Opinion

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

From the Editor – November 2014

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Please permit me to highlight two of the titles reviewed in this issue of Notes from the Horn Book, alike only in their consideration of the friendship possible between the old and the young, and — refreshingly — their resistance of current splashy publishing trends. That The Farmer and the Clown is wordless is the […]

Editorial: Self Service

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The Horn Book website was alight last month with a discussion of self-
publishing books for children. It began when I posted my thoughts on the subject in response to an email I received querying our policy of not reviewing books written and published by the same person. Like most good discussions, it was both heated […]

From the Editor – October 2014

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When it comes to spooky stories, it’s always hard to know just how scared any given person wants to be. Maurice Sendak always said that children sent him drawings of Wild Things that terrified him; I, on the other hand, once drove a little girl screaming from a story hour with “The Three Billy Goats […]

From the Editor – September 2014

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I hope you will join us for the fifth annual Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium, “Mind the Gaps,” on October 11th at Simmons College in Boston. This year’s program will examine the various diversity gaps in children’s book publishing, whether they be underrepresentation of nonwhite perspectives or the decreasing proportion of nonfiction titles. The colloquium […]

Editorial: Upstate Over There

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“Will there ever be another Sendak?” This is the question I posed last week to the 2014 Sendak Fellows, illustrators Nora Krug and Harry Bliss, at Scotch Hill Farm, the late artist’s upstate New York retreat now owned by Sendak’s longtime assistant Lynn Caponera. I had come to the farm — and it is an […]

2013-2014 yearbook superlatives

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As summer winds down and the new school year looms, we look back on the year that was. Here are our senior superlatives for characters in the class of 2013-2014. What superlative would you award your favorite character? Wild-and-craziest: Mr. Tiger (from Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown) Slow-and-steadiest: Giantess George (from Galápagos George […]

The Voice of Reason

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to The Horn Book’s July/August 2014 editorial (“Don’t Speak!”) regarding the ALSC Policy for Service on Award Committees that was revised during the 2014 ALA Midwinter meeting. In response to the ever-increasing number of requests regarding the appropriate use of social media from conscientious award committee members wishing […]

Rockwell and Engelbreit

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Over the weekend my family visited the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. It was suggested as a things-to-do-with-kids-in-the-Berkshires activity because of Rockwell’s “accessibility” as an artist. (Be that as it may, the little boys were much more interested in climbing on the outdoor sculptures — allowed! — and running around on the lawn.) Amidst […]

From the Editor – August 2014

I hope you can join Horn Book executive editor Martha V. Parravano and me at Fostering Lifelong Learners, a one-day conference the Horn Book, along with School Library Journal and the Cuyahoga County Public Library, is sponsoring on September 19th at the Parma-Snow branch of the CCPL in Parma, Ohio. Martha and I will be […]

From the Editor — July 2014

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We lost two significant pioneers of YA literature this past month. When Nancy Garden’s Annie on My Mind was published in 1982, the possibilities for GLBTQ characters in teen fiction changed forever. The book said to gay kids: you are not going through a phase, you will meet others like yourself, you can have a […]