Review of The Mad Potter

greenberg_mad potter

The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Intermediate, Middle School    Porter/Roaring Brook    56 pp. 10/13    978-1-59643-810-1    $17.99 “Eccentric” is an apt word for Ohr, a Mississippi blacksmith’s son (1857–1918) who reinvented himself as a potter: though he began his distinctive works on a potter’s wheel, he then reshaped […]

Review of The Midnight Dress

foxlee_midnight dress

The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee High School    Knopf    281 pp. 10/13    978-0-375-85645-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-95645-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-449-81821-3    $9.99 Self-contained, morose fifteen-year-old Rose and her alcoholic father arrive in Australian beach town Leonora, and it seems like they may actually stay put for a spell, for once. Rose enrolls in school and […]

Review of Big Bad Wolf and Itsy Bitsy Spider

archer_itsy bitsy spider

Big Bad Wolf [Urgency Emergency!] by Dosh Archer; illus. by the author Primary    Whitman    48 pp. 9/13    978-0-8075-8352-4    $12.99 Itsy Bitsy Spider [Urgency Emergency!] by Dosh Archer; illus. by the author Primary    Whitman    48 pp. 9/13    978-0-8075-8358-6    $12.99 New readers are in for a treat with these British imports. Both are set in an emergency […]

What Makes a Good Horse Book?

lawrence_winter pony

Black Beauty. The Black Stallion. My Friend Flicka. National Velvet. Add in basically anything written by Marguerite Henry (Misty of Chincoteague), and you’ll see that horses hold a beloved place in 
classical children’s literature. But what qualities make a contemporary horse book stand out? For children who long to own a horse but can’t have […]

Books About Africa

isadora_old mikamba had a farm

We adults know, of course, that Africa is a continent, not a country. Also that it is diverse, full of real people and places that are varied and distinct. We know of its beauty and of its harshness. And perhaps most of all, we adults are highly aware of its complicated historical relationship with North […]

Editorial: Books for the Ages

In Rita Williams-Garcia’s P. S. Be Eleven, included on this year’s Fanfare list of the best books of 2013, Delphine, inspired by the example of an admired teacher, decides she is going to read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. But Delphine’s mother Nzila, a complicated woman living semi-estranged from the family in far-away Oakland, cautions her […]

The Horn Book Magazine — January/February 2014

January/February 2014 Horn Book Magazine

Table of Contents   Features 12 Horn Book Fanfare Our choices for the best books of 2013. 23 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Gallery 2013 Celebrating the year’s winners and honor books. 24 Nonfiction 30 Picture Book 36 Fiction Monica Edinger 52 Books About Africa Showing young readers the real Africa. Columns Roger Sutton 9 Editorial […]

What’s New 
About New Adult?

moon and me

Coming of age. Sexuality. Relationships. All are part of the teen experience, and all are part of literature for and about teens. Recently, though, there’s been an uptick in books published for the eighteen-and-up readership — labeled “New Adult” (NA) — that traverse these issues with more drama and explicit sexuality than even the most […]

The Horn Book reviews the Big Words Biographies

martin's big words

Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport; illus. by Bryan Collier Primary     Jump at the Sun/Hyperion    40 pp. 9/01     0-7868-0714-8     $15.99 Library ed. 0-7868-2591-X     $16.49 This is one book you can judge by its cover. The space on the front jacket is entirely filled […]

The Horn Book Television Line-Up

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All-of-a-Kind Family Feud Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, Gertie, and Baby Charlie: “Bring it on, Ingalls clan!” Big Brother Housemates Darry Curtis, Klaus Baudelaire, the Weasley twins, and Christopher Dollanganger dish about their precocious younger sibs. Mad Men Dressed-to-the-nines ad execs Brother Leon, President Snow, Voldemort, and Gollum backstab, scheme, and imbibe to deaden self-loathing. Meanwhile, […]