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Choosing Books

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

Books in the Home: What My First Grader Taught Me About Reading

What does it mean to learn to read? As a former first-grade teacher and a professor of literacy education, I have constructed plenty of answers over the years. But witnessing the process as a parent has led me to challenge any overly simplistic explanations and assumptions I had held. The most important things I’ll probably ever […]

August 2017 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Picture Books

Magnets Push, Magnets Pull by David A. Adler; illus. by Anna Raff (Holiday) This informative, interactive exploration of magnets and magnetism encourages readers to track down materials and investigate on their own. Each physics concept is carefully explained at just the right level and anchored in visible phenomena. Adler addresses common misconceptions or skillfully constructs […]

August 2017 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Recommended Reading

Picture Books (click through for reviews) Magnets Push, Magnets Pull by David A. Adler, illus. by Anna Raff, Holiday Lucía the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, illus. by Alyssa Bermudez, Pow! The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain, illus. by Yuval Zommer, Quarto This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives […]

Review of And Then There Were Four

And Then There Were Four by Nancy Werlin High School    Dial    416 pp. 6/17    978-0-8037-4072-3    $18.99 After a three-book detour through the fantasy genre (Impossible, rev. 9/08, and sequels), Werlin (The Rules of Survival, rev. 9/06) returns to her mystery/thriller roots for another psychological page-turner. Five students at a private boarding school are called together […]

Review of How It Feels to Be a Boat

How It Feels to Be a Boat by James Kwan; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Houghton    40 pp.    g 7/17    978-0-544-71533-2    $16.99 Kwan provides a warm, kooky existential exploration of what it means to be a someone. (The opening dedication “To Chloe: Welcome to Earth!” seemingly provides his motivation.) A second-person narrative speaks directly […]

Review of Forest World

Forest World by Margarita Engle Intermediate    Atheneum    195 pp.    g 8/17    978-1-4814-9057-3    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9059-7    $10.99 Eleven-year-old Edver wishes his cryptozoologist mother would pay attention to him, instead of traveling the world looking for rare creatures in danger of becoming extinct. Even when she’s home in Miami, she doesn’t seem to notice that Edver […]

Measure Up! app review

Measure Up! by PBS Kids (2016; iOS and Android) introduces concepts of measurement in a series of activities and videos based on its educational television shows. In a frame narrative, programming “hosts” Dot, Del, and Dee explore an island. Each of three locations on the island highlights a specific type of dimension measurement: “Treetop City” […]

Review of The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano

The Music of Life: Bartolomeo Cristofori & the Invention of the Piano by Elizabeth Rusch; illus. by Marjorie Priceman Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp. 4/17    978-1-4814-4484-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4485-9    $10.99 Readers take a journey to Italy during the closing years of the Renaissance to meet a man whose invention is better known than his […]

Review of It All Comes Down to This

It All Comes Down to This by Karen English Intermediate, Middle School    Clarion    368 pp.    g 7/17    978-0-544-83957-1    $16.99 The daughter of an art gallery–owning mother and a lawyer father, twelve-year-old Sophie has advantages most children her age do not. However, the summer of 1965 in Los Angeles brings challenges no amount of money can […]

Review of The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way)

The Little Red Cat Who Ran Away and Learned His ABC’s (the Hard Way) by Patrick McDonnell; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    48 pp.    g 9/17    978-0-31650246-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-50247-4    $9.99 Waking up on the title page, a little red cat spies the open door and heads out for some fun. […]