Choosing Books

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

MarcoPolo Weather app review

marcopolo weather menu

Three little anthropomorphic creatures — bunny Willow, bear Scout, and “hippo” (although he looks more like a goofy monster) Gorbie — teach kids about weather in free-play app MarcoPolo Weather (MarcoPolo, September 2014). Icons at the top of the screen allow you to control weather, temperature, and day/night for the meadow where the critters play. […]

Mini-trend: Grrrl power grrraphic novels

eldeafo

We’ve noticed a welcome trend lately: excellent graphic novel memoirs (or fiction that feels an awful lot like) written by women about their adolescence. Here are a few to enjoy. (Thanks, Marjane Satrapi, for breaking ground with Persepolis, and to the Tamaki cousins for Skim and This One Summer! Also Katie’s girl-crush Lucy Knisley, who […]

Review of Strike!

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Strike!: The Farm Workers’ 
Fight for Their Rights by Larry Dane Brimner Intermediate, Middle School    Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills    172 pp. 10/14    978-1-59078-997-1    $16.95 Brimner turns his attention from one part of the 1960s — the civil rights movement in the South (Black & White) — to another, a parallel movement among migrant farm workers in […]

Review of Into the Grey

kiernan_into the grey

Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan Middle School, High School    Candlewick    295 pp. 8/14    978-0-7636-7061-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7409-0    $16.99 When their home burns down, twin teens Patrick and Dominick move with their family to the shabby seaside cottage where they usually spend summer holidays. Almost at once, Pat sees that Dom is being haunted […]

Review of Sam & Dave Dig a Hole

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Sam & Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 10/14    978-0-7636-6229-5    $16.99 This adventure starts innocently enough: “On Monday Sam and Dave dug a hole.” The boys (indistinguishable save the color of their hats and Sam’s ever-present backpack) are fueled by chocolate milk, animal cookies, and a […]

MOMA Art Lab app review

artlab menu

Yesterday was rainy and gray and a little grumpy around here, but my discovery of the Museum of Modern Art‘s free Art Lab app (2012) — based on their child-friendly interactive exhibits — brightened my afternoon. The first element of the app is a canvas with line, shape, and color toolbars accessible at the bottom […]

Horn BOO! 2014

baguley_ready steady ghost

Something wicked this way comes with our annual 
selection of “spooktacular” new books for Halloween,
 with reviews written by the Horn Book staff. Ready, Steady, Ghost! by Elizabeth Baguley, 
illus. by Marion Lindsay Preschool, Primary    Disney-Hyperion    32 pp. 8/14    978-1-4231-8039-5    $16.99    g Leave castle-haunting to the bigger ghosts; little ghost Gilbert longs to 
find “a […]

Review of Malala, a Brave Girl from 
Pakistan / Iqbal, a Brave 
Boy from Pakistan

winter_malala - iqbal

Malala, a Brave Girl from 
Pakistan / Iqbal, a Brave 
Boy from Pakistan by Jeanette Winter; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 11/14    978-1-4814-2294-9    $17.99 This picture book tells two stories (one side is Malala’s story; flip it over for Iqbal’s), introducing young readers to Malala Yousafzai (recent winner of the […]

Review of 100 Sideways Miles

smith_100 sideways miles

100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith High School    Simon    277 pp. 9/14    978-1-4424-4495-9    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4424-4497-3    $10.99 High schooler Finn Easton has unusual scars on his back. Finn’s “emoticons” — so-called because they look like a colon, vertical slash, colon — are the result of a freak accident in which a dead horse […]

Review of Remy and Lulu

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Remy and Lulu by Kevin Hawkes; 
illus. by the author with 
miniatures by Hannah E. Harrison Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 9/14    978-0-449-81085-9    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-449-81087-3    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-449-81089-7    $10.99 Lulu, a lithe and clever little Parisian dog, used to live with a “great portrait painter,” but now she’s homeless. Remy, a hirsute […]