Opinion

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

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 […]

Editorial: Plus ça change

May/June 2015 Horn Book Magazine

Late last summer, the Horn Book staff gathered at Roger’s house for our annual editorial and organizational planning meeting. It was one of those Goldilocks sorts of days: too hot in the sun, too cold in the shade. This winter’s Snowpocalypse wasn’t even a gleam in anyone’s eye. Our office had recently moved from Charlestown […]

From the Editor – April 2015

The Academy of American Poets chose wisely back in 1996 when they designated April as National Poetry Month. A book of poetry is the perfect choice for outdoor reading in spring. You can open to one page and put your hands back in your pockets to warm while you read. You can pay attention to […]

“There Is Work to Be Done” -Walter Dean Myers

Photo by Constance Myers

It was difficult to accept Walter Dean Myers’s death last summer. Just months earlier, and almost exactly a year to this date, he brought the conversation, decades unresolved, to the general public, with his searing New York Times op-ed “Where Are the People of Color in Children’s Books?” He gave us the CCBC statistics: only […]

From the Editor – March 2015

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The #WeNeedDiverseBooks campaign is doing a great job of helping us (by which I mean children’s book professionals of all sorts) keep to the fore of our attention the need not just for books that articulate a multitude of experiences, but diverse creators to create them and diverse readers to read them. Two articles in […]

Editorial: The Difference That Made Them

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Inadvertently or not, ALA heeded the call of the zeitgeist when it honored six books (out of ten in toto) by people of color in the 2015 Newbery and Caldecott medals and honors, announced last month at the Midwinter conference in Chicago. The winners were Kwame Alexander (African American) for Newbery and Dan Santat (Asian […]

In Defense of Gentle Men

frazee_farmer and the clown

Although I found much to celebrate in the aftermath of the 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards announcements, I admit that I sat licking my wounds over one favorite picture book that didn’t make the Caldecott cut: Marla Frazee’s The Farmer and the Clown. I’d given a copy to my eight-year-old daughter Caroline, and my liking […]

From the Editor – February 2015

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The ALA has spoken, and this year’s roster of awards for children’s and young adult books is impressively diverse and Diverse. The forthcoming issue of The Horn Book Herald includes all the lowdown about the Newbery, Caldecott and other book awards announced earlier this month in Chicago — and 2015 Newbery medalist Kwame Alexander gets […]