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Pictures and visual literacy | class #5, spring 2017

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The next adolescent lit class (February 28, 2017) focuses on visual literacy: pictures in young adult literature, in works of both fiction and nonfiction. The prompts below address the role of these books in the classroom; you might also respond to the interplay of text and pictures (or wordlessness), or to whatever engages you most […]

Life lessons in “best friend” easy readers

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As a Pre-K teacher, I want to help my students learn to socialize and make friends. Inevitably, children often pair off and become best friends as the year progresses. These relationships involve playing and experiencing great joy together. But best friends can also fight, argue, annoy, and experience sadness. I want to help children in […]

Beyond the world we know | class #4, spring 2017

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This week’s topic is “Beyond the world we know” — a category that encompasses an extensive range of books, from magical realism to science fiction to the far away places of other worlds. Jane Langton’s classic piece on fantasy from the 1973 Horn Book, “The Weak Place in the Cloth” provides an apt and lovely […]

Writing for adults and adolescents

Untwine by Edwidge Danticat

Last January, I was at the annual meeting of the School Reform Initiative, a wonderful organization that works to help schools find ways to communicate and collaborate more effectively.  I was thrilled to find out that the keynote speaker was Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian-American novelist I’ve loved for a long time. She delivered an important […]

The past made present | class #3, spring 2017

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Next Tuesday (February 7), the YA literature class will be discussing several books on the theme “The past made present,” considering both nonfiction and historical fiction. A number of these works address the topic of Civil Rights. One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis […]

Introducing ancient Egypt

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How can you introduce children to history in an exciting and engaging way? As an Egyptian parent, more specifically, how do you encourage your children to celebrate their heritage if their curriculum doesn’t and the general media is unreliable? Personally, my thirst for exploring the mysteries of my heritage was never fully quenched in my […]

Windows and mirrors | class #2 spring 2017

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Please join the adolescent lit class at HGSE as we discuss two recent YA books for our second class on January 31. The students are required to comment on one of the readings, but we hope any of you who have read one of these will want to join our discussion. The Absolutely True Diary of a […]

Adolescent lit class begins tomorrow

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Lolly’s children’s literature class at the Harvard Graduate School of Education wrapped up in December with lively discussion and debate in their Mock Awards committees, a terrific culminating event. Tomorrow, adolescent lit begins, and we’ll continue to hold our class book discussions out in the open here and invite you all to join the conversation. […]

Upcoming posts

coming soon

Class is over, the January magazine has printed, and it’s pretty slow here at the Horn Book office. But what should be a lovely empty schedule ideal for blog posting is being being filled with lots of important tasks that have been on the back burner and need to be done in 2016. This is […]

The mock results are in | Class #6, fall 2016

To make their award committee experience more authentic, each group brought snacks.

On Wednesday night, November 30, we held our last children’s lit class of the semester. We read Charlotte’s Web and had a good discussion about unlikely friendships, death in children’s books, and the benefits of reading aloud. Then we got to the big event: mock book award groups. Each student had nominated an eligible book […]