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From the Guide: Narrative Nonfiction

collier_choosing courage

The trending genre of narrative nonfiction is one we have followed closely — see for example our August 2015 What Makes Good Narrative Nonfiction e-newsletter and Marc Aronson’s Writer’s Page article “What Is Narrative Nonfiction?” The Horn Book Guide’s wide-lens view on children’s publishing makes narrative nonfiction’s current popularity and usefulness abundantly clear. All recommended […]

Review of Andy & Sandy’s Anything Adventure and When Andy Met Sandy

new readers_depaola_when andy met sandy

Andy & Sandy’s Anything Adventure by Tomie dePaola and Jim Lewis; illus. by Tomie dePaola Preschool, Primary   Simon   32 pp. 3/16   978-1-4814-4157-5   $8.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-4158-2   $8.99 When Andy Met Sandy by Tomie dePaola and Jim Lewis; illus. by Tomie dePaola Preschool, Primary   Simon   32 pp. 3/16   978-1-4814-4155-1   $8.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-4156-8   $8.99 Andy and […]

The Writer’s Page: What Is Narrative Nonfiction?

aronson_sugarhc

It’s been a topsy-turvy time in the education world recently: Common Core and high-stakes tests; then pushback; and now states are revising, revisiting, and renaming their standards. The recently passed ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) encourages this trend toward local choice. But if you look closely at the new standards across the board, one big […]

Review of Chuck and Woodchuck

bell_chuck and woodchuck

Chuck and Woodchuck by Cece Bell; illus. by the author Primary   Candlewick   32 pp. 3/16   978-0-7636-7524-0   $15.99   g New friendships can be forged in many ways; in this case it’s a woodchuck at school for show-and-tell bringing together a shy first-grader named Chuck and his classmate Caroline (both human). Caroline, the narrator, describes the ways […]

The Real Ramona

cleary_ramona quimby age 8

I worked with Beverly Cleary for nearly twenty years, so it’s beyond difficult to pick from so many wonderful memories. Here are two that I hope capture both her remarkable sense of humor and her unwavering integrity. Soon after becoming editor in chief at Morrow, I accompanied Beverly to the ALA Annual convention in Philadelphia, […]

Review of When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons

fogliano_when green becomes tomatoes

When Green Becomes 
Tomatoes: Poems for All Seasons by Julie Fogliano; 
illus. by Julie Morstad Primary, Intermediate   Porter/Roaring Brook   56 pp. 3/16   978-1-59643-852-1   $18.99 This collection of nearly fifty seasonal poems begins and ends on “march 20” with a blue bird on a flowering tree branch. The poem is the same each time, too: “from […]

Review of Essential Maps for the Lost

caletti_essential maps for the lost

Essential Maps for the Lost by Deb Caletti High School   Simon Pulse   323 pp. 4/16   978-0-4814-1516-3   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-1519-4   $10.99 High-school grad Madison Murray is living in Seattle with her uncle’s family while reluctantly taking a real-estate course to fast-track a partnership with her controlling mother back in Spokane. Swimming in Lake Union […]

Field Notes: Escaping Series Mania

building our house

Last spring I worked, temporarily, as a school librarian, a position I hadn’t held since Reagan was president. There were lots of adjustments, some easier than others. But the biggest surprise of all was that in this elementary school in an affluent suburb in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex, almost every child was really reading, with […]

Review of Surf’s Up

alexander_surf's up

Surf’s Up by Kwame Alexander; 
illus. by Daniel Miyares Primary    North-South    32 pp. 2/16    978-0-7358-4220-5    $17.95    g Alexander follows up his poignant 2015 Newbery-winning middle-grade verse novel The Crossover (rev. 5/14) with…a picture book starring two frogs, one a surfer dude, the other a bookworm. “SURF’S UP, BRO!” calls the first frog to his bud. […]

Everyone Needs a Ramona

ramonastatue

I was a voracious reader growing up. I gorged on heaps of nonfiction from the public library, signing out all the shark books one day, clearing out every last volcano title the following week. I read Archie comics from the drugstore and dusty poetry books borrowed from the barn of the antique-books dealer who lived […]