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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 Windows

Windows by Julia Denos; illus. by E. B. Goodale Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 10/17    978-0-7636-9035-9    $15.99 “At the end of the day, before the town goes to sleep… / you can take a walk, out your door / into the almost-night.” A brown-skinned child puts on a red hoodie and heads out to take the […]

Books mentioned in the November 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Writing and reporting Bodden, Valerie  The Muckrakers: Ida Tarbell Takes on Big Business [Hidden Heroes] Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library      2017 Library binding ISBN 978-1-68078-388-9 Ebook ISBN 978-1-68079-741-1 Giff, Patricia Reilly  Writing with Rosie: You Can Write a Story Too Gr. 4–6     69 pp.     Holiday     2016 Trade ISBN 978-0-8234-3656-9 Macy, Sue  […]

Native American history

Burling, Alexis  Occupying Alcatraz: Native American Activists Demand Change Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library Hidden Heroes series. Well-paced chapters with archival photos examine Native American activists’ first attempt to occupy Alcatraz in 1964, the history of their struggles with non-Native settlers and the U.S. government, and the seeds of activism in the […]

Insects and invertebrates

Aston, Dianna Hutts  A Beetle Is Shy Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Chronicle Illustrated by Sylvia Long. Larger-than-life watercolor illustrations of colorful, gem-like beetles are framed by poetic text describing their features and behaviors. This exploration of beetle biodiversity showcases their “kaleidoscopic” colors; their range of stature (“A beetle is colossal… / or microscopic”); their lively […]


Baxter, Roberta  Sedimentary Rocks Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s McCarthy, Cecilia Pinto  Metamorphic Rocks Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s Watts, Pam  The Rock Cycle Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s York, M. J.  Igneous Rocks Gr. 4–6     24 pp.     Child’s Geology Rocks! series. These books present middle graders with basic information about rocks (in somewhat choppy […]

School days 2017

Allman, Toney  Food in Schools Gr. 4–6, middle school   64 pp.     Norwood Matters of Opinion series. This book examines three school lunch–related issues: what should be served, how much government control there should be, and what the schools’ involvement in nutrition should be. In addition to the pros and cons of each and a final writing […]

Writing and reporting

Bodden, Valerie  The Muckrakers: Ida Tarbell Takes on Big Business Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO/Essential Library Hidden Heroes series. The life and work of journalist Ida Tarbell is just one of several topics in this inspiring and accessible volume. Bodden also examines the history of investigative journalism and its impact on the rise […]

Review of That Is My Dream!

That Is My Dream! by Langston Hughes; illus. by Daniel Miyares Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    32 pp. 10/17    978-0-399-55017-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55018-8    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55019-5    $10.99 Langston Hughes’s 1924 poem “Dream Variation” tells of a wish “to fling my arms wide / In some place of the sun, / To whirl and to dance / Till […]

Review of Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth

Many: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies; illus. by Emily Sutton Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 11/17    978-0-7636-9483-8    $15.99 “How many different kinds of living things are there on our planet? One, two, three, MANY!” With this important question and response, Davies begins her consideration of biodiversity, starting with the idea that […]

Review of Tumble & Blue

Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley; illus. by the author Intermediate    Dial    392 pp. 8/17    978-0-525-42844-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-698-18907-2    $10.99 Way back when, there were strange things done in the Okefenokee Swamp. A plot was set in motion by two bad people, horse thief Walcott Montgomery and murderer Almira LaFayette. Their descendants, especially a […]