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Review of The Airport Book

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The Airport Book by Lisa Brown; illus. by the author Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 5/16    978-1-62672-091-6    $17.99 As an (interracial) family of four scrambles to leave its city apartment for the airport, readers get used to the book’s approach: as narrated by the older brother, a straightforward but lively main text provides basic information […]

Cinco de Mayo reading

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It’s Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate with this updated list of books starring the holiday itself, Mexican and Mexican American protagonists, and the Spanish language — all recommended at the time of publication by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide. (For more recommended Spanish-language and bilingual books, click here.) Picture books In Alma […]

Audio for teens

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Who says teenagers never listen? The following YA audiobooks are so compelling that teens will be lost in the stories. The audiobook version of Challenger Deep, Neal Shusterman‘s novel about one young man’s battle with mental illness, reinforces both the disorienting confusion of the disease and the tenuous hopes for its treatment. Caden Bosch’s first-person […]

A little light fantasy

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With historical, contemporary, and folkloric set-ups, this selection of new light fantasies has something for every middle-grade fantasy fan. Grayling’s Song is a moral tale with a simple lesson: it’s not magic but rather “courage, cleverness, imagination, good judgment, and good sense” that make for a hero who can overcome evil. When her wise-woman mother […]

Folktales redux

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Three recent picture books offer fresh takes on old tales from the likes of Grimm and Aesop; a fourth paints fairy-tale baddies in a more favorable, relatable light. Holly Hobbie’s handsome edition of Hansel & Gretel strikes just the right balance between scary and not-too. The deep green forest is mysterious but inviting, its darkness […]

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

Five questions for Mordicai Gerstein I Am Pan! by Mordicai Gerstein, Roaring Brook, 4–8 years. Folktales redux Hansel & Gretel by Holly Hobbie, Little, Brown, 4–8 years. Hare and Tortoise by Alison Murray, Candlewick, 4–8 years. Little Red by Bethan Woollvin, Peachtree, 4–8 years. Good Night, Baddies by Deborah Underwood, illus. by Juli Kangas, Simon/Beach […]

Review of I Am Pan!

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I Am Pan! by Mordicai Gerstein; 
illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Roaring Brook    80 pp. 3/16    978-1-62672-035-0    $18.99 Never have the first-person point of view and the exclamation point been used more appropriately than in this introduction to the Greek god Pan. Untrammeled ego, low impulse control, resilient, charming — this is a Pan […]

Review of Flannery

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Flannery by Lisa Moore High School    Groundwood    272 pp. 5/16    978-1-55498-076-5    $16.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-873-0    $16.95 Sixteen-year-old Flannery has a lot on her plate: she can’t afford her biology textbook (in fact, her free-spirited artist mother can’t even pay the utility bill), and her best friend Amber is unhealthily obsessed with a sketchy new boyfriend. […]

Review of Thunder Boy Jr.

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Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie; 
illus. by Yuyi Morales Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 5/16    978-0-316-01372-7    $17.99    g “I HATE MY NAME!” Why, Thunder Boy Smith complains, couldn’t he have been named “Sam” like his mother (Agnes) wanted? And why does he have to share his name with his father, Thunder Boy Smith […]

Books mentioned in the April 2016 issue of What Makes a Good…?

What Makes Good Poetry? Picture Books Argueta, Jorge  Salsa: Un poema para cocinar / A Cooking Poem Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh. 32 pp.     Groundwood     2015     ISBN 978-1-55498-442-8 Ebook ISBN 978-1-55498-443-5 Brown, Skila  Slickety Quick: Poems About Sharks Illustrated by Bob Kolar. 32 pp.     Candlewick     2016     ISBN 978-0-7636-6543-2 Greenfield, Eloise  The Great Migration: Journey to the […]