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 Little Melba and 
Her Big Trombone

russell-brown_little melba

Little Melba and 
Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown; 
illus. by Frank Morrison Primary    Lee & Low    40 pp. 7/14    978-1-60060-898-8    $18.95    g From the time she was a little girl, Melba Liston loved music, especially the jazz music that surrounded her while she was growing up, first in Kansas City and then in Los […]

Review of Nuts to You

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Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins; illus. by the author Intermediate    Greenwillow    260 pp. 8/14    978-0-06-009275-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-226220-2    $8.99 Jed the squirrel’s odyssey begins dramatically when he is captured by a hawk and carried far away from his community. Using an “ancient squirrel defensive martial art,” he escapes and so begins his […]

Books mentioned in the November 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Social change Captured History series Burgan, Michael Tank Man: How a Photograph Defined China’s Protest Movement Gr. 4–6     64 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point     2014 Library binding ISBN 978-0-7565-4731-8 Paperback ISBN 978-0-7565-4787-5 Nardo, Don Hitler in Paris: How a Photograph Shocked a World at War Gr. 4–6     64 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point     2014 Library binding ISBN 978-0-7565-4733-2 Paperback […]

Medicine and the human body

Invincible Microbes

Arnold, Caroline Too Hot? Too Cold?: Keeping Body Temperature Just Right Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Charlesbridge Illustrated by Annie Patterson. Arnold’s explanations of how humans and animals regulate their body temperatures are simple, accurate, and organized into major sections: “Our Bodies Keep Us Warm or Cool,” touches on features and mechanisms such as fat, sweating, […]

Geography and maps

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Brasch, Nicolas Community Maps Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Brasch, Nicolas Country Maps Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Brasch, Nicolas Land and Sea Maps Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Brasch, Nicolas World Maps Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Smart Apple Map Smart series. This series looks at how maps are created, special features […]

Indigenous cultures

charleyboy_dreaming in indian

Bruchac, James and Bruchac, Joseph Rabbit’s Snow Dance: A Traditional Iroquois Story Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Dial Illustrated by Jeff Newman. The Bruchacs retell a pourquoi tale that the elder included in two previous collections (Iroquois Stories and The Boy Who Lived with the Bears). This version differs significantly (unfortunately, there’s no source note), but […]

How things work

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Boothroyd, Jennifer How Do Hang Gliders Work? Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Lerner Boothroyd, Jennifer How Do Helicopters Work? Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Lerner Boothroyd, Jennifer How Do Parachutes Work? Gr. K–3     32 pp.      Lerner Silverman, Buffy How Do Hot Air Balloons Work? Gr. K–3     32 pp.      Lerner Silverman, Buffy How Do Jets Work? Gr. […]

Social change

kuklin_beyond magenta

Burgan, Michael Tank Man: How a Photograph Defined China’s Protest Movement Gr. 4–6     64 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point Nardo, Don Hitler in Paris: How a Photograph Shocked a World at War Gr. 4–6   64 pp.     Capstone/Compass Point Captured History series. Photographs can often be more powerful than the written word in bringing social change. These use […]

Review of A Perfectly Messed-Up Story

mcdonnell_perfectly messed-up story

A Perfectly Messed-Up Story by Patrick McDonnell; 
illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 10/14    978-0-316-22258-7    $17.00 “No pages were harmed in the making of this book.” This cheeky copyright page disclaimer is undoubtedly true, but the very realistic-looking messes inside — and on the cover—make it hard to believe. For Louie, […]

Review of Brown Girl Dreaming

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 Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson Intermediate, Middle School    Paulsen/Penguin 328 pp.    8/14    978-0-399-25251-8    $16.99    g Here is a memoir-in-verse so immediate that readers will feel they are experiencing the author’s childhood right along with her. It starts out somewhat slowly, with Woodson relying on others’ memories to relate her (1963) birth and infancy in […]