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Choosing Books

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

Reviews of the 2017 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction and Poetry Winner The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    453 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-249853-3    $17.99 Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives a life many African American teenagers can relate to: a life of double consciousness. Caught between her rough, predominantly black neighborhood and the “proper,” predominantly white […]

Review of Magnets Push, Magnets Pull

Magnets Push, Magnets Pull by David A. Adler; illus. by Anna Raff Primary    Holiday    32 pp. 3/17    978-0-8234-3669-9    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-3805-1    $17.95 Adler’s excellent explanations of physical science for young children (Things That Float and Things That Don’t, rev. 11/13; Simple Machines) continue with this exploration of magnets and […]

Labor and labor movements booklist

In honor of May Day, we kicked off the month with #HBMayDay17, a week of labor movement–inspired featured reviews: Picture Book: Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909 by Michelle Markel; illus. by Melissa Sweet Fiction: Lion Island: Cuba’s Warrior of Words by Margarita Engle Nonfiction: Taking Hold: From Migrant Childhood 
to […]

Review of Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever.

Funny Girl: Funniest. Stories. Ever. edited by Betsy Bird Intermediate, Middle School    Viking    205 pp.    g 5/17    978-0-451-477-316    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-698-409-446    $10.99 Fuse #8 blogger Bird’s compilation includes twenty-eight entries from “laugh-out-loud funny” female children’s book creators, whom Bird argues are underrepresented in the publishing industry, plus a […]

Review of Uncle Holland

Uncle Holland by JonArno Lawson; illus. by Natalie Nelson Primary    Groundwood    32 pp. 4/17    978-1-55498-929-4    $17.95 Lawson, author of the touching Sidewalk Flowers (rev. 5/15), returns with a whimsical story based on his uncle Holland, who was always getting into trouble as a child. With an eye for pretty things and […]

Reading for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

The Islamic month of Ramadan, a solemn holiday of fasting from dawn to sunset, charity, and additional prayer, is about to begin. Ramadan ends with the joyous feasting of the Eid al-Fitr celebration. These books for young readers — all recommended at the time of their publication by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide — […]

Review of Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko

Are You an Echo?: The Lost Poetry of Misuzu Kaneko poems by Misuzu Kaneko; narrative by David Jacobson; illus. by Toshikado Hajiri; trans. from the Japanese by Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi Primary, Intermediate, Middle School    Chin Music Press    64 pp. 9/16    978-1-634905-962-6    $19.50 Part biography, part poetry collection, this book introduces Japanese children’s poet […]

So Many Butts! app review

Having just co-written (with my Family Reading blog co-parent Kitty Flynn) the article “The Straight Poop on Potty Humor” for the May/June 2017 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Humor, how could I pass up the So Many Butts! app? (Editora Caixote, January 2017; iOS and Android) I went in with some trepidation, expecting Everyone Poops–level […]

Review of Give Bees a Chance

Give Bees a Chance by Bethany Barton; illus. by the author Primary    Viking    40 pp.    g 4/17    978-0-670-01694-5    $16.99 The main character of this book — a cartoon boy named Edgar, eyes opened wide in amusingly fearful and skeptical facial expressions — definitely doesn’t like bees. This gives the (offstage) […]

Pride Month 2017

Bausum, Ann  Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights Middle school, high school     120 pp.     Viking    2016 Bausum begins with a detailed, nuanced exposition of the June 1969 Stonewall riots as a galvanizing moment for the gay rights movement, then traces the movement’s evolution (in a somewhat more cursory way) for the second […]