Review of Welcome to the Family

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Welcome to the Family by Mary Hoffman; illus. by Ros Asquith Primary   Frances Lincoln   28 pp. 12/14   978-1-84780-592-8   $17.99 This chatty, informative book covers all the bases — and then some — in its survey of how families are made. Friendly cartoon illustrations highlight various permutations, from families formed by birth and adoption to foster […]

Review of I Was Here

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I Was Here by Gayle Forman High School    Viking    272 pp. 1/15    978-0-451-47147-5    $18.99    g Meg Garcia is brilliant and passionate — a standout in her dead-end Washington State hometown and a constant in best friend Cody’s unstable life. But just months after escaping to college on a prestigious scholarship, Meg checks into a motel […]

Review of Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep!

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Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep! by Lucy Cousins; illus. by the author Preschool   Candlewick   32 pp. 2/15   978-0-7636-7643-8   $15.99   g Maisy helps Mommy Hen track down her ten little chicks in time for bed. Starting at the stable, they make their way around the farm (“Are there any chicks in the trailer? Or in […]

What Makes a Good Acceptance Speech?

What Makes a Good award acceptance?

The 2015 ALA Awards were announced on Monday, February 2nd. After that, the winners will bask in the glow…and contemplate what to say in their speeches. Here’s The Horn Book’s (unsolicited) advice for foolproof acceptance-speech writing.   From the January/February 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Review of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer; illus. by Anna Hymas Intermediate, Middle School   Dial   294 pp. 2/15   978-0-8037-4080-8   $16.99   g As a young boy growing up in Malawi, William Kamkwamba believed in — and was fearful of — magic. As he got a bit older, he […]

Review of The War That Saved My Life

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The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley Intermediate   Dial   316 pp. 1/15   978-0-8037-4081-5   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-101-63780-7   $10.99 Ten-year-old Ada has suffered almost unimaginable deprivation and abuse due to an unrepaired clubfoot: she has never been outside her squalid London flat; she’s hit, underfed, belittled, and locked inside a dark cupboard […]

Review of Home

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Home by Carson Ellis; illus by the author Preschool, Primary   Candlewick   40 pp. 2/15   978-0-7636-6529-6   g Ellis presents a dreamy, painterly meditation on the diversity and range of dwellings around the world and across time and imagination. “Home is a house in the country,” the text begins, and the illustration shows a simple-looking house with […]

Preview March/April 2015 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art from Tomie dePaola

Beneath these packing peanuts lies the March/April 2015 Horn Book Magazine cover by Tomie dePaola. In the March/April 2015 Horn Book Magazine: Barbara Bader pays tribute to five gay picture-book creators. Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, 2014 Horn Book at Simmons keynote speaker, calls for more good books featuring diverse characters. Sight Reading: Leonard Marcus on the […]

Reviews of selected books by Patrick Jennings

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Putnam and Pennyroyal by Patrick Jennings; illus. by Jon J Muth Intermediate     Scholastic     165 pp. 11/99     0-439-07965-9     $15.95 From the beginning of his narrative, it’s evident that Cora Lee’s Uncle Frank is possessed by a contrary streak. Cora always spends New Year’s with Frank, fishing in one of Arizona’s rare ponds, because he won’t visit […]

What Makes a Good Math Storybook?

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Owen giggles with glee as he pokes his eighteen-month-old fingers through the caterpillar holes; Ashley, age five, and Ryan, six, diligently work to stuff as many lima beans as possible into a child’s mitten; Matthew and Haley carefully measure the perimeter of their fifth-grade classroom while their classmates are online researching the sizes of various […]