Subscribe to The Horn Book

Using Books

Bringing books and people together.

In a word…the logophile’s journey

logophilia

Every group text, email chain, and Facebook thread has one… that one member who can’t help but change someone’s “who” to “whom,” who balks at the improper use of “their” and “there,” and who inserts the little star symbol to indicate a correction on a daily basis. Yes, indeed, some may see it as a […]

Stuff millennials like

alessio_year of programs for millennials and more

At The Horn Book we review books for children and young adults. That said, adult books still end up in our mail on a pretty regular basis. A Year of Programs for Millennials and and More by Amy J. Alessio, Katie Lamantia, and Emily Vinci (ALA Editions, May 2015) just passed across my desk. Now, […]

What’s in those leveled book boxes?

Leveled readers #2

Recently, I was reading an article called “The Character of Our Content” in an archived issue of Rethinking Schools. In this piece, a concerned mother critiques representations of gender and race in a basal anthology that her daughter was reading at school. The article got me thinking how incidents such as these are likely very […]

High reader, low motivation

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

In retrospect, I realize now that I have been extremely lucky. My students have always been highly motivated to read. Obviously, I’ve encountered the spectrum when it comes to low to excellent readers, but nonetheless, my students needed only minimal encouragement to read. When students lost interest, a graphic novel always did the trick (I’m […]

What Makes a Good Storytime?

roach_reading_composite

Storytellers and story lovers know that that the essence of collaboration lies in the “Stone Soup” tale — everyone gives a little something (carrots, a potato, some salt and pepper) to achieve a common goal (a more satisfying soup for everyone). When the whole community contributes ingredients, it becomes a real meal. To expand their […]

The pros and cons of leveled readers

Leveled readers #1

These days, if you enter any elementary school classroom, the chances are good that you’ll encounter leveled readers organized into colorful bins with letters or numbers indicating the challenge level of the books contained inside. With the rise of literacy approaches such as guided reading, many hail leveled readers as a critical component of effective […]

The power of the image: photographs in biographies

goodall

Striking photographs in biographies can draw in, engage, and inform young readers on a deep level. In addition, they can serve as outstanding primary sources. Whether the photographs are current, colorful, high quality prints, or old, sepia, grainy shots, they reveal much about the subject, the setting, and the social/historical context. The two books below […]

Fathers, sons, and grandfathers

alexander_booked

The bonds between a son and his father or grandfather can be strong yet complicated. The following books offer middle schoolers a glimpse into some tricky, loving family relationships. In Kwame Alexander‘s verse novel Booked (a companion in structure and theme to his 2015 Newbery Award–winning The Crossover), eighth grader Nick Hall is quite a […]

Party animals

coudray_goofy guide to penguins

Newly independent readers will go wild for these animal adventures with a hearty helping of wacky, slapsticky humor. A Goofy Guide to Penguins by twin-brother team Jean-Luc Coudray and Philippe Coudray supplies “everything you never, ever asked about penguins!” In an early-reader, four-panels-per-spread graphic-novel format, young Emperor penguins ask and answer silly questions: “How do […]

Arts and letters

novesky_cloth lullaby

STEM’s great and all, but these picture-book biographies — about two fine artists, a musician, and a wordsmith — show that a career in arts and letters can be more than just a dream. In Cloth Lullaby: The Woven Life of Louise Bourgeois, Amy Novesky presents an exquisite portrait of modern artist Louise Bourgeois, who […]