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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 Home in the Rain

Home in the Rain by Bob Graham; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    32 pp. 6/17    978-0-7636-9269-8    $16.99 Francie and her pregnant mom are driving home from Grandma’s in a bucketing rain — perilously, it feels. When their little red car is forced off the highway by a huge truck, they (safely) pull off into […]

Picture books for the first day of fall

Happy first day of fall! Heat up some cider or cocoa, snuggle in, and share these autumnal picture books for a perfect celebration of the season. All of the titles below were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide at the time of their publication; reviews reprinted from The Horn Book […]

Review of In Your Hands

In Your Hands by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Brian Pinkney Preschool, Primary    Atheneum    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-4814-6293-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6294-5    $10.99 It looks like a baby-shower book, and it is a baby-shower book — but with a difference. On pastel backgrounds amidst the soft, swirling swoops of Pinkney’s gentle lines and colors, Weatherford […]

Looking for Queer Girls on the Shelves

I was a library fugitive. In elementary school I lost a few library books, and instead of telling anyone, I hid the notices and avoided the public library for most of my adolescent years. I read voraciously from the shelves of my school libraries, but as a self-sufficient grazer, I never had a strong relationship with […]

Sesame Street app review

Can you tell me how to get to…tons of wonderful educational videos and games for preschoolers? Just like the neighborhood itself, the Sesame Street companion app (Sesame Workshop, 2014; iOS and Android) is the place to be: a free account gives a child access to a large selection of games as well as new and […]

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 […]