Pick your poison

tucholke_slasher girls & monster boys

A chilling short story collection, two suspenseful novels, and one book that’s a bit of both: there’s something here for every young adult horror fan. Each of the fourteen short tales of horror in Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, selected by April Genevieve Tucholke, is inspired by at least one other story, film, or song: […]

Tricks and treats

seeger_i used to be afraid

Spiders, trolls, mummified cats, and monsters with three heads. Oh, my! Perfect for Halloween story hours, here are four new picture books that will give young audiences something to be (not too) frightened about. For more new recommended Halloween picture books, see 2015 Horn Boo! I Used to Be Afraid by Laura Vaccaro Seeger is […]

When picture books bring on tears

knock knock

At some point, it probably has happened to any teacher, parent, or caregiver of young children. You are reading a story to a child or group of children and something about the story hits you and makes you misty eyed. Other times you might read a story that causes a child to cry. Books that […]

Rumpeta-ing through Reading: Picture Books for the Very Young

My daughter Emily has always been a reading omnivore: we have photos of her poring over books from the time she could first sit up. Everything was of interest: catalogs featuring photographs of children; books verging on toys, with flaps or holes or even wheels; concept books; story books. Gradually, certain authors and books became […]

The schools that need libraries the most


A few months ago, fellow Lolly’s Classroom blogger Randy Ribay made a compelling argument about why schools still need libraries and the wonderful librarians who keep them running smoothly. I agree wholeheartedly with his conclusion that “a school without a library is like a body without a soul.” Further, I believe that lack of access […]

Books mentioned in the September 2015 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Economics and money Adler, David A. Prices! Prices! Prices!: Why They Go Up and Down Gr. K–3, 4–6     32 pp. Holiday     2015 ISBN 978-0-8234-3293-6 Be Smart About Money and Financial Literacy series Gordon, Sherri Mabry Be Smart About Money: Money Management and Budgeting Middle school, high school     48 pp.   Enslow    2014 Library binding ISBN 978-0-7660-4292-6 […]



Albee, Sarah Why’d They Wear That? Middle school, high school    192 pp.     National Geographic    2015 Albee comprehensively and conversationally examines how fashion has shaped history, and vice versa. Organized chronologically, the text explains how a trend or clothing item originated and what function it served, with numerous accompanying illustrations and photos; side boxes provide […]

Inventions and innovations


Abramovitz, Melissa Amazing Feats of Biological Engineering Middle school, high school    112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library    2014 Carmichael, L. E. Amazing Feats of Civil Engineering Middle school, high school    112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library    2014 Smibert, Angie Amazing Feats of Aerospace Engineering Middle school, high school    112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library    2014 Swanson, Jennifer Amazing […]

Stories behind the stories

bird_wild things

Bird, Betsy, Danielson, Julie and Sieruta, Peter D. Wild Things!: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature Middle school, high school    277 pp.     Candlewick     2014 Sieruta, a Horn Book mainstay before his unexpected death in 2012, is joined by Bird and Danielson for a lively historical survey of scandals and secrets from the children’s-book biz. Sandwiched […]

Social revolutionaries

alko_case for loving

Alko, Selina The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage Gr. K–3    32 pp.     Scholastic/Levine    2015 Richard Loving (white) and Mildred Jeter (black) fell in love and married, then were arrested for miscegenation. Their 1967 Supreme Court case legalized interracial marriage. Alko does a mostly admirable job of shaping the story (some terms […]