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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.

Five questions for Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise

Sisters Kate and M. Sarah Klise created their first book together before either of them turned twelve! Since then, author Kate and illustrator Sarah have collaborated on many picture books and intermediate novels — all of which are seriously funny. Their newest picture book, Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List (Feiwel, 5–8 years), […]

From The Guide: Darkly Funny YA

When Andrew Smith’s book Grasshopper Jungle won the 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction, it was praised for its blending of catastrophic sci-fi with angsty teen-humor. The following books likewise rely heavily on dark comedy to appeal to the snarky, self-referential nature of teenagers themselves, creating an appealing subgenre for self-aware readers looking to […]

Review of Felix Yz

Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker Intermediate, Middle School    Viking    283 pp. 6/17    978-0-425-28850-4    $16.99 Thirteen-year-olds may sometimes seem like alien creatures, but how often do you meet one with an actual alien inside? Meet Felix Yz (pronounced like “is”). When Felix was three, his scientist father was vaporized in a lab accident and Felix himself […]

Life under siege

Growing up amidst political turmoil and war can have profound effects on any individual. These memoirs and biographies offer nuanced explorations of lives in such uncertain places and times. In How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child, Congolese refugee Sandra Uwiringiyimana recounts life before, during, and after war. Growing up in the […]

Outta this world

In these middle-grade and middle-school science-fiction novels, aliens variously come in peace or seek to destroy humanity — but either way, their existence forces characters to ponder deep philosophical questions and experience life-changing journeys. Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth begins with narrator Prez Mellows (who is electively mute) opening the front […]

Summer’s here

Climbing trees, getting wet, having outdoor adventures. The following picture books capture the mood of summertime exploration and fun. Even though he’s warned to stay safely inside the icebox, the titular star of Ice Boy escapes to the outside (“Hello, world!”). He loves the outside with its beach and its sun…and he soon becomes Water […]

Books mentioned in the July 2017 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Kate and M. Sarah Klise Stay: A Girl, a Dog, a Bucket List by Kate Klise, illus. by M. Sarah Klise, Feiwel, 5–8 years. Summer’s here Ice Boy by David Ezra Stein, Candlewick, 4–7 years. Wet by Carey Sookocheff, Holt/Godwin, 3–6 years. Another Way to Climb a Tree by Liz Garton Scanlon, […]

Review of Little Pig Saves the Ship

Little Pig Saves the Ship by David Hyde Costello; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 5/17    978-1-58089-715-0    $14.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734 929-7    $9.99 Little Pig from Little Pig Joins the Band (rev. 9/11) is back, once again left behind by his older siblings. This time they are going to sailing camp without […]

Review of Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs

Cricket in the Thicket: Poems About Bugs by Carol Murray; illus. by Melissa Sweet Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    40 pp. 5/17    978-0-8050-9818-1    $17.99 Twenty-nine common insects and arachnids (from ants to spiny-back spiders) are on display in Murray’s lively poems and Sweet’s inviting mixed-media illustrations. The titular cricket opens the proceedings in a poem mimicking an elusive […]

Review of This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe; illus. by the author Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 5/17    978-1-4521-5018-5    $17.99 “This is me,” announces the opening spread, while seven children, ages seven to eleven, smile out at the viewer and introduce themselves with […]