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Choosing Books

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

Letter to the Editor from Tracy Aitken, January/February 2017, and Response from Roger Sutton

January/February 2017 Horn Book Magazine

January/February 2017 Horn Book January 5, 2017 Good morning Mr. Sutton, I felt inclined to write to you following my reading of your editorial letter to Dr. Carla Hayden. I would like to preface my comments by revealing that I did not vote for President-Elect Trump. This morning’s news contained a disturbing video of four […]

Review of Almost Autumn

kaurin_almost autumn

Almost Autumn by Marianne Kaurin; trans. from the Norwegian by Rosie Hedger High School    Levine/Scholastic    281 pp. 1/17    978-0-545-88965-0    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-545-88966-7    $10.99 Ilse Stern, a typical rebellious, lovelorn adolescent, lives with her Jewish family in 1942 Nazi-occupied Oslo, where her father, Isak, runs a tailor shop. A present-tense narration creates immediacy, while […]

Review of The Storm Whale in Winter

davies_storm-whale-in-winter

The Storm Whale in Winter by Benji Davies; illus. by the author Primary     Holt     32 pp. 1/17     978-1-250-11186-9     $16.99 Noi, who lives with his fisherman father, is reunited with the whale he rescued in The Storm Whale (rev. 1/15). Months have passed since Noi helped the stranded […]

Me app review

me title screen

Remember Dr. Seuss’s My Book About Me? Me by Tinybop (November 2016; iOS only) is a lot like that. You start by creating an avatar for yourself, choosing from a number of options for the shapes and hues of your face, your eyes, etc. There are enough options that I found myself looking in a […]

Review of A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day

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A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and 
the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illus. by 
Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson Primary, Intermediate    Viking    56 pp. 11/16    978-0-425-28768-2    $18.99 In evocative verse, Pinkney presents a picture book biography of Ezra Jack Keats, creator of the children’s classic The […]

Review of Midnight Without a Moon

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Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson Middle School    Houghton    310 pp. 1/17    978-0-544-78510-6    $16.99    g In the summer of 1955, thirteen-year-old Rose Lee Carter chafes at the daily drudgery of life in rural Mississippi. Rose, who lives with her sharecropper grandparents, suffers from low self-esteem fostered by her despotic grandmother, who incessantly reminds […]

They can do it!

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Primary readers will cheer these determined everygirl heroines as they face — and conquer — relatable challenges, from learning a new language to speaking up to clueless parents. Author Jacqueline Kelly first introduced readers to aspiring naturalist/veterinarian Callie in the middle-grade novels The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate. Now […]

Books mentioned in the January 2017 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Andrea Davis Pinkney A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illus. by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson, Viking, 7–9 years. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Viking, 3—5 years. The wonders of winter First Snow by Bomi […]

Embracing cultural identity

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The following YA stories feature teens struggling with family, friendship, and cultural identity in ways that feel organic to their experiences and are relatable to a variety of readers. Alternating between the voices of two seventeen-year-olds — a contemporary biracial (her mother is black, her father is white) young woman named Rowan Chase, and Will […]

History of war

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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The following books for middle schoolers describe the horrors of twentieth-century wars and urge readers to learn from history’s mistakes. Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin opens briefly with a prologue set on the day of the attack […]