From the Guide: Books to Fill the Gaps

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In Vaunda Micheaux Nelson’s Horn Book at Simmons keynote address, “Mind the Gaps,” she laments the shortage of good children’s books featuring African American protagonists. What is there consists largely of books about the African American historical experience, not “books with black characters experiencing what children of any culture might.” As Nelson asserts, though, “we […]

Review of Fatal Fever

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Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary by Gail Jarrow Intermediate, Middle School  Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills  176 pp. 3/15      978-1-62091-597-4     $16.95 In the second book by Jarrow about a deadly disease — Red Madness was the first — she takes on typhoid. At the turn of the twentieth century, typhoid was still very much […]

Review of Challenger Deep

Challenger Deep jacket

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman; illus. by Brendan Shusterman High School   HarperTeen   318 pp. 4/15   978-0-06-113411-1   $17.99   g e-book 978-0-06-223172-7   $9.99 This novel is a challenge to the reader from its first lines: author Shusterman takes us into the seemingly random, rambling, and surreal fantasies of fifteen-year-old Caden Bosch (yes, it makes sense to associate […]

Books mentioned in the March 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Neal Shusterman Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman, illus. by Brendan Shusterman, HarperTeen, 14 years and up. Truth, lies, and secrets Things I’ll Never Say: Stories of Our Secret Selves, ed. by Ann Angel, Candlewick, 12–16 years. There Will Be Lies by Nick Lake, Bloomsbury, 14 years and up. The Truth Commission by […]

About time

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Concepts of time and time zones can be difficult to explain even without lost-hour fuzziness! Happily, the picture books and easy readers below (all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide) painlessly introduce these ideas to children in engaging ways. Preschool Durga Bernhard’s While You Are Sleeping: A Lift-the-Flap Book of […]

Review of Last Stop on Market Street

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Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña; illus. by Christian Robinson Primary     Putnam     32 pp. 1/15     978-0-399-25774-2     $16.99 CJ, a young black boy, has a flurry of questions for his grandmother one rainy day: “How come we gotta wait for the bus in all this wet?” […]

Truth, lies, and secrets

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Adolescence is a time of self-discovery — and of deciding how much of that self to reveal to others. These new YA books explore themes of honesty and dishonesty, secret selves and public personas. When compiling the book Things I’ll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves, editor Ann Angel asked contributors to write “about […]

Have you heard?

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Audiobook versions of these intermediate and middle-school books — two in verse, one incorporating archival materials, and one light family story — give listeners a whole new way to immerse themselves in their engrossing tales. The Crossover‘s protagonist, Josh “Filthy McNasty” Bell, is a star basketball player along with his twin brother JB. JB’s romance […]

Women’s History Month 2015

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In these picture-book biographies perfect for Women’s History Month, young women blaze trails and battle bigotry. From baseball and art to environmentalism and education, these leaders and their triumphs are to be celebrated. Emily Arnold McCully’s Queen of the Diamond: The Lizzie Murphy Story introduces a young woman who, at the beginning of the twentieth […]

Sibling rivalry

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As every big sibling knows, having a little brother or sister can be…complicated. One minute they’re acting “slippery as a snake’s belly in a mudslide,” the next they’re protecting you from things that go bump in the night. The following picture books capture this ever-shifting sibling dynamic. Gemma & Gus welcomes two new goslings into […]