Happy Year of the Sheep!

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The celebration of Lunar New Year begins today! Eat some dumplings and share a book from this updated list of titles featuring the holiday, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide. Picture books Set in long-ago China, Ying Chang Compestine’s The Runaway Wok tells of Ming Zhang and his poor […]

Review of Tomboy

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Tomboy: A Graphic Memoir by Liz Prince; illus. by the author Middle School, High School   Zest Books   256 pp. 9/14   Paper ed. 978-1-936976-55-3   $15.99 e-book ed. 978-1-936976-56-0   $15.99 “When you don’t look or act like what everyone has been told is the norm, you get proverbially barfed on a lot.” In an often funny, sometimes […]

Review of Paper Things

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Paper Things by Jennifer Richard Jacobson Intermediate, Middle School   Candlewick   378 pp. 2/15   978-0-7636-6323-0   $16.99   g Before her death four years earlier, Ari and Gage’s mother had urged them to “stay together always.” Now it has been two months since nineteen-year-old Gage and eleven-year-old Ari left their overbearing guardian’s home to strike out on their […]

Recommended reading on “the circuit”

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In his 1998 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award acceptance speech for The Circuit, Dr. Francisco Jiménez said, “The blowing of the horn for The Circuit will draw attention to and compassion for the thousands of migrant families and their children of yesterday and today. This sound is truly music to my ears.” These books, all recommended […]

Review of Finding Spring

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Finding Spring by Carin Berger; illus. by the author Preschool   Greenwillow   32 pp. 1/15   978-0-06-225019-3   $16.99   g As the forest grows cold and most bears start to think about hibernating, a little bear named Maurice can only think about experiencing his first spring. His mother tries to settle him down (“‘Maybe you will dream about […]

Review of Welcome to the Family

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Welcome to the Family by Mary Hoffman; illus. by Ros Asquith Primary   Frances Lincoln   28 pp. 12/14   978-1-84780-592-8   $17.99 This chatty, informative book covers all the bases — and then some — in its survey of how families are made. Friendly cartoon illustrations highlight various permutations, from families formed by birth and adoption to foster […]

Review of I Was Here

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I Was Here by Gayle Forman High School    Viking    272 pp. 1/15    978-0-451-47147-5    $18.99    g Meg Garcia is brilliant and passionate — a standout in her dead-end Washington State hometown and a constant in best friend Cody’s unstable life. But just months after escaping to college on a prestigious scholarship, Meg checks into a motel […]

Be-bop-a-skoodley!

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These new picture-book biographies of African American music pioneers give primary readers something to sing about during Black History Month — and all year long. Seven-year-old Melba Liston chose to learn to play the trombone — an unconventional choice for a girl. By age seventeen, she was touring alongside the jazz greats. As a female […]

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

Five questions for Lucy Cousins Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep! by Lucy Cousins, Candlewick, 2–5 years. I’m the Best by Lucy Cousins, Candlewick, 2–5 years. ABC, easy as 123 Mix It Up! by Herve Tullét, Chronicle, 2–5 years. Press Here by Herve Tullét, Handprint/Chronicle, 2–5 years. The Happy Little Yellow Box: A Pop-Up Book […]

Bad company

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Conspiracy theory or everyday life? These new YA novels — three thrillers and one dark comedy — star teen protagonists finding their places in worlds manipulated by not-so-scrupulous corporations. Walter Dean Myers‘s posthumously published On a Clear Day takes place in 2035. The Central Eight (C-8) companies rule everything, enriching themselves while the rest of […]