The books recommended below were published within the last several years. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. PICTURE BOOKS Suggested grade level listed with each entry. Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas (Scholastic) Simple, colloquial language renders myth into farce, with cartoonlike characters ranging from the appealing boy [...]
Every time critics and writers declare rock-and-roll dead, it rises again; re-tuned, rebranded, and repackaged for a new generation. Signs of life abound: Green Day’s Gen Y suburban angst, captured in their mini rock opera American Idiot, has sold 14 million copies internationally and became a smash adaptation for the Broadway stage. Folk singer Elizabeth [...]
In time for Presidents’ Day observations, these new books give elementary-age readers insight into three towering figures in American history. In George Washington’s Birthday: A Mostly True Tale, Margaret McNamara debunks the famous cherry tree fable plus others, intermingling them with real facts to imagine Washington’s seventh birthday. Boxed notes distinguish truth from fancy, and [...]
A picture book tribute to a seminal event in the civil rights story, a collection of poems about the Underground Railroad, and a nonfiction account of the civil rights era for older readers: three recent books pay homage to the struggles and triumphs of African Americans — just in time for honoring black history next [...]
The next best thing to tromping around outdoors on a crisp January afternoon is snuggling up inside. Here are five winter-themed picture books that are just the ticket for those sub-zero days. In Keith Baker’s No Two Alike, two little red birds explore a snowy landscape. Rhyming text coaxes readers to look carefully at the [...]
One new sci-fi/fairy tale and three paranormal novels provide plenty of heart-pounding reading for middle school and high school fans. Sixteen-year-old vampire Pearl discovers she can withstand sunlight after an encounter with a unicorn in Sarah Beth Durst’s Drink, Slay, Love. Her family sends her up to the local high school to procure refreshments (i.e., [...]
September/October 2011 Horn Book Barbara Bader’s series of articles on the “second generation” of prominent librarians in the children’s services field (“Virginia Haviland,” January/February 2011; “Augusta Baker,” May/June 2011; “Mildred Batchelder,” September/October 2011) has been enjoyable to read. For the small number of us who worked with these librarians or knew them, Bader stirs up [...]
To view this email as a web page, click here. Hbook.com | Review of the Week | Interviews | Read Roger | Out of the Box | Calling Caldecott | Books in this issue | Subscribe November 9, 2011 Five questions for Melissa Sweet Picture book biographies Listen up, middle-graders Page-turners for older readers Holiday [...]
In the age of preschool princesses and teenage werewolves, nonfiction, conspicuously, has class. That came across buoyantly in the March/April 2011 issue of the Horn Book, where prominent persons in the field wrote about their work and what today’s nonfiction aspires to.
Their aims are admirable, their commitment is impressive, their enthusiasm is infectious; as a cadre, they have a lot to be proud of. But not because their work, however fine, surpasses the work of their predecessors. It isn’t better researched or better illustrated, as some of the contributors suggest, and it certainly isn’t more venturesome. In kids’ nonfiction, “going where no adult book has gone before” is nothing new.
While much in the YA paranormal genre is formulaic, here are three novels that think outside the box. In Blood, the first installment in K. J. Wignall’s Mercian Trilogy, the eternally sixteen-year-old William, Earl of Mercia, has just awakened from one of his decades-long hibernations (he is of course undead), and he needs lifeblood; Eloise, [...]