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Choosing Books

Promoting good books for children and young adults is the heart of The Horn Book’s editorial mission.

Tiggly Chef: Addition app review

Tiggly’s educational apps can be played alone or with the corresponding Tiggly-brand silicone counting, letter, or shape toys. The engaging Tiggly Chef: Addition (2014; iOS and Android) makes a natural follow-up to Tiggly Adventure, inviting you to add numbers up to ten in combinations of units. Select the first level from the menu, and an […]

Review of Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee!

Take a Picture of Me, James VanDerZee! by Andrea J. Loney; illus. by Keith Mallett Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp.    g 6/17    978-1-62014-260-8    $19.95 One of the most memorable visual artists of the Harlem Renaissance was photographer James VanDerZee. In a picture-book biography that follows VanDerZee from his childhood interest in photography to his […]

Review of Saints and Misfits

Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali Middle School, High School    Salaam/Simon    328 pp. 6/17    978-1-4814-9924-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9926-2    $10.99 Sophomore Janna Yusuf, a hijab-wearing Flannery O’Connor devotee, knows that the world is full of “saints,” “monsters,” and “misfits.” She considers herself the last, not quite sure where she belongs within her post-divorce family […]

Review of Now

Now by Antoinette Portis; illus. by the author Preschool    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 7/17    978-1-62672-137-1    $17.99 A natural follow-up to Portis’s Wait (rev. 7/15), about a woman in a rush and the child who reminds her to stop and smell the roses, Now is an affirmation of the present and its many wonders. It opens […]

Review of This Impossible Light

This Impossible Light by Lily Myers Middle School, High School    Philomel    343 pp. 6/17    978-0-399-17372-1    $17.99 Fifteen-year-old Ivy Lewis is a straight-A student who takes comfort in the familiar predictability of her sophomore year. Her father has moved out, her mother is slipping further into depression, her brother has left for college, and her best […]

Mammals app review

The latest in Tinybop’s Explorer’s Library series, Mammals (2017; iOS only) offers a fascinating introduction to mammals and how their bodies operate. The app opens on a natural history museum–like gallery containing five subtly animated creatures: little brown bat, Linnaeus’s two-toed sloth, red kangaroo, African elephant, and Bengal tiger. Tap on any animal to interact […]

Review of The Crossover

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander Intermediate, Middle School   Houghton   235 pp. 3/14   978-0-544-10771-7   $16.99   g Josh and Jordan (JB), identical twin sons of former basketball phenom Chuck “Da Man” Bell, are ball legends themselves, and they aren’t yet thirteen; Josh is the only middle schooler around who can dunk, JB has a mean three-point shot, […]

Review of Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines: Designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines: Designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial by Jeanne Walker Harvey; illus. by Dow Phumiruk Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    32 pp. 5/17    978-1-250-11249-1    $17.99 In its early pages, this quiet and contemplative picture-book biography sets up artist-architect Maya Lin’s fascination with spaces, natural and human-made, and their dynamic relationship with phenomena […]

Review of Charlie & Mouse

Charlie & Mouse by Laurel Snyder; illus. by Emily Hughes Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 4/17    978-1-4521-3153-5    $14.99 This beginning chapter book is filled to the brim with sincere, slice-of-life sibling moments. In four chapters, brothers Charlie and Mouse spend a day together in their home and neighborhood. Adults are present, but the focus is on […]

BGHB at 50: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Hamilton?: M. C. Higgins, the Great

In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, established in 1967, we will be publishing a series of appreciations of BGHB winners and honorees from the past. This is the second in the series to be published in The Horn Book Magazine (see Gregory Maguire’s article on Jill Paton Walsh’s Unleaving […]