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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 Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

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Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell; illus. by Shadra Strickland Middle School, High School    Chronicle    260 pp. 2/17    978-1-4521-2590-9    $21.99 Organized chronologically, the alternating first-person narratives, written in free verse, begin in 1952 as Mildred Jeter enters sixth grade at the “colored” school; six years […]

Books mentioned in the January 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Young people making a difference Freedman, Russell  We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Clarion     2016 Trade ISBN 978-0-544-22379-0 Goodman, Susan E.  The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial Illustrated by E. B. Lewis Gr. K–3, 4–6     40 […]

Our solar system and beyond

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Adamson, Thomas K.  The Secrets of Neptune Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp.     Capstone Berne, Emma Carlson  The Secrets of Earth Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp.     Capstone Radomski, Kassandra  The Secrets of Saturn Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp.     Capstone Smithsonian: Planets series. These books for second through fourth graders include basic facts about planets in our […]

Architecture and engineering

architecture_corey_secret subway

Corey, Shana  The Secret Subway Gr. K–3, 4–6     40 pp.     Random/Schwartz & Wade Illustrated by Red Nose Studio. This tour de force tells of nineteenth-century inventor Alfred Ely Beach’s solution to New York City’s crowded streets: in 1870, he unveiled the first underground train, which went back and forth in a 294-foot tunnel. (Self-serving bigwigs […]

Farm to table

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Barker, David M.  Organic Foods Gr. 4–6, middle school     64 pp.     Lerner Hand, Carol  Urban Gardening Gr. 4–6, middle school          64 pp.     Lerner Mickelson, Trina  Free-Range Farming Gr. 4–6, middle school          64 pp.     Lerner Perdew, Laura  Eating Local Gr. 4–6, middle school          64 pp.     Lerner Growing Green series. This series for upper-middle-grades focusing on “green” […]

Civics and community

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Ancona, George  Can We Help?: Kids Volunteering to Help Their Communities Gr. K–3     48 pp.     Candlewick Straightforward text describes various ways that children can help those in need: through knitting hats for the homeless, tending a community garden that donates its produce, etc. Young readers may find the text cumulatively leaden, but they’ll pore over […]

Young people making a difference

freedman_we will not be silent

Freedman, Russell  We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Clarion Freedman’s photohistory is an excellent overview of the White Rose resistance movement, a group of university students who, beginning in June 1942 in Munich, Germany, risked their lives to write and […]

ALA Awards 2017: Horn Book reviews of the winners

2017 Newbery and Caldecott winners

The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Kelly Barnhill for The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Javaka Steptoe for Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat on January 23rd, 2017, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Atlanta. Also announced at the gathering […]

Review of the 2017 Printz Award winners

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Winner: March: Book Three by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin; illus. by Nate Powell Middle School, High School  Top Shelf Productions  254 pp. 8/16    978-1-60309-402-3    $19.99    g This final volume (March: Book One, rev. 1/14; March: Book Two, rev. 5/15) includes the expected and necessary set pieces from the civil rights movement: […]

Review of If I Was Your Girl

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If I Was Your Girl by Meredith Russo High School    Flatiron    290 pp. 5/16    978-1-250-07840-7    $17.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-250-07842-1    $9.99 After being beaten up in a mall bathroom, eighteen-year-old transgender woman Amanda goes to live with her previously unsupportive father in Lambertville, Tennessee, where no one knows her from her pre-transition life. Though she’s […]