Disturbing (or Not?) Young Adult Fiction

hunger games

I experienced Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games on the cusp of it becoming a must-read, a trilogy-starter, and then a film franchise. I had hurried into the bookstore, reading list in hand, and interrupted the young woman shelving books. When I asked  where to find the titles on my list, I mentioned that I taught […]

More early learning

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Jenny Brown and the Center for Children’s Literature at Bank Street are putting on an ECE show of their own next Saturday, April 13th. “Literature for Early Childhood: What Do You Need to Know?” runs from nine to noon and will be keynoted by Horn Book fave Laura Vaccaro Seeger. You can sign up here.

Win free money!

OutEasy

For COLLEGE. Ruta Sepetys and Penguin Young Readers Group are running an essay contest in conjunction with the release of Ruta’s new book, Out of the Easy, a tale of growing up in the French Quarter of 1950s New Orleans. The prize is $5000 toward college; full details can be found at the Out of […]

How to publish for the CCSS

Ha ha, not really. I hope everybody is getting some use out of our latest newsletter, Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book. I’ve been thinking about NF a lot since ALA, where I spent two solid days talking to publishers about what they were planning for the coming year(s). Along with inflicting upon the world […]

Common Ground

Common Core State Standards Logo

As a historian, author, and longtime advocate for nonfiction, there are many things I like about the Common Core English/Language Arts Standards: their focus on historiography and authorial point of view, their mission of training young people to be problem-solvers, their validation of nonfiction-lovers’ passion for the genre. In this inaugural issue of Nonfiction Notes […]

Core Publishing

Common Core State Standards Logo

You can sometimes feel like the Old Stage Manager in this job, watching ’em all come and go for their hour upon the stage. Big picture books, little picture books, good girls and bad girls, vampires, angels, fallen angels, books for boys, fantasy, and realism. The players have producers: not just publishers but also the […]

No Joke! Humor and Culture in Middle-Grade Books

Right Ho, Jeeves

When I was a child, growing up in the various parts of India to which my father’s job took us, books were my friends, and I liked them funny. I discovered my grandfather’s P. G. Wodehouse collection at the age of eleven and was at once enchanted by the amiable lunacy of fictional worlds like […]

What Makes a Good YA Dystopian Novel?

HungergamesCover-web

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. […]

The Other Half

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

by Diana Wynne Jones This is not about my own school. I prefer to forget that. This is about how a large part of the job description when you write for children is the remorseless visiting of schools. When I was young and strong, I was required to do this almost once a week. Half […]

Conferences and Events

April 2012 Presented by the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, A Sense of Wonder: Stories of Nature, Science & History is a one-day conference to be held on Thursday, April 5, for teachers and school librarians. Speakers will include Sy Montgomery, Wendell Minor, Anita Silvey and Catherine Thimmesh. For more information, see the professional development […]