Review of I Was Here

forman_i was here

I Was Here by Gayle Forman High School    Viking    272 pp. 1/15    978-0-451-47147-5    $18.99    g Meg Garcia is brilliant and passionate — a standout in her dead-end Washington State hometown and a constant in best friend Cody’s unstable life. But just months after escaping to college on a prestigious scholarship, Meg checks into a motel […]

Be-bop-a-skoodley!

russell-brown_little melba

These new picture-book biographies of African American music pioneers give primary readers something to sing about during Black History Month — and all year long. Seven-year-old Melba Liston chose to learn to play the trombone — an unconventional choice for a girl. By age seventeen, she was touring alongside the jazz greats. As a female […]

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

Five questions for Lucy Cousins Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep! by Lucy Cousins, Candlewick, 2–5 years. I’m the Best by Lucy Cousins, Candlewick, 2–5 years. ABC, easy as 123 Mix It Up! by Herve Tullét, Chronicle, 2–5 years. Press Here by Herve Tullét, Handprint/Chronicle, 2–5 years. The Happy Little Yellow Box: A Pop-Up Book […]

Bad company

myers_on a clear day

Conspiracy theory or everyday life? These new YA novels — three thrillers and one dark comedy — star teen protagonists finding their places in worlds manipulated by not-so-scrupulous corporations. Walter Dean Myers‘s posthumously published On a Clear Day takes place in 2035. The Central Eight (C-8) companies rule everything, enriching themselves while the rest of […]

(Not-so) long ago or far away

hill_bo at iditarod creek

In these works of historical fiction for middle graders — taking place in 1920s Alaska, 1932 North Carolina, WWII England, or 1950s Illinois — the settings may be unfamiliar, but the feelings are timeless. At the start of Kirkpatrick Hill’s Bo at Iditarod Creek, Bo’s family has left Ballard Creek for the bigger and noisier […]

ABC, easy as 123

tullet_mix it up

Who says ABC books are just for babies? Why can’t you mix up some colors using just your finger, no paint? The following concept books defy conventions — and expectations. In Mix It Up!, Hervé Tullet follows the same format as in his hugely entertaining Press Here, but this time the play is focused on […]

Review of Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep!

cousins_count with maisy cheep cheep cheep

Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep! by Lucy Cousins; illus. by the author Preschool   Candlewick   32 pp. 2/15   978-0-7636-7643-8   $15.99   g Maisy helps Mommy Hen track down her ten little chicks in time for bed. Starting at the stable, they make their way around the farm (“Are there any chicks in the trailer? Or in […]

Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs app review

pterosaurs menu

Though the American Museum of Natural History‘s Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs exhibit closed a few weeks ago, those of us who missed it can learn about these fascinating animals with the associated app (2014). The first section, “What Is a Pterosaur?,” introduces this prehistoric creature, which lived for 150 million years, going […]

What Makes a Good Acceptance Speech?

What Makes a Good award acceptance?

The 2015 ALA Awards were announced on Monday, February 2nd. After that, the winners will bask in the glow…and contemplate what to say in their speeches. Here’s The Horn Book’s (unsolicited) advice for foolproof acceptance-speech writing.   From the January/February 2015 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Review of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

kamkwamba_boy who harnessed the wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Young Readers Edition by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer; illus. by Anna Hymas Intermediate, Middle School   Dial   294 pp. 2/15   978-0-8037-4080-8   $16.99   g As a young boy growing up in Malawi, William Kamkwamba believed in — and was fearful of — magic. As he got a bit older, he […]