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Choosing Books

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

Chapter-book chums

As new readers head back to school, these recent chapter books will help cement a love of read-it-yourself stories. King, an exuberant dog, introduces himself in the initial two entries of a new early-chapter-book series by Dori Hillestad Butler: “Hello! My name is King. I’m a dog. This is Kayla. She is my human.” Each […]

Back-to-school silliness

School is in session. Here are some new picture books that play up the silliness for students and teachers — including one most ridiculous substitute. For more, look to our Back-to-School Horn Book Herald and What Makes a Good School Story? newsletters. The mischievous feline star of Here Comes Teacher Cat by Deborah Underwood is […]

Five questions for Anne Quirk

Anne Quirk’s The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (And How They Shaped the Nation) (Knopf, 10–14 years) highlights four sets of venerable opponents whose disputes helped set America’s path during its formative years. And just like its author — who was former publisher of The Horn Book — the book is smart, […]

Review of Us in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos

Us in Progress: Short Stories About Young Latinos by Lulu Delacre; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    242 pp.    g 8/17    978-0-06-239214-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-239216-9    $9.99 This collection opens with “The Attack,” an all-too-timely account of a young Latino man with a disability being mistreated by the police. The twelve tales are […]

Review of Why Am I Me?

Why Am I Me? by Paige Britt; illus. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko Preschool    Scholastic    40 pp.    g 9/17    978-1-338-05314-2    $17.99 A boy and a girl of different skin colors board the same subway car as it travels through a city. As their gazes meet, each child seems to be quietly pondering questions posed […]

Anne with an E series review

“Were those women — Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Hammond — good to you?” asked Marilla, looking at Anne out of the corner of her eye. “O-o-o-h,” faltered Anne…”Oh, they meant to be — I know they meant to be just as good and kind as possible.” —Anne of Green Gables chapter five: “Anne’s History” As […]

Review of When’s My Birthday?

When’s My Birthday? by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Christian Robinson Preschool   Porter/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 9/17    978-1-62672-293-4    $17.99 When it comes to young children, there is one day that supersedes all others: the birthday. Fogliano understands the singular focus children have for this day and captures that intensity by repeating the word birthday with a […]

Martha Speaks Word Spinner app review

Based on Susan Meddaugh’s picture book series about a loquacious canine, PBS Kids’s long-running television series Martha Speaks aims to bolster children’s oral vocabulary. The Martha Speaks Word Spinner (PBS Kids/WGBH, 2013; iOS and Android) app, a “family-style party game — but with a distinctly Martha twist,” entertainingly reinforces that goal. One to four players […]

Review of How to Be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild

How to Be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild by Katherine Roy; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Macaulay/Roaring Brook    48 pp. 9/17    978-1-62672-178-4    $18.99 A baby African elephant is born and immediately begins developing the important skills necessary to survive in the wild. In detailed accounts that integrate descriptions of elephant anatomy, […]

Review of Landscape with Invisible Hand

Landscape with Invisible Hand by M. T. Anderson Middle School, High School    Candlewick    149 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-7636-8789-2    $16.99 Parable, satire, dystopic sci-fi — Anderson’s take on a near future in which alien “vuvv” have colonized America’s economy, land, and airspace has so many shiveringly close resemblances to the contemporary world that it might also […]