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Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheHornBook


On Robin Smith

The Horn Book family is mourning the loss of one of our own, the inimitable Robin Smith who passed away last week after a battle with bone cancer. In addition to her day job as a second-grade teacher at the Ensworth School in Nashville, Robin was a longtime Magazine reviewer and contributor as well as […]

These boots are made for walking…into mucky water

What kid doesn’t love wading in mucky water and scooping up slimy eggs stuck to cattail reeds and rotting sticks? Oh, it’s just mine? Well, we live in Maine and exploring local ponds is a great excuse to get outside in June — after waiting all winter for the opportunity. The appearance of the gooey […]

A New Place You’ll Go: Opening Day at The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum

The tagline for the Random House Beginner Book imprint reads “I Can Read It All By Myself” and features a picture of Dr. Seuss’s famed Cat in the Hat. A more accurate line to capture the revolutionary impact Theodor Seuss Geisel had on the beginning reader might be “I Can Read It All By Myself […]

On Kathleen T. Horning’s “On Spies and Purple Socks and Such” (from 2005)

“Sometimes you have to lie. But to yourself you must always tell the truth.” —Ole Golly from Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh June is Pride Month (whether or not the White House recognizes it) and LGBTQIA folx and their allies are holding their rainbow flags — of various stripes — high. In the January/February […]

Confessions of a (Failed) Battle of the Books Coach

Dear Reader, I have a confession to make: I am a failed Battle of the Books coach. And I am in need of your help. It started out with good intentions, as many things do. In the empty days that follow the end of the school year, when our minds and sleeping schedules were still […]

2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Winners and Honorees Announced

If you missed Roger Sutton and Kwame Alexander’s announcement of the 2017 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners and honor books last week (or if you’d like to relive the moment), watch their entertaining performance—er, presentation, complete with an Oscar-worthy Faye and Warren homage. And here are more details about the winners, including links to their […]

LIVE! From New York! It’s the 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards announcement!

Today’s the day! Watch LIVE at 4:45 PM EST as Roger Sutton and 2015 Newbery Award–winning author Kwame Alexander (The Crossover) announce the winners of the 2017 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards. Have we mentioned that this year is the 50th anniversary of the Awards? Maybe once or twice. We are very excited. As Roger said, […]

“Eff inappropriate”

(But you all know he didn’t say “eff.”) This (early) morning Roger was the guest speaker at Coffee and Conversation at the Cambridgeport School Library. The topic was Summer Reading, and most of you know Roger’s feelings on the subject: let ’em read what they want. “Reading has to be a voluntary engagement,” he told […]

On Robin Smith’s “Teaching New Readers to Love Books” (from 2003)

“Despite the pressures of parents and the winds of educational change, I do not teach children to read because it is good for them. To me, books are not meant to be the path to Harvard or even the best high school. I do not think of them as ‘tools for learning,’ a phrase I […]

The Family Who Reads Together, Cries Together

When I first began reading Patricia MacLachan’s Sarah, Plain, and Tall books aloud to my daughter years ago, I knew I was in trouble. During the first book, my voice cracked with emotion simply because of how beautiful the story is. Small arms indulgently encircled me to comfort me in my moment of vulnerability. By […]