Middle grade fiction saved Jeanne Birdsall’s life. Here’s how Birdsall’s Penderwicks books helped save two of her fans. The first time we listened to The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, we were fleeing Hurricane Irene. Traffic was backed up on the road out of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, and I was running out of ways to entertain [...]
Raising readers is the goal of every reading parent and is at the heart of the Horn Book’s mission.
At our upcoming Fostering Lifelong Learners: Prescribing Books for Early Childhood Education conference, Horn Book Guide Executive Editor Kitty Flynn will be leading a presentation about how the Horn Book evaluates and reviews preschool books. This is one aspect of her work that also engages her off the clock: Kitty and her husband are parents [...]
What’s the magic word? These days many children would answer, “Expelliarmus!” or some other Harry Potter-ism, but for generations before this the magic word has always been “please.” And yet anyone who works with children regularly can attest to the fact that quite a lot of them don’t seem familiar with that magic word, or [...]
Every September of my English teaching career, I’d type up the semester’s reading list and prepare myself for the inevitable question: I’ve already read this! Why do I have to read it again? I’d tell my students that rereading a novel at a new period in their lives could bring fresh insight. But I never [...]
Dystopias are characterized as a society that is a counter-utopia, a repressed, controlled, restricted system with multiple social controls put into place via government, military, or a powerful authority figure. Issues of surveillance and invasive technologies are often key, as is a consistent emphasis that this is not a place where you’d want to live. [...]
Discussions about gender issues in children’s literature are perennial (even in the pages of this magazine; see the special issue on gender in September/October 2007; articles on boy and girl reading in the September/October 2010 issue; and, most recently, Carey E. Hagan’s “One Tough Cookie” in the September/October 2011 issue). My personal experiences differ from [...]
As an urban twenty-something with a CSA farm share, a crush on Michael Pollan, and the occasional yearning to dangle tomato plants from my third-story apartment windows, I think a bit too much about where my food comes from. I often wonder how much of my insanity I will impart upon my future offspring. Will [...]