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Choosing Books

Promoting good books for children and young adults is the heart of The Horn Book’s editorial mission.

Review of Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story

Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace Intermediate, Middle School    Calkins/Boyds Mills    192 pp.    g 9/17    978-1-62979-428-0    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-62979-915-5    $9.99 Ten thousand people cheered as the steamer Jeannette departed San Francisco, off to the North Pole, in 1879, seeking to expand human knowledge and […]

BGHB at 50: The Adventures of Sparrowboy

In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, established in 1967, we will be publishing a series of appreciations of BGHB winners and honorees from the past. This is the second in the series to be published in The Horn Book Magazine (see Gregory Maguire on Jill Paton Walsh’s Unleaving, Tim […]

Review of Jane, Unlimited

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore Middle School, High School    Dawson/Penguin    451 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-8037-4149-2    $17.99 When her guardian, Aunt Magnolia, dies, Jane is left untethered and financially insecure. Then Kiran, an old acquaintance, invites Jane to Tu Reviens (“you return”), Kiran’s family’s island mansion. Aunt Magnolia had told Jane unequivocally that “if you’re invited […]

Review of A Different Pond

A Different Pond by Bao Phi; illus. by Thi Bui Primary, Intermediate    Capstone    32 pp.    g 8/17    978-1-62370-803-0    $15.95 e-book ed.  978-1-62370-804-7    $9.95 Hours before sunrise, a father and son go fishing for that night’s meal. So begins this powerfully understated picture book, which shifts the focus of the refugee narrative from the harrowing journey […]

Review of Flashlight Night

Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine; illus. by Fred Koehler Primary    Boyds Mills    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-62979-493-8    $16.95 On any dark night, a flashlight illuminating shadows can create delicious thrills. Here, a trio of kids is seen on the title page crossing a dark backyard toward a tree house. A boy carries a stack of […]

Explore Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood app review

When I was a Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood–watching kid, we almost never got to see the insides of the buildings in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. I burned with curiosity about this. What was inside the castle? Or X the Owl’s tree? I may never know the answers to these questions, but today’s preschoolers can wander around […]

Review of Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire

Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire by Amy Guglielmo and Jacqueline Tourville; illus. by Brigette Barrager Primary    Atheneum    48 pp. 8/17    978-1-4814-6131-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6132-0    $10.99 From an early age, artist and designer Mary Blair (1911–1978) “collected colors of every shade and every hue.” In 1940, the […]

How to deal

For the protagonists of these recent YA novels, school variously serves as a source of anxiety and a means to cope (healthily or otherwise) with turmoil in other parts of their lives. In Posted by John David Anderson, the administration of Branton Middle School bans cell phones, and a new, old-fashioned idea comes along: sticky […]

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

Five Questions for Anne Quirk The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (And How They Shaped the Nation) by Anne Quirk, illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley, Knopf, 10–14 years. This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father by Khizr Khan, Knopf, 10–14 years. Of scientists and samurai Samurai Rising: The Epic […]

Of scientists and samurai

These nonfiction audiobooks, recommended for middle-school listeners and up, highlight a variety of memorable moments and important figures throughout human history. Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune is the bloody, heroic saga of an iconic twelfth-century samurai. Author Pamela S. Turner combines meticulous historical detail with conversational modernity and wry asides. Her narrative […]