Connecting the dots


Probably inspired by our seeing yesterday the wonderfully mysterious The Clouds of Sils Maria, I dreamed last night that we received for review a new YA novel that took the form of a high school yearbook. Apparently something very terrible had happened at that school, but the reader had to piece together clues in the text and […]

Jack and Hazel


WHY I have to go to Chicago to see Jack Gantos when he lives only a mile away from my office is a question I’ll happily ignore to hear his Zena Sutherland Lecture at the Chicago Public Library tomorrow night. Join us if you can; otherwise you can read Jack’s speech in the Horn Book this […]

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Between the Osprey & the Gar


[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Between the Osprey & the Gar; written and illustrated by Trahern Cook. Studio Campfire Books, 2014. 32pp. Paper ed. ISBN 978-1500876265. $11.99 As Grandfather tells it, there’s […]



The new Banned Books Week poster has too many design elements to keep straight, uses a dumb and hard to parse neologism as its main message, and dog-whistles anti-Islamic sentiment with an image of what looks like a woman in a niqab. You had ONE JOB….  

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Kell and the Detectives


[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Kell and the Detectives; written by Darcy Pattison; illustrated by Rich Davis. Mims House, 2015. 118pp. Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-62944-028-6. $ 21.99; Paper ed. ISBN […]

Starred reviews, May/June 2015 Horn Book Magazine

from Float, by Daniel Miyares

The following books will receive starred reviews in the forthcoming May/June issue of The Horn Book Magazine: It’s Only Stanley; written and illustrated by Jon Agee (Dial). My Bike; written and illustrated by Byron Barton (Greenwillow) . I Yam a Donkey!; written and illustrated by Cece Bell (Clarion). Where is Pim?; by Lena Landström; illus. by Olof Landström; trans. from the […]

What ELSE do you do?: five questions for T. A. Barron

Author photo 2014 for Horn Book

Author T. A. Barron instituted the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes in 2000. Named for the author’s mother, the Prize is given annually to fifteen young people “who have made a significant positive difference to people and/or our environment.” Each winner receives $5,000 toward his or her work or higher education. Barron’s latest fantasy […]

You may be a boy but HEY


On my post the other day about gender representation in books, I mentioned as an afterthought the problem wordless picture books present in identifying gender. I thought the topic deserved a post of its own. It’s not some kind of queer-theory intellectual problem, either, as books that don’t identify the gender of its characters play hell with a […]

2015 Zena Sutherland Lecture by Jack Gantos


Please join us for the 2015 Zena Sutherland Lecture, “A Pair of Jacks to Open,” with Jack Gantos. Friday May 1, Harold Washington Library in Chicago, 7:30PM. The lecture is free but tickets are required.

Gender by the numbers


A poster in our office lobby for the upcoming Simmons International Women’s Film Forum alerted me to the interestingly low–29%–number of female protagonists in films for children.* I guess it ain’t all Disney Princesses after all. How does this compare with the numbers in books for children? I asked myself. The gender disparity had been on my […]