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Using Books

Bringing books and people together.

Laughter and Resistance: Humor as a Weapon in the Age of Trump

We could all use a laugh right now, especially children. As the Southern Poverty Law Center’s November 2016 report “The Trump Effect: The Impact of the Nation’s Presidential Campaign on Our Schools” has documented, the candidacy (and now presidency) of Donald Trump has resulted in a sharp rise in bullying at school — harassment of […]

Board Book Roundup: Spring 2017 Edition

This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine. Tinyville Town: I’m a Librarian [Tinyville Town] by Brian […]

With a little help from their friends

We could all use a reminder that there is kindness in the world — as well as a reminder to extend kindness to others. These new picture books for young children show how small gestures of generosity can make a big difference. A woman bakes a special batch of red heart-shaped cookies and sends them […]

For animal lovers only

Four middle-grade novels feature animals (and one mysterious creature) that change the protagonists’ lives. From an inventive, slightly mystical environmental fable to a compelling work of historical fiction, these are all recommended for the animal lovers in your life. Me and Marvin Gardens is a smart, environmentally conscious fable with a lot of heart and […]

Love the Earth 2017

Earth Day and the March for Science are coming up on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The following picture books introduce children to some of the challenges facing our Earth, and provide suggestions to help on a scale they can manage. For more on this topic, see Kathleen T. Isaacs’s Horn Book Magazine article “Fostering Wonder.” […]

Tales as old as time

Retellings can offer teenagers an accessible entrée into classic literature and lore, and the best of them also connect with today’s readers through timeless themes and issues. These four new titles — including a graphic novel and one in verse — repackage centuries-old source material into books that will resonate with today’s young adults. Sara […]

Books mentioned in the April 2017 issue of Notes from the Horn Book newsletter

Five questions for David Elliott Bull by David Elliott, Houghton, 14 years and up. Tales as old as time Bone Jack by Sara Crowe, Philomel, 12–16 years. Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson, illus. by Andrea Offermann, Candlewick, 12–16 years. Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin, HarperCollins/Tegen, 14 years and […]

War and refugees

Given the world we live in, where a picture of a kid who is dazed after a bombing is becoming normal, our children are exposed more and more to the topics of war and refugees from war. Even when we live in safe homes, neighborhoods or countries, we must expose our children to these topics. […]

World Autism Awareness Week and Autism Acceptance/Awareness Month

The last week of March is World Autism Awareness Week, which leads into Autism Acceptance Month (also known as Autism Awareness Month). Below, we’ve compiled some resources for advocacy and recommended books highlighting experiences of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their loved ones. Resources from The Horn Book “Reading on the Spectrum” by Ashley […]

Harry Potter and the Travel Ban

“Oh, really? You don’t act like an only child!” Growing up and entering adulthood, I have heard this phrase many a time. I take comfort knowing that I am not suffering from the dreaded “only child syndrome” of those who are spoiled or self-involved. I’d be lying, however, if I didn’t admit that as a […]