Recommended Books

Promoting good books for children and young adults is the heart of The Horn Book’s editorial mission. Archived here are annotated lists of recommended titles.

Review of The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton

vernick_kid from diamond street

The Kid from Diamond Street: The Extraordinary Story of Baseball Legend Edith Houghton by Audrey Vernick; 
illus. by Steven Salerno Primary   Clarion   40 pp. 3/16   978-0-544-61163-4   $17.99   g Edith Houghton was “magic on the field,” a baseball legend of the 1920s. Playing starting shortstop for the 
all-women’s professional team the Philadelphia Bobbies, she drew fans […]

Of magic and moxie

anderson_my diary from the edge of the world

These books take place in fantastical worlds, but the protagonists’ pluck may feel familiar to many intermediate and middle-school readers. Twelve-year-old Gracie Lockwood, the high-spirited heroine of Jodi Lynn Anderson‘s My Diary from the Edge of the World, lives in a world that’s like ours but with a few key differences (involving dragons and poltergeists, […]

Winning sports picture books

mccarthy_wildest race ever

Cheating marathoners; a trailblazing sports reporter; a girl shortstop; and an illegal integrated b-ball game. Here are some nonfiction sports picture books that capture the dramatic action both on and off the track/field/court. Meghan McCarthy’s The Wildest Race Ever: The Story of the 1904 Olympic Marathon describes America’s first Olympic marathon, which took place in […]

Apps for morning, noon, and night

fiete day at the farm

Whether following friendly characters through a day of fun or settling users down for sweet dreams, these apps make perfect additions to preschoolers’ own busy days. In Fiete: A Day on the Farm, children help sailor Fiete and his farmer friends, Hein and Hinnerk, throughout their busy day. Users wake the snoring men in the […]

Not your average problem novel

downham_unbecoming

Facing illness, sexuality, family issues, and life-and-death situations, the following teen protagonists maturely and deeply explore the world around them while also looking within themselves. Until the hospital called, asking her mother to pick up elderly Mary, seventeen-year-old Katie — star of Jenny Downham’s Unbecoming — didn’t even know she had a grandmother. Katie, her […]

Books mentioned in the February 2016 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Tanita S. Davis Peas and Carrots by Tanita S. Davis, Knopf, 13–16 years. Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis, Knopf, 13–16 years. Not your average problem novel Unbecoming by Jenny Downham, Scholastic, 14 years and up. Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern, Farrar, 14 years and up. The Smell of Other […]

Review of The Smell of Other People’s Houses

hitchcock_smell of other people's houses

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock Middle School, High School   Lamb/Random   228 pp. 2/16   978-0-553-49778-6   $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-553-49779-3   $20.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-553-49780-9   $10.99 Through sensory details that viscerally evoke the story’s physical and emotional landscapes, readers are transported to 1970s Birch Park, Alaska, where hunting and fishing are both livelihood […]

Review of Here Comes Valentine Cat

underwood_here comes valentine cat

Here Comes Valentine Cat by Deborah Underwood; 
illus. by Claudia Rueda Preschool   Dial   88 pp. 12/16   978-0-525-42915-9   $16.99   g Valentine’s Day has its haters, and Cat (Here Comes the Easter Cat, rev. 3/14, and sequels) is one of them. Cat can’t think of anyone to grace with a Valentine, and new neighbor Dog doesn’t seem […]

Review of What Are You Glad About? 
What Are You Mad About?: Poems for When a Person 
Needs a Poem

viorst_what are you glad about

What Are You Glad About? 
What Are You Mad About?: Poems for When a Person 
Needs a Poem by Judith Viorst; illus. by Lee White Primary, Intermediate   Dlouhy/Atheneum   102 pp. 2/16   978-1-4814-2355-7   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-1-4814-2355-1   $10.99 Viorst’s most famous book is Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, and this […]

Review of To Catch a Cheat

johnson_to catch a cheat

To Catch a Cheat by Varian Johnson Middle School   Levine/Scholastic   248 pp. 2/16   978-0-545-72239-1   $16.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-72241-4   $16.99 After his crew succeeded at foiling a corrupt student council election in The Great Greene Heist (rev. 7/14), Jackson Greene retired from his con-man antics. Until…someone floods the Maplewood Middle School bathrooms and hallways, and […]