You may be a boy but HEY

Barbarians

On my post the other day about gender representation in books, I mentioned as an afterthought the problem wordless picture books present in identifying gender. I thought the topic deserved a post of its own. It’s not some kind of queer-theory intellectual problem, either, as books that don’t identify the gender of its characters play hell with a […]

2015 Zena Sutherland Lecture by Jack Gantos

GantosSutton

Please join us for the 2015 Zena Sutherland Lecture, “A Pair of Jacks to Open,” with Jack Gantos. Friday May 1, Harold Washington Library in Chicago, 7:30PM. The lecture is free but tickets are required.

ImPress

All the Light We Cannot See

Introducing a new Horn Book partner:   For every kids’ or YA book sticking out of a briefcase, there’s someone insisting that adults should only read adult books. But how can the grownups of the world access the often innovative stories aimed at the younger set without lowering themselves? Enter ImPress, a new small publisher […]

Gender by the numbers

girlsmovies

A poster in our office lobby for the upcoming Simmons International Women’s Film Forum alerted me to the interestingly low–29%–number of female protagonists in films for children.* I guess it ain’t all Disney Princesses after all. How does this compare with the numbers in books for children? I asked myself. The gender disparity had been on my […]

Preview May/June 2015 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Transformations

May/June 2015 Horn Book Magazine

Special Issue: Transformations Cover art by Bob Staake. Transformers: Reflections on transforming well-known stories, from Susan Cooper, Jerry Pinkney, Malinda Lo, Donna Jo Napoli, H. Chuku Lee & Pat Cummings, Gareth Hinds, T. A. Barron, and Christine Heppermann. “Hijacking the Pumpkin Coach”: Gregory Maguire shares his storytelling inspirations. “Book and Me”: Introducing a new comics […]

Home movie review

home poster

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex is a novel about a girl, Gratuity “Tip” Tucci, who befriends hapless alien J.Lo after J.Lo’s alien race, the Boov, take over Earth and kidnap Tip’s mother. Its target audience is at least upper elementary school; The Horn Book put it at grades 4-6. In the 3D […]

Selfie Sweepstakes Reviews: Mary-Ellen O’Keefe’s Word-Speaking Diet

Neely

[As an experiment last fall, I invited self-publishers to submit their best new titles for review. About a dozen heeded the call, and I am reviewing their books in this space.] Mary-Ellen O’Keefe’s Word-Speaking Diet; written by Tom Neely; illustrated by Sharad Kumar. Tom Neely, 2014. 36pp. ISBN 978-1502-44425-7. Paper ed. $9.97. Mary-Ellen has always been a […]

Field Notes: “This Is Too Much!” Why Verse Novels Work for Reluctant Readers

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Novels in verse have earned their place in the mainstream of children’s and young adult literature — Exhibit A: Kwame Alexander’s The Crossover winning the Newbery Medal — and this is good news for reluctant readers, especially reluctant middle-grade and middle-school readers. Compared to a conventional novel, a novel in verse has perhaps half the […]

Mock book awards | Class #5, 2015

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This year, most of our last class meeting in Children’s Lit will be devoted to mock book awards. Each student selected a committee to join (Caldecott for picture books, Geisel for easy readers, or Sibert for information books) and chose one or two eligible books published in 2014 to nominate and present to his or […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, 2015

Folklore and poetry

For our class on April 2, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]