I’m at home today reading and re-reading books the Magazine loved this year, in preparation for our final Fanfare meeting next week where we will determine that these, yes these, are the very best books of 2015. And without giving anything away I want to comment (again!) on just how different the young adult literature of today […]

Sago Mini Friends app review

sago mini friends title screen

In Sago Mini Friends (2014), you choose to play as one of five brightly colored animal characters: an orange cat, a brown dog, a blue rabbit, a red bird, and a purple…guinea pig? You then float downward and land gently in a neighborhood of four pastel houses — occupied, of course, by the four other […]

Recommended books on transgender lives

kuklin_beyond magenta

Ellen Wittlinger’s Parrotfish was the first young adult novel starring a transgender protagonist. In the eight years since its publication, other books for young readers have also explored transgender lives and experiences. The titles below were reviewed and recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide at the time of their publication; […]

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

voiceof freedom

One thing the members of the Caldecott Committee are looking for each time they open a new box is the wonderful feeling of New. When I was on the committee, whenever I opened a Caldecott box, I would feel the burden of The Same. A book would remind me of another book. The illustrations would […]

DinoWriMo: Literary classics

Alice grows up — and down — alongside a set of drawings by Sir John Tenniel.

What classic novel do dinosaurs love? Allosaurus in Wonderland For more terrible puns, click the tag DinoWriMo.

The POW! of the turning of the page

joe hill

I was super-stoked to attend a live taping of The Nerdist Writers’ Panel podcast at local indie bookstore Brookline Booksmith on Saturday. The special guest was Joe Hill, one of my favorite adult authors. He’s published three horror-ish novels (including Horns, which in 2013 was made into a movie starring Daniel Radcliffe), a short story […]

Barry Deutsch on Hereville

deutsch_hereville how mirka caught a fish

In our November/December issue, reviewer Shoshana Flax asked Barry Deutsch about the third entry in his graphic novel series about “11-year-old time-traveling Jewish Orthodox babysitter” Mirka. Read the full starred review of Hereville: How Mirka Caught a Fish here. Shoshana Flax: We hear more about the modern world in this third installment. What do you […]

The best-of-the-year lists have begun

The New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Books

Teachers often ask how to keep up with the best new books. Good intentions are one thing, and real life (long days, class prep, paper grading) is another. For those with limited time, I recommend going online near the end of the year when children’s book review journals post their “best of the year” lists. […]

Two Mice

two mice

This little book packs a whole lotta wow per square inch. It took me some time to see everything it has to offer, but now that I have, I’m totally sold. (Philip Nel raved, too; Two Mice “exemplifies the elegant efficiency of the picture book” and “unfolds with perfect economy.”) Before we even open the book, there’s much to remark on. […]

Fairytale of New York


If I ruled the world, Brooklyn would be the teen movie of the season. It has the vicissitudes of young romance, a love triangle, a heroine who blossoms from being pleasant-looking to full-on Titanic-era Kate Winslet, right down to the hair blowing and glowing in the ocean sunrise. It’s probably too quiet for wide appeal, though, […]