2014, First Second). As any Princess Bride fan will know, Andre the Giant is the professional-wrestler-turned-actor who played Fezzik in the movie. Born Andre Rene Roussimoff, he grew up in rural Molien, France, where he was too large […]

Narrative nonfiction in middle school

Phineas Gage

You may have inferred from my first post in February that I am spending a lot of time thinking about nonfiction for middle school readers. We all know now that nonfiction figures prominently in the Common Core State Standards. In fact, we are told that 60% of a 7th grader’s reading diet ought to be […]

Happy (early) Earth Day!

roth_parrots over puerto rico

Tomorrow is Earth Day, and to celebrate we’ve got a new list of recommended reads on environmentalism, endangered species, and the wonders of nature. The list includes fiction and nonfiction for a wide range of ages. Check it out, then let us know what books you’re sharing this Earth Day.

Teaching difficult novels

greatliterature_243x300

Ideally, students would stop judging books by their covers and at least try to read what they are given.  Yet more often than not, I am faced with the question, “How do I get students to love the amazing books I love, or at least tolerate the books we are assigned since they’re the only […]

A tisket, a tasket, books for Easter baskets

Little White Rabbit

Spring hasn’t fully sprung quite yet in Boston — we got snow overnight earlier this week! But with Easter this weekend, we know it’s coming (eventually). Here are four springy board books to tuck into a little one’s Easter basket. The titular bunny of Kevin Henkes’s Little White Rabbit has limitless curiosity and imagination to […]

“Where do you buy these?”

Barnes and Noble at Cherry Hill, NJ.

Eight years ago, the question shocked me: “Mr. Ribay, where do you buy these?” The student was holding up a book. He had no idea where to buy a book. That was my first year teaching in Camden, NJ and the first time I had ever encountered someone who had to ask this question. But […]

Endless Reader app review

endless reader menu

From Originator (formerly Callaway Digital Arts), developer of the fantastic Endless Alphabet, comes Endless Reader (November 2013). Endless Reader closely follows the format and style of the previous app. A narrator speaks a sight word — such as all, eat, on, up, or you — as it appears in lowercase letters on the screen. A […]

April Notes on the way

april 14 notes

Vampires, werepeople, and yetis — oh my! In this month’s Notes from the Horn Book newsletter, I get to ask Cynthia Leitich Smith five questions about her (ahem) tantalizing new series Feral, a spin-off to her Tantalize quartet. Other goodies in this issue: • more YA fantasy sequels • picture books about the big city […]

The queen of all biographies

Queen of the Falls

“What?! You can’t stop reading there!” bellowed one of my second graders as I shut our read-aloud book and left the main character, Annie Taylor, sealed in a barrel and about to reach the precipice of Niagara Falls. I smiled at his uncontainable outburst and began soliciting predictions about whether Annie would survive her madcap […]