Picture book sequels you’ve been waiting for

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Young children often latch on to particular characters or stories they love, so it’s little surprise that we see many familiar faces return in new picture book adventures. Here are four entertaining sequels sure to delight fans. Quest — the second in Aaron Becker’s planned wordless trilogy — opens in the present-day city where we […]

Girls on the edge

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The protagonists of these pull-no-punches YA novels experience the dark side of adolescence, from mental illness to abuse to trauma to religious intolerance to the death of a loved one — but each one is given what she needs to overcome her challenges. After she is caught cutting herself in the school bathroom, fifteen-year-old Kenna, […]

Books mentioned in the September 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Christine Heppermann Poisoned Apples: Poems for You, My Pretty by Christine Heppermann, photos by various artists, Greenwillow, 14 years and up. City Chickens by Christine Heppermann, Houghton, 8–11 years. Girls on the edge Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeline Kuderick, HarperTeen, 14 years and up. The Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie […]

Middle-grade BFFs

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The friends you make in childhood can be the best ones of your life. The following books highlight unlikely friendships that are made to last.    Christopher Paul Curtis’s The Madman of Piney Woods (companion to Newbery Honor Book Elijah of Buxton) takes place in 1901, with the American Civil War a not-so-distant memory for […]

Nature lovers

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Back-to-school blues? Give kids these engaging science books — which introduce primary readers to intriguing animals, habitats, natural processes, and conservation causes — to pique scientific curiosity and fuel imagination. Katherine Roy’s Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands examines the sometimes chilling, always fascinating details of what makes the great […]

Review of This Is Dalí, This Is Pollock, and This Is Warhol

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This Is Dalí by Catherine Ingram; 
illus. by Andrew Rae Middle School, High School     Laurence King/Chronicle     80 pp. 5/14    978-1-78067-109-3    $15.95         This Is Pollock by Catherine Ingram; 
illus. by Peter Arkle Middle School, High School    Laurence King/Chronicle    80 pp. 5/14    978-1-78067-346-2    $15.95         This Is Warhol by Catherine […]

Elisabeth Hamilton & Margaret McElderry: Two Approaches, One Passion

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In 1919, when Louise Seaman Bechtel became the nation’s first children’s book editor, at Macmillan, her customers-in-waiting were chiefly children’s librarians. One specialty had bred another; now, one editor would follow another. Many of those new children’s book editors came from the ranks of children’s librarians. The story of two of them, the first two […]

Review of Egg & Spoon

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  Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire Middle School    Candlewick    479 pp. 9/14    978-0-7636-7220-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-7582-0    $17.99 An imprisoned man tells his story, Scheherazade-like, in letters to the tsar. He begins with Elena, a young girl in the impoverished Russian countryside who is nursing her dying mother and who has witnessed her brother […]

Editorial: Upstate Over There

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“Will there ever be another Sendak?” This is the question I posed last week to the 2014 Sendak Fellows, illustrators Nora Krug and Harry Bliss, at Scotch Hill Farm, the late artist’s upstate New York retreat now owned by Sendak’s longtime assistant Lynn Caponera. I had come to the farm — and it is an […]

Review of I’m My Own Dog

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I’m My Own Dog by David Ezra Stein; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 8/14    978-0-7636-6139-7    $15.99 “I’m my own dog. Nobody owns me. I own myself.” This independent, self-starter narrator looks down on ordinary pups, the ones owned by people. This dog will not sit for anyone, even if a bone […]