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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 Anywhere Farm

Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root; illus. by G. Brian Karas Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 3/17    978-0-7636-7499-1    $16.99    g “For an anywhere farm, / here’s all that you need: / soil / and sunshine, / some water, / a seed.” Root’s upbeat Green Eggs and Ham–esque rhyming text details all the places […]

Review of Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing

Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing by Kay A. Haring; illus. by Robert Neubecker Primary    Dial    40 pp. 2/17    978-0-525-42819-0    $16.99    g As an upbeat narrative chronicles pop artist Haring’s childhood, early adulthood, and brief but momentous career, our subject faces relentless questions from onlookers confused by his […]

Review of American Street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    330 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-247304-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-247306-6     $9.99 Immediately after landing in New York from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. Immigration. Fabiola must continue the journey alone to her aunt and cousins in Detroit, specifically […]

Review of Say Hello, Sophie!

Say Hello, Sophie! by Rosemary Wells; illus. by the author Preschool    Viking    32 pp. 3/17    978-1-101-99925-7    $17.99    g This endearing mouse family’s fifth book highlights a new hiccup in big sister Sophie’s development that many parents and children will recognize: she cannot bring herself to say expected social niceties like […]

Review of The Upside of Unrequited

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    340 pp. 4/17    978-0-06-234870-8    $17.99    g Seventeen-year-old twins Molly and Cassie are inseparable despite being wildly different: Cassie’s breezy self-confidence and high energy seem to make dating easy, while quirky introvert Molly experiences intense crushes on boys but, […]

Review of The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet!

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy; illus. by Eugene Yelchin Preschool, Primary    Scholastic    32 pp. 1/17    978-0-545-72288-9    $17.99 Deedy’s original story of the noisy village of La Paz has the feel of a well-told folktale — one with plenty of dry wit. “It was hard to […]

Review of Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers

Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman High School    Holt    451 pp. 4/17    978-0-8050-9339-1    $19.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-2501-0969-9    $9.99 Heiligman (Charles and Emma, rev. 1/09) again examines the impact of a family member on her main subject, this time unpacking the friendship between artist Vincent […]

With a little help from their friends

We could all use a reminder that there is kindness in the world — as well as a reminder to extend kindness to others. These new picture books for young children show how small gestures of generosity can make a big difference. A woman bakes a special batch of red heart-shaped cookies and sends them […]

For animal lovers only

Four middle-grade novels feature animals (and one mysterious creature) that change the protagonists’ lives. From an inventive, slightly mystical environmental fable to a compelling work of historical fiction, these are all recommended for the animal lovers in your life. Me and Marvin Gardens is a smart, environmentally conscious fable with a lot of heart and […]

Love the Earth 2017

Earth Day and the March for Science are coming up on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The following picture books introduce children to some of the challenges facing our Earth, and provide suggestions to help on a scale they can manage. For more on this topic, see Kathleen T. Isaacs’s Horn Book Magazine article “Fostering Wonder.” […]