Subscribe to The Horn Book

What is it you can’t face Reverend Mother?


As the Scott O’Dell committee winds up its considerations (look for an announcement after New Year’s but before ALA), I find myself seeing and pondering my favorite historical-fiction nemesis: the info dump. The following example is NOT from one of the contenders but from Katherine Neville’s The Eight, an enormously entertaining pile of balderdash that anticipated […]

Children’s Books Boston presents!


Join Children’s Books Boston for a special theater event with author Gregory Maguire! Thursday, December 17th | 7 pm Central Square Theater 450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge Be part of a special CBB night at the theater, featuring two children’s books brought to life on the stage. MATCHLESS, written by Gregory Maguire, is a rekindling of […]

Lynne Reid Banks: right for the wrong reasons


I think we’ve all written letters like this one. Responding to the announcement that David Almond’s A Song for Ella Grey had won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, author Lynne Reid Banks wrote to that publication: “Buoyed up by David Almond’s beautiful description (21 November) of his inspiration for writing A Song for Ella Grey, which  has […]

Starred reviews, January/February Horn Book Magazine

From Dasha Tolstikova's A Year Without Mom

The following books will receive starred reviews in the January/February 2016 issue of The Horn Book Magazine:   I Hear a Pickle; (and Smell, See, Touch, and Taste It, Too!); written and illustrated by Rachel Isadora (Paulsen/Penguin) Emma and Julia Love Ballet; written and illustrated by Barbara McClintock (Scholastic) Unbecoming; by Jenny Downham (Fickling/Scholastic) Ling & Ting: Together […]

Fanfare! 2015

Horn Book Fanfare

The Horn Book Magazine’s choices for the best books of 2015. Sign up now to receive the fully annotated list in next week’s issue of Notes from the Horn Book. Picture Books It’s Only Stanley written and illustrated by Jon Agee (Dial) My Bike written and illustrated by Byron Barton (Greenwillow) Out of the Woods: […]



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 […]

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, […]

and clunk clunk clunk went the folktale market

aardema_bringing the rain to kapiti plain

Betsy Bird at Fuse #8 is rightfully mourning the relative dearth of African folktale publishing and simultaneously celebrating one of its legends from the glory days, Verna Aardema. All I can say is God bless Verna Aardema, who knew just how to write a picture-book text that would bring any library story hour to life. […]

Doctor, doctor, give me the news

Portrait of Vivien Thomas by Bob Gee

After reading Jim Murphy’s Breakthrough! How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever, our current nonfiction review of the week, I mentioned it to my cousin Dr. Anne Murphy, a pediatric cardiologist at Johns Hopkins. It turns out she knew two of those three, which is both pretty neat and means that, yes, […]

Picture book moments


In picture-book goings-on, bloggers Julie Danielson, Betsy Bird, Travis Jonker, and Minh Lê have a seasonally appropriate discussion about creepy picture books. (And here are the Horn Book’s recommendations for Halloween reading.) –and the New York Times Best Illustrated list is out and includes A Fine Dessert, so don’t look for that discussion to die down […]