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Ever just the same

“Roger, didn’t you know that everything goes back to ‘Beauty and the Beast?’” That was Deborah Stevenson talking to me sotto voce in 1989 or so after listening to our boss Betsy Hearne make yet another connection between some new book or other and the classic French tale to which she had given her scholarly […]

Starred reviews, May/June 2017 Horn Book Magazine

  The following books will receive starred reviews in the upcoming issue of The Horn Book Magazine. (It’s our annual special issue; this time on the topic of humor. LAUGH, dammit.) The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet; by Carmen Agra Deedy; illustrated by Eugene Yelchin (Scholastic) Bob, Not Bob!; by Liz Garton Scanlon and […]

Some writer, artist, friend!

I hope you’ll join me for the 2017 Zena Sutherland Lecture, to be held on Friday, May 5 at 7:30PM at the Harold Washington Library Center in Chicago. Our lecturer is the wonderful Melissa Sweet; her chosen topic is “To Inform and Delight: The Elements of Story.” Tickets are free but you gotta reserve your […]

Diversity by the numbers

Please read Martha’s interview with K.T. Horning about the CCBC‘s fabled accounting of diversity in children’s books. I wonder what those numbers would look like from here, that is, if you counted the same variables for those books reviewed by the Horn Book Guide, would you get the same kind of numbers? I don’t think […]

What I read on my summer vacation

I’m back from a blessed week away in Palm Springs where we saw lots of sun, tennis, and friends and family. The Men’s Final was especially nice for me, as to hear a crowd of thousands shouting “Go, Roger!” is indeed a tonic. My reading shuttled between two books. I’m almost done with and completely […]

To the battlements!

Baby sis has begun her annual Battle of the Books, with Duncan Tonatiuh comparing the merits of Freedom in Congo Square and Freedom Over Me. Also, the Horn Book Podcast is back up and running. Last week Sian talked to author and agent Rebecca Podos and today we talk about politics and rock stars.

At the bottom of my garden

Oh, I owe some of you fantasy writers an apology. Over on Twitter, I’ve been pretty hard on your  Capital Letters and apostrophes and archaisms and spelling. Mostly spelling, like “magick,” or, gilding the lily, “enmagick.” And then there’s faery. That’s a spelling that has been the fingernails on my personal chalkboard ever since chalkboards were […]

That’s a lot of men!

Actually, it’s not so much that there are a @ALotofMen in the latest newspaper misrepresentation of the children’s book biz; the problem is that there are so few. I am not suggesting the article needed More Men, simply that it seems to lack any understanding of how librarians purchase books for library collections. Sure, the road […]

The horror! The horror!

So I’m reading World War Z for my part in Gene Luen Yang’s Reading Without Walls challenge. I admit I’m only biting off a little piece at a time, but I would have devoured the thing whole in high school, where most of my reading was either fantasy or horror or Ayn Rand, but I see […]

Free trade agreement

Oh, Susan Hill. The Brits haven’t given me this much material since Lynne Reid Banks complained of lesbian love in a David Almond novel. A bookstore choosing not to stock a book is not censoring it. A bookstore taking a political point of view is not censorship. A bookstore saying to a customer, “no, we don’t […]