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Five questions for David Elliott

David Elliott

“Whaddup, bitches?” says Poseidon at the start of David Elliott’s Bull (Houghton, 14 years and up) a verse-novel retelling of the Minotaur story from ancient Greek mythology that keeps readers on their toes with whip-smart dialogue, narrative double-crosses, changing poetic forms (seven main characters each has his or her own), and, of course, the stormy, […]

Books mentioned in the April 2017 issue of Notes from the Horn Book newsletter

Five questions for David Elliott Bull by David Elliott, Houghton, 14 years and up. Tales as old as time Bone Jack by Sara Crowe, Philomel, 12–16 years. Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson, illus. by Andrea Offermann, Candlewick, 12–16 years. Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin, HarperCollins/Tegen, 14 years and […]

Review of City of Saints & Thieves

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City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson High School    Putnam    409 pp. 1/17    978-0-39954-758-4    $18.99    g After her mother was murdered in cold blood by Roland Greyhill, a white mining tycoon and the father of Tina’s half-sister Kiki, Tina made a run for it. She deposited Kiki at […]

Review of Charlotte and the Rock

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Charlotte and the Rock by Stephen W. Martin; illus. by Samantha Cotterill Preschool, Primary    Dial    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-101-99389-7    $16.99    g “Charlotte wanted a pet. She didn’t care what kind of pet.” However, she doesn’t expect the pet her parents enthusiastically surprise her with on her sixth birthday: a rock. […]

Shake the Tree app review

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Minibombo/Fox & Sheep’s new app Shake the Tree (March 2017; iOS only) offers preschoolers a slight but very funny interactive wordless story. Swipe rapidly back and forth to shake a very springy tree trunk at the screen’s center. With enough shaking, an animal or grouping of animals will fall out of the foliage. These creatures […]

Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth

rivers of sunlight

Rivers of Sunlight: How the Sun Moves Water Around the Earth [Sunlight] by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm; illus. by Molly Bang Primary    Blue Sky/Scholastic    48 pp. 1/17    978-0-545-80541-4    $18.99 Bang and Chisholm bring their energy-centered perspective on Earth systems to the water cycle. As in prior volumes (My Light, rev. […]

Review of Yvain: The Knight of the Lion

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Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson; illus. by Andrea Offermann Middle School, High School    Candlewick    134 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-5939-4    $19.99    g The storyline of this graphic novel retelling of a twelfth-century epic poem is straightforward enough: after slaying Sir Esclados, Sir Yvain, a young knight-errant from […]

Preview May/June 2017 Horn Book Magazine

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Special Issue: Humor Cover by Jon Agee. “Say Something Funny”: musings of author and accidental humorist Lisa Yee. New Yorker art editor and TOON publisher Françoise Mouly asks, “What’s So Funny About Comics?” “Laughter and Resistance”: Philip Nel on humor as a weapon in the age of Trump. “Mocking Moscow”: author Eugene Yelchin on political […]

Review of Town Is by the Sea

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 Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz; illus. by Sydney Smith Primary    Groundwood    56 pp. 4/17    978-1-55498-871-6    $19.95 “From my house, I can see the sea. It goes like this — house, road, grassy cliff, sea. And town spreads out, this way and that.” There’s a distilled, haiku-like quality to […]

The Price of Truth

Breaking Stalin's Nose

My novel Breaking Stalin’s Nose is a book about a young boy’s 
discovery of truth, his loss of idealism, and his subsequent decision 
to walk away from the system he trusted. The boy’s transformation mirrors my own. I also discovered truth about the system I trusted, and I also walked away from it. But unlike […]