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

From the Editor — November 2015


People are already fighting about Starbucks’s holiday cups, there were Christmas tree ornaments on sale at CVS this morning, and The Horn Book is pulling together Fanfare, our list of the best books of the year. While I see that Publishers Weekly has already published its list of bests (which is really rushing the season, […]

Editorial: We’re Not Rainbow Sprinkles


Last month at the Cambridge Public Library, I moderated a panel of five middle-grade writers brought to town by their publisher, Random House: Jeanne Birdsall, Bruce Coville, Alice Hoffman, R. J. Palacio, and Rebecca Stead. The place was packed and the conversation lively. With just a few minutes left for questions at the end of […]

From the Editor — October 2015


I want to thank the Horn Book, Simmons College, and Boston Globe staff who worked so hard to make this year’s Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards and Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium: “Transformations” a big success. You can see a photo album of the events on our website, and look forward to the January/February 2016 issue […]

Letter to the Editor from Lydia Gagliano, July/August 2015

July/August 2015 Horn Book Regarding Jacqueline Woodson’s Coretta Scott King Author Award acceptance speech: I’m not at all certain why Ms. Woodson thought it important to label the young reporter who interviewed her at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival as “white.” She then follows this with a bit of mind-reading, saying she knew “the answer […]

From the Editor – September 2015


I’m happy to be attending the tenth anniversary Carle Honors, which this year honor the contributions to picture books by artist Helen Oxenbury, editor Neal Porter, the Cotsen Library at Princeton, and intellectual freedom advocate Joan Bertin. These recipients are matched in worthiness by the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art itself, founded in […]

Editorial: Read Before You Write


A member of the child_lit listserv recently posted a query which anyone who works with children’s books will find familiar: “A former student contacted me to ask if I could give her information about how to get started in writing and publishing children’s books.” Even given this little information, the good members of the listserv […]

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

grad cupcake

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


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 […]