Opinion

Gimlet-eyed and occasionally -addled views on what's wrong and right in the world of books for young people.

From the Editor—August 2015

What Makes a Good...?

When I was walking around the ALA exhibits in San Francisco earlier this summer, I kept running into publishers eager to show me their “narrative nonfiction.” I knew this was a concept (see Elizabeth Partridge’s article “Narrative Nonfiction: Kicking Ass at Last” and more on narrative nonfiction from The Horn Book) but apparently it had […]

2014-2015 yearbook superlatives

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Summer is winding down (say it ain’t so!) and the new school year is approaching. Get into the back-to-school mood with our senior superlatives for characters in the class of 2014-2015. What superlative would you award your favorite character? Best friends: Sam and Dave (Sam & Dave Dig a Hole); Pom and Pim (Where Is […]

From the Editor – August 2015

I’m happy to announce that Susan Cooper will be keynoting “Transformations,” the 2015 Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium, to be held at Simmons College on October 3rd, following the presentation of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards the evening before. Susan, who won the BGHB Fiction Award in 1973 for The Dark Is Rising (and wrote […]

From the Editor – July 2015

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I’m just back from ALA in San Francisco (conveniently also home to my two adorable grandchildren), where the term I kept hearing throughout the exhibit halls was narrative nonfiction (last year it was bullying). As is so often true of these trends, the term meant different things to different people, with definitions ranging from “like […]

2015 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn’t win at ALA

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Mad, man! The Madman of Piney Woods by Christopher Paul Curtis No Printz for the princes The Children of the King by Sonya Hartnett #WWBYD (What Would Baba Yaga Do?) Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire Slow and steady didn’t win the race The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye, illustrated by Betsy Peterschmidt […]

Editorial: What the Survey Doesn’t Say

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Welcome to our annual issue devoted to the ALA book awards. You will find herein acceptance speeches by and profiles of the Coretta Scott King, Caldecott, Newbery, and Wilder award winners as well as some analysis of the winners and honor books; some Newbery history (where does K. T. Horning find those stories?); and “Mind […]

From the Editor – June 2015

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Who got it right, the Newbery and Caldecott or the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards? This isn’t exactly a fair fight as the different awards have different criteria and eligibility standards, but it’s fun to compare. You can read all about the recently announced BGHB Awards here, and our coverage of the ALA awards (acceptance speeches […]

From the Editor – May 2015

It’s that time of year again: the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards will be announced on May 27th. I’ll be sharing the honor of naming the winners with Rebecca Stead, who won the 2010 Fiction Award for When You Reach Me, at 5:00 pm in New York City at SLJ’s Day of Dialog. If you’re there, […]

Marcia Brown letter to Bertha Mahony Miller (undated)

Letter and drawing from Martha Brown

To Bertha E. Miller, for some time “Early one morning in the spring”, with very much appreciation. Marcia Brown Dear Mrs. Miller I want to tell you how much I enjoyed meeting you and how much it meant to me to hear your speech recalling Elizabeth Miller, Mukeiji, and the others, whom I had known […]

“Dear Mr. Zelinsky”

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This is a lesson in overcoming assumptions. The mail I receive from readers trends strongly to the appreciative; it’s rare that anything remotely critical comes in, so I’m sure I’m completely spoiled. When I read this letter from a class near Philadelphia and saw that they were questioning a scene in the background of one […]