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Young people making a difference

freedman_we will not be silent

Freedman, Russell  We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Clarion Freedman’s photohistory is an excellent overview of the White Rose resistance movement, a group of university students who, beginning in June 1942 in Munich, Germany, risked their lives to write and […]

Adolescent lit class begins tomorrow

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Lolly’s children’s literature class at the Harvard Graduate School of Education wrapped up in December with lively discussion and debate in their Mock Awards committees, a terrific culminating event. Tomorrow, adolescent lit begins, and we’ll continue to hold our class book discussions out in the open here and invite you all to join the conversation. […]

On “Radio Penderwick,” bedtime (audio)books, and more

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Just like their print counterparts, audiobooks play many roles in the home. This week we looked at some different ways audiobooks accompany families — at bedtime during road trips, and really any time (or, Rachael Stein’s case, all the time). Here’s a roundup of our mini-celebration. At Family Reading on Monday, Kitty Flynn shared her […]

They can do it!

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Primary readers will cheer these determined everygirl heroines as they face — and conquer — relatable challenges, from learning a new language to speaking up to clueless parents. Author Jacqueline Kelly first introduced readers to aspiring naturalist/veterinarian Callie in the middle-grade novels The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate and The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate. Now […]

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

Five questions for Andrea Davis Pinkney A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illus. by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson, Viking, 7–9 years. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, Viking, 3—5 years. The wonders of winter First Snow by Bomi […]

Embracing cultural identity

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The following YA stories feature teens struggling with family, friendship, and cultural identity in ways that feel organic to their experiences and are relatable to a variety of readers. Alternating between the voices of two seventeen-year-olds — a contemporary biracial (her mother is black, her father is white) young woman named Rowan Chase, and Will […]

History of war

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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The following books for middle schoolers describe the horrors of twentieth-century wars and urge readers to learn from history’s mistakes. Uprooted: The Japanese American Experience During World War II by Albert Marrin opens briefly with a prologue set on the day of the attack […]

The wonders of winter

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From joyful treks through gently drifting snow to the aftermath of a storm to suspenseful adventures in the icy wilderness, these picture books show many meteorological (and emotional) facets of winter. In First Snow by Bomi Park, a small child takes a dreamlike nighttime walk through the snow with her puppy. She makes her way […]

Fostering Wonder

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Sixty years ago, Rachel Carson first opened our eyes to children’s need for a sense of wonder about the natural world in her essay “Help Your Child to Wonder” (first published in Woman’s Home Companion in 1956). She urged parents and caregivers to allow children to explore the world around them, suggesting taking them to […]

Saving Sisters: Little Women, The Hunger Games, and Frozen

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Those who treasure Little Women often praise the rebel at its center or its theme of sisterhood. Louisa May Alcott helped build domestic realism with a novel set largely around a Massachusetts hearth during the Civil War, but she also might be credited with having the audacity to write a book in which young women […]