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Choosing Books

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

2019 Children’s Literature Legacy Award Acceptance by Christopher Myers on behalf of Walter Dean Myers

Hey Pop, It’s been a minute since I’ve written you a proper letter, mostly because I don’t know your address or even if they have email wherever you are. When you were around, we’d write each other lots of letters, even if we knew we’d be meeting up for breakfast the next day. It’s still […]

Review of Hello

Hello by Fiona Woodcock; illus. by the author Preschool    Greenwillow    40 pp. 5/19    978-0-06-264456-6    $17.99 In Look (rev. 7/18), Woodcock strung together a series of words with double os, more or less one per page, to tell a story of a brother and sister visiting the zoo. In this companion, double ls get the same […]

Lift Every Voice: Seeing Stars

I’ve been marinating in childhood memories this past year as I worked to complete my upcoming memoir, Ordinary Hazards. Among the memories there were, as you might imagine, many moments that marked my path as a writer: my first poetry reading at Countee Cullen Library in Harlem, receiving my first autographed book by a Black […]

Lift Every Voice: On My Fire Escape

The path leading to Ray Charles began on the fire escape of a rent-controlled apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant. It was here that I discovered Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Little Brown Baby, Shakespeare’s “Et tu, Brute?” and Willard Motley’s Knock on Any Door; scurried down a rabbit hole; and walked on Gwendolyn Brooks’s A Street in Bronzeville. I […]

Review of Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Work

Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Work by Victoria Ortiz Middle School, High School    Clarion    184 pp.    g 6/19    978-0-544-97364-0    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-63990-5    $9.99 Since her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a hero to many Americans for her progressive positions on cases involving free […]

Lift Every Voice: “You Are the Author!”

I can’t remember a time when I have not been drawing and painting! As a child I loved picture books and memorized Mother Goose poems. I attended public elementary school in the Bronx, New York. In kindergarten, the teacher taught us the alphabet. She asked the students to draw a picture for each letter. When we reached Z, […]

Review of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki; illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    298 pp. 5/19    978-1-250-31284-6    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-259-0    $17.99 This relatable, heart-wrenching, and often funny graphic novel opens with seventeen-year-old Frederica (“Freddy”) Riley’s email to advice columnist Anna Vice. “For almost the past year I’ve been […]

Fresh Ginger and Garlic: A Conversation with Nikki Giovanni

Over the past twenty years, I’ve been a vegan, a vegetarian, and a pescatarian. There have been only three periods in my adult life when I’ve indulged in the pleasures of meat. One was right after winning the Newbery, when I found myself craving cheeseburgers. The second was at Jackie Woodson’s table, where I consumed […]

Review of Ogilvy

Ogilvy by Deborah Underwood; illus. by T. L. McBeth Preschool, Primary    Godwin/Holt    40 pp. 5/19    978-1-250-15176-6    $17.99 Ogilvy, a wide-eyed, line-drawn bunny, is excited to make friends in a new town. But upon arrival, the rabbit’s sartorial choices are challenged; Ogilvy, clad in a knit article of clothing, is asked: “Is it a sweater or […]

Aristotle and Dante Discover an Alternate Universe

I’m quite taken with Michelle Ann Abate’s essay about Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secret of the Universe in the hot-off-the-pixels new issue of Research on Diversity in Youth Literature, whose theme this time around is “Queer Futurities.” Much to my shame, Abate points out something about that novel that the review journals (including the […]