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Crawl into a cave with a book, maybe?

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Over on the Horn Book’s Family Reading blog, Kitty and Elissa are inviting you to share your stories about and strategies for helping children through what promises to be a difficult time for our country. Also see our latest booklist, “Making a Difference,” for some inspiration. I won’t pretend that I can think of anything […]

Three rules for successful book reviewing

Wait 'til you've refined it

The other day, I was tasked with delivering a PowerPoint about the Horn Book to our Media Source colleagues in Ohio and New York. Unfortunately for them, I had just watched the Imelda Staunton Gypsy on PBS this past weekend, and thus I had my gimmick, provided by the leading ladies of Wichita burlesque. Rule #1: […]

Arrival spoilers

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The question is, how can I talk about Arrival without giving anything away? Well, go and come back, if you’ll allow me to allude to Joan Abelove’s 1998 novel (which I would love to see read through a lens of today’s conversations about social identity). And while you’re gone, re-read Shaun Tan’s The Arrival as […]

The morning after

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[In a burst of apparently unwarranted Dewey-beats-Truman optimism, my original draft for this afternoon’s Notes from the Horn Book editorial suggested that Hillary Clinton could do worse than read some E.B. White (Melissa Sweet’s Some Writer! is reviewed in the issue) to guide her presidency. Probably still not a bad idea even as things turned […]

Happy Birthday to Us

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Last Sunday marked the hundredth anniversary of the opening of Bertha Mahony’s Bookshop for Boys and Girls, whose “Suggestive Purchase List” begat The Horn Book Magazine and everything else we do today to blow the horn for fine books for youth. Lolly Robinson has given us the extraordinary gift of “The Horn Book’s Virtual History […]

Not a Box

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We’ve begun gathering together and posting our coverage of the past weekend’s BGHB–my 21st, phew–and HBAS colloquium. It was a happy concatenation of thinking and talking about books for youth, and our Out-of-the-Box theme for the colloquium provided structure without strain. More than one of the speakers mentioned how nice children’s-book discussion is (absent M.T. Anderson […]

November/December Horn Book starred reviews

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The following books will receive starred reviews in the November/December issue of The Horn Book Magazine:   Wolf in the Snow; written and illus. by Matthew Cordell (Feiwel/Macmillan) Sleep Tight Farm; by Eugenie Doyle; illus. by Becca Stadtlander (Chronicle) The Bossier Baby; written and illus. by Marla Frazee (Beach Lane/Simon) The Sleeping Gypsy; written and illus. by Mordicai Gerstein (Holiday) […]

When the censor is you

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While you all know what I think of the term “self-censorship” (which does not mean censorship by oneself so much as of oneself, and you are not your library), SLJ’s survey of censorship by school librarians is eye-opening. Siân and I will be talking about it on the podcast we’re recording today (and publishing next Monday) […]

A truly great guy

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Clarion Books and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt have asked me to invite you all to a memorial service  for their longtime colleague and my friend James Cross Giblin, to be held at NYC’s LGBT Center, 208 W. 13th St, on Friday, October 28th at 2:30PM. RSVP to rachael DOT stein AT hmhco DOT com.

I think I made this one too easy.

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A mostly-forgotten book I love presented itself to my imagination twice yesterday. Can you guess what it is? Clue # 1 and #2: I was talking to Holiday House’s Mary Cash while she was with my buddy Elizabeth Law on Fire Island, and she mentioned her plan to go “swimming in the ocean” later in the day. […]