Family ties

petricic_my family tree and me

Families come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and configurations. The following nonfiction picture books present examples of this variety, with the common element being love. In My Family Tree and Me, Dušan Petričić creates an innovative introduction to the ordinary miracle of genealogy. Reading the book from front to middle, we meet the paternal line […]

Boys to remember

reynolds_all american boys

Four novels featuring teenage boys — in both contemporary and historical settings — take on big issues, with memorable results. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely is a ripped-from-the-headlines story written with nuance, sharp humor, and devastating honesty. When a quick stop at the corner store suddenly escalates into a terrifying scene […]

Review of Elephant in the Dark

Javaherbin_elephant in the dark

Elephant in the Dark: Based on a Poem by Rumi retold by Mina Javaherbin; 
illus. by Eugene Yelchin Primary   Scholastic   40 pp. 8/15   978-0-545-63670-4   $17.99   g Merchant Ahmad brings a mysterious creature to his village, “all the way from India!” While Ahmad sleeps, the curious villagers climb through a window in his barn and feel […]

Sounds good

ryan_echo audio

Audio can add another layer to a story, whether through the addition of story-enhancing music, through a narrator’s command of tricky jargon, or the way he or she can make even the prickliest character seem lovable. Here are four audiobooks recommended for older intermediate and middle school readers. As Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan begins, […]

Books mentioned in the November 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Tim Wynne-Jones The Emperor of Any Place by Tim Wynne-Jones, Candlewick, 14 years and up. Boys to remember All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, Atheneum/Dlouhy, 14 years and up. Calvin by Martine Leavitt, Ferguson/Farrar, 14 years and up. Show and Prove by Sofia Quintero, Knopf, 14 years and up. Orbiting […]

Review of Breakthrough!


 Breakthrough!: How Three People Saved “Blue Babies” and Changed Medicine Forever by Jim Murphy Intermediate, Middle School   Clarion   128 pp. 12/15   978-0-547-82183-2   $18.99   g Murphy (An American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, rev. 7/03; Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure, rev. 7/12) here […]

Review of All American Boys

reynolds_all american boys

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely High School   Dlouhy/Atheneum   316 pp. 9/15   978-1-4814-6333-1   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4814-6335-5   $9.99 Teens Rashad (who is African American) and Quinn (who is white) are high school classmates and not much more — neither even knows the other’s name. But when a quick stop at the corner […]

Review of Tiptoe Tapirs

kim_tiptoe tapirs

 Tiptoe Tapirs by Hanmin Kim; illus. by the author; trans. from the Korean by Sera Lee Preschool, Primary   Holiday   40 pp. 8/15   978-0-8234-3395-7   $16.95 e-book ed. 978-0-8234-3495-4   $16.95 First published in South Korea in 2013, this pourquoi tale explaining why animals move stealthily begins in the jungle long ago when animals were all quite noisy […]

Review of Drowned City

brown_drowned city

Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans by Don Brown; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School   Houghton   96 pp. 8/15   978-0-544-15777-4   $18.99 To date, the majority of children’s and young adult books about Hurricane Katrina are microcosmic stories or accounts of a single person or family. Here, in powerful comic-book format, Brown delivers the […]

Review of Mothman’s Curse

hayes_mothman's curse

Mothman’s Curse by Christine Hayes; illus. by James K. Hindle Intermediate, Middle School   Roaring Brook   311 pp. 6/15   978-1-62672-027-5   $15.99 e-book ed. 978-1-62672-028-2   $9.99 Spine-tingling mystery meets small-town gossip in this ghost story set in Athens, Ohio, “the most haunted town in America.” Josie Fletcher and her scheming brother Fox are no strangers to the […]