Review of Symphony for the 
City of the Dead

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Symphony for the 
City of the Dead: Dmitri Shostakovich and 
the Siege of Leningrad by M. T. Anderson High School   Candlewick   424 pp. 9/15   978-0-7636-6818-1   $24.99   g Accomplished novelist Anderson presents an ambitious work of nonfiction encompassing the life of composer Dmitri Shostakovich, the early political history of the U.S.S.R., and the nation’s horrific suffering […]

Review of Old Wolf


Old Wolf by Avi; illus. by Brian Floca Intermediate, Middle School   Jackson/Atheneum   147 pp. 8/15   978-1-4424-9921-8   $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9924-9   $10.99 As winter wanes in the mountain regions of Colorado, Nashoba, an aging wolf, struggles to find fresh game for his pack, all the while desperately trying to hold on to his alpha status. He […]

Letter to the Editor from Lydia Gagliano, July/August 2015

July/August 2015 Horn Book Regarding Jacqueline Woodson’s Coretta Scott King Author Award acceptance speech: I’m not at all certain why Ms. Woodson thought it important to label the young reporter who interviewed her at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival as “white.” She then follows this with a bit of mind-reading, saying she knew “the answer […]

Books mentioned in the September 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Economics and money Adler, David A. Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp. Holiday     2015 ISBN 978-0-8234-3293-6 Be Smart About Money and Financial Literacy series Gordon, Sherri Mabry Be Smart About Money: Money Management and Budgeting Middle school, high school     48 pp.   Enslow    2014 Library binding ISBN 978-0-7660-4292-6 […]



Albee, Sarah Why’d They Wear That? Middle school, high school    192 pp.     National Geographic    2015 Albee comprehensively and conversationally examines how fashion has shaped history, and vice versa. Organized chronologically, the text explains how a trend or clothing item originated and what function it served, with numerous accompanying illustrations and photos; side boxes provide […]

Inventions and innovations


Abramovitz, Melissa Amazing Feats of Biological Engineering Middle school, high school    112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library    2014 Carmichael, L. E. Amazing Feats of Civil Engineering Middle school, high school    112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library    2014 Smibert, Angie Amazing Feats of Aerospace Engineering Middle school, high school    112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library    2014 Swanson, Jennifer Amazing […]

Stories behind the stories

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Bird, Betsy, Danielson, Julie and Sieruta, Peter D. Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature Middle school, high school    277 pp.     Candlewick     2014 Sieruta, a Horn Book mainstay before his unexpected death in 2012, is joined by Bird and Danielson for a lively historical survey of scandals and secrets from the children’s-book biz. Sandwiched […]

Social revolutionaries

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Alko, Selina The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage Gr. K–3    32 pp.     Scholastic/Levine    2015 Richard Loving (white) and Mildred Jeter (black) fell in love and married, then were arrested for miscegenation. Their 1967 Supreme Court case legalized interracial marriage. Alko does a mostly admirable job of shaping the story (some terms […]

Economics and money


Adler, David A. Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp. Holiday     2015 A boy (and his dog) sets up a lemonade stand, selling his product over several days. The laws of supply and demand play out in solid, specific ways, and concepts of fixed and variable costs and […]

Review of Buddy and Earl

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Buddy and Earl by Maureen Fergus; illus. by Carey Sookocheff Primary   Groundwood   32 pp. 8/15   978-1-55498-712-2   $16.95 e-book ed. 978-1-55498-713-9   $14.95 Sweet, clueless mutt Buddy meets a “strange-looking thing” inside a box in the living room, who introduces himself as Earl. Earl claims to be first a racecar, then a giraffe, then a sea urchin, […]