Horn Book Guide

From The Guide: Steampunk for Tweens and Teens

cremer_inventor's secret

Airships, automatons, futuristic gadgets, alternate history, and action galore: these are some of the key elements of the speculative-fiction subgenre known as steampunk. All recommended by The Horn Book Guide, these current novels (plus a new illustrated collection of works by genre-influencer and -precursor H. G. Wells) will satisfy devoted steampunk fans and win over […]

From the Guide: Slightly Spooky Middle-Grade Tales


It’s time for trick-or-treating, costuming-wearing, and embracing all things eerie. In “Horn BOO!” the Horn Book staff recommends spooky (or kooky) offerings, mostly picture books, for celebrating Halloween. The following books about ghosts, hauntings, monsters, and more will all appear in the forthcoming fall 2013 Horn Book Guide. These novels are lightly creepy, gently macabre, […]

From the Guide: Historical Fiction for Teens

jepp who defied the stars

Good historical fiction engages readers with different times, places, people, and cultures while still resonating today. In young adult books, this means raising issues that are universal for teens of any generation: overcoming social expectations, coming of age amidst struggle, and understanding one’s identity and place in the world. Here are some recent YA novels […]

From the Guide: Graphic Novels for Children

babymouse for president

Accessible text matched with dynamic illustrations in engaging cartoon-panel layouts help make graphic novels inviting packages for younger readers, struggling or reluctant readers, and comics-loving kids. The following sampling of recommended titles from the spring 2013 issue of The Horn Book Guide includes perennial-favorite characters, debut series, graphic-novel adaptations, and more. —Katrina Hedeen Assistant Editor, […]

From the Guide: Novels in Verse

The Wild Book by Margarita Engle

To honor National Poetry Month in April, we’re spotlighting notable novels in verse from the past year. From illustrated lighthearted verse to historical fiction to contemporary realism, this eclectic potpourri of Horn Book Guide–recommended novels showcases the form and gives readers — from primary-age kids to older teens — good reasons to celebrate poetry. —Katrina […]

From the Guide: American Politics

America the Beautiful: Together We Stand by Katherine Lee Bates

This month, Barack Obama will be sworn in as president of the United States for his second term, making this an opportune moment to teach children about U.S. politics — both the development of our democratic system and the ways that process could shape their future. These recent books, recommended by The Horn Book Guide, […]

From the Guide: Artists and Masterpieces

Chuck Close Facebook

This September, contemporary portrait artist Chuck Close’s unconventional autobiography, Chuck Close: Face Book (rev. 5/12), was awarded the 2012 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for nonfiction. The following are Horn Book Guide–recommended books (including BGHB Nonfiction Honor Award–winner Georgia in Hawaii) for elementary-age readers — some biographical, others historical and artistic overviews, still others instigators for […]

From The Guide: Sports Books

diamond in the desert

Summer is the season for recreational reading, outdoor activities, fun, sports, and, this year, the Summer Olympics. In The Horn Book Guide, there’s never a shortage of sports-themed books, from high-interest bait for reluctant readers to entertaining diversions for voracious ones. The following sports-books-done-right for upper-elementary and middle-grade readers are all recommended in recent or […]

From the Guide: Mythology

dark of the moon

Sirens may be the new vampires. In the spring 2012 Guide issue, there are no fewer than five books about sirens (and another four about mermaids). In any event, Greek mythology seems to be having its own resurgence, hot on the wingéd heels of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books. The following titles, all recommended by […]

What’s in the box?

Horn Book Guide cover, Spring 2012

Reviews of 2159 children’s hardcover titles published between July and December 2011, that’s what. The spring 2012 issue of The Horn Book Guide is out and ready for you. Subscribe online or email: hbmcustserv@cdsfulfillment.com call: 877 523 6072  (outside the U.S. 515-242-0297) fax: 712 733 1277 You can also find these reviews, plus over 85,000 more […]