Review of He Has Shot the President!

brown_he has shot the president

He Has Shot the President!: April 14, 1865: The Day John 
Wilkes Booth Killed President 
Lincoln [Actual Times] by Don Brown; illus. by the author Intermediate    Roaring Brook    64 pp. 4/14    978-1-59643-224-6    $17.99    g This fifth entry in Brown’s Actual Times series (including All Stations Distress, rev. 9/08) begins on April 14, 1865, the day […]

Dayenu!

adler_passover

Pour the wine (or grape juice) and chop the nuts and apples. Here are some new books for Passover. (And here are two more.)   Preschool Two Shalom Sesame series entries, written by Tilda Balsley and Ellen Fischer and illustrated by Tom Leigh, follow Sesame Street characters in Israel as they learn about doing good […]

Life during wartime

boyne_stay where you are and then leave

War wreaks havoc on civilians, soldiers, and those they leave behind. Nevertheless, the following four works of historical fiction epitomize the WWII Britain motto: “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Four years ago, Alfie Summerfield’s dad, Georgie, signed up to fight in WWI. For a while, letters came regularly; then they stopped altogether. Eventually Alfie learns […]

April is National Poetry Month

mcphail_my mother goose

Preschool-perfect nursery rhymes, a potpourri of new-reader-friendly seasonal verse, a presidential history lesson in rhyme, and a picture book biography about a famous poet — these new books offer unique avenues for celebrating National Poetry Month. Editor and illustrator David McPhail’s My Mother Goose: A Collection of Favorite Rhymes is an affable collection of sixty-three […]

YA fantasy you’ve been waiting for

moriarty_cracks in the kingdom

Every fantasy fan knows the exquisite agony of anticipating the next entry in a favorite series — particularly if that entry will be the last. These four new novels continue (and in some cases, complete) popular series. In The Cracks in the Kingdom, the follow-up to Jaclyn Moriarty‘s BGHB Fiction Award Honor book A Corner […]

Big-city picture books

jacobs_count on the subway

Visiting big cities can foster both excitement and anxiety. Whether young children are already well traveled or just curious about new places, these four picture books can provide them with excellent armchair tours of New York City and Europe. A little girl traveling on the subway counts from one (“1 MetroCard”) to ten (“10 friends […]

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

Five questions for Cynthia Leitich Smith Tantalize, Eternal, Blessed, and Diabolical [Tantalize], all by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Candlewick, 13–16 years. Feral Nights and Feral Curse [Feral], both by Cynthia Leitich Smith, Candlewick, 13–16 years. YA fantasy you’ve been waiting for A Corner of White and The Cracks in the Kingdom [Colors of Madeleine], both by […]

The Poetry App review

poetry app dickinson

The Poetry App (Josephine Hart Poetry Foundation, 2012) may not be specifically geared toward kids, but I think it has a lot to offer younger users. First and foremost, the app presents over one hundred classic poems from sixteen of the world’s greatest poets — including W. H. Auden, Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, […]

Harriet and Me

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Where to begin with how important Harriet the Spy has been in my life? I guess I’ll have to start with my childhood. I was in fourth grade, at a school book fair. I’d forgotten to bring money that day, which was a problem because there was one book I was desperate to have. It […]

Divergent movie review

divergent poster

In the world of Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy, the dystopian city of Chicago is run through a personality-based system of grouping. The five factions, to one of which every person belongs, are Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Abnegation, with its focus on humility and selflessness, acts as the political power; Amity, the good-natured, peaceful […]