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Choosing Books

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

Review of One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance

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One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes; illus. by various artists Intermediate, Middle School, High School   Bloomsbury   120 pp. 1/17    978-1-61963-554-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-61963-555-5    $12.99 The vibrancy of the Harlem Renaissance is illuminated in Grimes’s provocative poetry collection. In a tribute to the great poets of the […]

How Many Saturdays? app review

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What if we measured our lives in units other than hours, days, months, and years? Would life “feel shorter? Longer? More absurd? More precious?” The Exploratorium‘s app How Many Saturdays? (2015; iOS only) considers this idea by comparing the number of Saturdays in one’s lifespan to other, less common measurements of time. After a brief […]

Spring news 2017 booklist

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Here are some recent picture books perfect for springtime. All reviews are from The Horn Book Magazine and were recommended at the time of publication. Secrets I Know by Kallie George; illus. by Paola Zakimi Preschool    Schwartz & Wade/Random    32 pp.    g 5/17    978-1-101-93893-5    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93894-2    $20.99 […]

Review of Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt

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Mission to Pluto: The First Visit to an Ice Dwarf and the Kuiper Belt [Scientists in the Field] by Mary Kay Carson; photos by Tom Uhlman Intermediate, Middle School    Houghton    73 pp. 1/17    978-0-544-41671-0    $18.99 In 2015, after nine years in transit from Earth, the New Horizons spacecraft successfully flew past […]

Recommended baseball books

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Play ball! The books below include both fiction and nonfiction titles for a range of ages. All were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide at the time of their publication; reviews are reprinted from The Horn Book Guide Online. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For more […]

Review of Forever, or a Long, Long Time

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Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter Intermediate    Harper/HarperCollins    311 pp. 3/17    978-0-06-238568-0    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-238570-3    $9.99 Eleven-year-old (but still in the fourth grade) narrator Flora and her younger brother Julian had been in foster care for as long as they could remember. Now they’ve […]

Board Book Roundup: Spring 2017 Edition

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This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine. Tinyville Town: I’m a Librarian [Tinyville Town] by Brian […]

Review of If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed

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If Your Monster Won’t Go to Bed by Denise Vega; illus. by Zachariah OHora Primary    Knopf    40 pp. 3/17    978-0-553-49655-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-553-49656-7    $20.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-553-49657-4    $10.99 In tongue-in-cheek direct-address text, Vega provides children with an entertaining manual for putting unruly monsters to sleep: “Let’s […]

Earth Day 2017

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Earth Day and the March for Science are tomorrow! The campaign focus for Earth Day 2017 is “Environmental and Climate Literacy.” In keeping with that theme, the books below celebrate our precious planet, educate about the crises it faces, and offer age-appropriate models for environmental activism. The list includes both fiction and nonfiction titles for […]

“Say Something Funny”

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I went on a date in high school once where I barely knew the guy. In those dinosaur days you couldn’t Google someone, so instead I asked everyone what they knew about this person. Apparently, he did the same. Over dinner my date said, “Everyone says you’re funny. Say something funny.” “I don’t know any […]