Toca Band app review

toca band title screen

Having just experienced the sheer bizarre joy that is Toca Band (Toca Boca, 2012), I fear it may be impossible to express exactly why this app is so much fun. But I will try. Oh, I will try. The setting is simple: we are in a park. A large, boldly-hued stage with three tiers is […]

Tales as old as time

book of greek myths

It should hardly come as a surprise to anyone that when it comes to the Disney princesses, I find myself identifying most with Belle, the brunette bookworm from Beauty and the Beast. The notion of a girl longing to escape her world through the pages of a story presented a strong parallel to my own […]

Threesomes?

Fingerplays

“You just follow your heart when it comes to fingering scenes” was MY takeaway quote from the latest newspaper report on the steamy goings-on in YA fiction, which predictably, has people a-Twitter. But while the article is sensationalized, it isn’t incorrect. Young adult fiction is sexier than it used to be, even if the “threesomes” […]

The muppet under the stairs

manzano_becoming maria

I love Randy Ribay’s interview with Sonia Manzano (best known as Sesame Street’s Maria) on her new memoir Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx, but something about the cover was nagging at me. Then I realized it reminded me of the cover art for Jason Vanhee’s creepy-cool Engines of the Broken World, […]

Summerteen 2015

hand_washing

SLJ’s Summerteen virtual conference is this Thursday and it’s free and promises to be a good time. I am particularly looking forward to hearing M. T. Anderson, Paula Ayer, Marc Aronson, and Susan Campbell Bartoletti talk about narrative nonfiction, which also happens to be the topic for the debut issue of our latest newsletter coming later […]

Rebecca Stead on Goodbye Stranger

Rebecca Stead

In our July/August 2015 issue, reviewer Jennifer Brabander asked Goodbye Stranger author Rebecca Stead about the writing her teen girl protagonist’s friendships. Read the starred review of Goodbye Stranger here. Jennifer M. Brabander: Longtime friends Bridge, Em, and Tab have such different interests, but they manage to sustain their friendship; the three girls are “independent […]

Brooklyn, we have a winner!

drawing-out-of-a-hat

Congratulations to Frankie Moore, winner of our Brooklyn Week contest! A signed print by Stephen Savage of “Goodnight Bridge” — a view of the Brooklyn Bridge outside the Great Green Room — will be yours. Lucky! And Roger really did pick from a hat (well, a bowl…). Frankie’s comment (it’s a good one, right?): I […]

Tuck, then, now, and always

tuck everlasting editions

Well, it’s just past the first week of August, but it’s always a good time to visit with old (in this case, very, very old) friends. This year marks the 40th publication anniversary of Natalie Babbitt’s Tuck Everlasting. FSG/Square Fish put out a lovely new hardcover edition — with a foreword by Gregory Maguire — […]

The Bedsby Tales app review

bedsby menu

Tales from the Crypt fans who’ve been dying to introduce the next generation to episodic horror will be all over The Bedsby Tales (Jacob Duane Johnson, March 2015), a series of short stories for middle graders with some interactive elements. “Episode 1: Thoughts of Unknown” begins with a dubious welcome from a shadowy-creature storyteller in […]

“What do you think of my labyrinth?”

labyrinth at simmons

As many of you know, the Horn Book offices are located on the Simmons College campus. Today, looking out my window, I can see a construction crew working on Simmons’s newest addition: a labyrinth. Now, having grown up with the movie Labyrinth, it wasn’t until I took an undergraduate course at Clark University that I […]