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Using Books

Bringing books and people together.

Using picture books to teach adolescents about genre

I teach a course every spring about methods in teaching writing, and one topic we learn about is teaching genre. Adolescents need a fairly broad understanding of a variety of genres, both reading and writing them, though often English classrooms focus heavily on reading novels and writing analytical essays. So every year, I make the […]

Love stories with Pride

Two intense, nonlinear explorations of love and loss; one surprising, sweet romance; and one high-stakes, swoon-worthy romp. What these very different (in genre and tone) love stories have in common are nuanced portrayals of a spectrum of sexual identities and experiences, making them welcome new additions to the canon of queer YA. Happy Pride Month! […]

Growin’ up is hard to do, audiobook version

The preteen years are full of new experiences and challenges. These four audiobooks — three novels, and one book of advice — all involve aspects of growing up and exploring one’s identity. For Archer Magill, main character of Richard Peck‘s 2017 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book The Best Man, sixth grade is full of changes: […]

The birds and the bees…and the arachnids and more!

Four entertaining nonfiction picture books provide young readers with solid scientific information about the birds and the bees — and other insects and arachnids, too! — in friendly, accessible formats. In Eileen Christelow’s humorous, informative Robins!: How They Grow Up, two young robins reminisce about the events of their (very recent) youth. The details covered […]

Books mentioned in the June 2017 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Susan Juby The Truth Commission by Susan Juby, Viking, 14 years and up. The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby, Viking, 14 years and up. Love stories with Pride History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, Soho Teen, 14 years and up. Pointe, Claw by Amber J. Keyser, Carolrhoda Lab, 14 […]

Pride Month 2017

Bausum, Ann  Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights Middle school, high school     120 pp.     Viking    2016 Bausum begins with a detailed, nuanced exposition of the June 1969 Stonewall riots as a galvanizing moment for the gay rights movement, then traces the movement’s evolution (in a somewhat more cursory way) for the second […]

Wonderful world of math

AdBåge, Emma  Outdoor Math: Fun Activities for Every Season Gr. K–3     24 pp.     Kids Can In this Swedish import, two dozen or so simple activities, organized seasonally, are designed to reinforce basic mathematical concepts (counting, shapes, etc.); unpretentious vignettes feature children happily engaged in the tasks at hand. Many of the activities are somewhat pedestrian […]

Short story collections

Healy, Nick, ed.  Love & Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life Middle school, high school     223 pp.     Capstone/Switch With Kristen Mohn, Nate LeBoutillier, and Lindsy O’Brien. This collection of forty-three autobiographical short stories runs the gamut of high-school topics: family, friends, class, crushes, parties, awkwardness, bullying, […]

Memorial Day 2017

Collier, Peter  Choosing Courage: Inspiring Stories of What It Means to Be a Hero Middle school, high school     226 pp.     Artisan Ranging from World War II through the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, this book offers compelling stories of selected Medal of Honor recipients who performed heroic acts in battle; vignettes of civilians awarded the […]

Labor

Brown, Monica  Side by Side / Lado a lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and César Chavéz / La historia de Dolores Huerta y César Chávez Gr. K–3     32 pp.      HarperCollins/Rayo Illustrated by Joe Cepeda. Translated by Carolina Valencia. Brown makes a significant contribution to the increasing number of books about César Chávez by focusing […]