Choosing Books

Promoting good books for children and young adults is the heart of The Horn Book’s editorial mission.

Review of When Aunt Mattie Got Her Wings

mathers_when aunt mattie got her wings

When Aunt Mattie 
Got Her Wings by Petra Mathers; illus. by the author Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    32 pp. 9/14    978-1-4814-1044-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-1045-8    $10.99 Best (bird) friends Lottie and Herbie (Lottie’s New Beach Towel, rev. 5/98; A Cake for Herbie, rev. 5/00) help each other cope when Lottie’s beloved (and intrepid and fun-loving) aunt […]

The Maze Runner movie review

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I’m a sucker for a good secret. The Maze Runner is all about secrets. If you’ve read James Dashner’s novel, seeing the Twentieth Century Fox movie (released September 19, 2014) is a completely different experience than it would be if you were new to the story. Instead of wondering how a gaggle of teenaged boys […]

Lucky Day: An I Hunt Killers Prequel e-book review

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I’ve been reviewing Barry Lyga’s I Hunt Killers trilogy (I Hunt Killers, Game) for the Magazine and am about to start reading the just-released final volume, Blood of My Blood. So I was very excited to get my hands on Lucky Day: An I Hunt Killers Prequel by Barry Lyga (Little, Brown, April 2014), one […]

Blowing the shofar for fine books for boys and girls

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I’ve been reading a lot of Jewish-themed books lately (thank you, Sydney Taylor Book Award committee ). I just finished Donna Jo Napoli’s very-alternate Noah’s Ark novel Storm about a teenage stowaway who’s saved by two bonobos. Strange and lovely. To celebrate Rosh Hashanah, here are some recent picture books. Lesléa Newman’s beautiful Here Is […]

Review of Very Little Red Riding Hood

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Very Little Red Riding Hood by Teresa Heapy; illus. by Sue Heap Preschool    Houghton    32 pp. 9/14    978-0-544-28000-7    $16.99 In this re-imagining, Little Red is a toddler. She’s affectionate, stubborn, imperious, and has no time for the intimidation techniques of the wolf. “No touch my cakes!” She hugs him, calls him Foxie, and proceeds to […]

Review of Nest

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Nest by Esther Ehrlich Intermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    330 pp. 9/14    978-0-385-38607-4    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-38608-1    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-385-38609-8    $9.99 In this debut novel set in the late 1960s, Naomi “Chirp” Orenstein’s sixth-grade teacher tells her, “Your mom is a very lucky lady to have such a responsible girl.” Chirp is very responsible, […]

Banned Books Week 2014

banned books week 2014

It’s Banned Books Week! From The American Library Association’s website: “Each year, the ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of the top ten most frequently challenged books in order to inform the public about censorship in libraries and schools. The ALA condemns censorship and works to ensure free access to information.” Based on 307 […]

Review of Jack

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Jack by Tomie dePaola; illus. by the author Preschool Paulsen/Penguin 32 pp. 9/14     978-0-399-16154-4     $17.99     g Farm boy Jack wants to make new friends and live in the city, which is exactly what he does in this minimally plotted book. On his way to ask the king for a house, Jack picks up a chick, […]

If I Stay movie review

if i stay movie poster

So, I saw that movie based on a YA novel about teens in love who are faced with questions of life and death. No, not that one, at least not most recently. I’m talking about the New Line Cinema/MGM adaptation of Gayle Forman’s 2009 novel If I Stay, directed by R. J. Cutler and released […]

Books mentioned in the September 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

All about animals Did You Know? series DiSiena, Laura Lyn and Eliot, Hannah Chickens Don’t Fly: And Other Fun Facts Illustrated by Pete Oswald Gr. K–3      32 pp.      Little Simon      2014 Trade ISBN 978-1-4424-9353-7 Paperback ISBN 978-1-4424-9326-1 E-book ISBN 978-1-4424-9327-8 DiSiena, Laura Lyn and Eliot, Hannah Hippos Can’t Swim: And Other Fun […]