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Recommended Books

Promoting good books for children and young adults is the heart of The Horn Book’s editorial mission. Archived here are annotated lists of recommended titles.

Horn Book Fanfare 2017

A couple of weeks ago our advertising director Al Berman emailed me with a noodge: “have you guys finished FanFare yet?” Yes, we have, Al, and here it is, and also yes, your creative miscapitalization of Fanfare will live in my steel-trap Scorpio mind forever. But we do hope this list of the Horn Book’s […]

Review of Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961

Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 by Larry Dane Brimner Middle School    Calkins Creek/Boyds Mills    110 pp.    g 11/17    978-1-62979-586-7    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-62979-917-9    $9.99 Brimner (We Are One; Birmingham Sunday; Black & White) revisits the civil rights movement in this book about the 1961 Freedom Ride. Opening with a litany of landmark court […]

Review of Patina

Patina [Track] by Jason Reynolds Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    234 pp. 8/17    978-1-4814-5018-8    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5020-1    $10.99 Back for the second leg of the Track series relay, the Defenders team has passed the baton to title character Patina, nicknamed Patty. First introduced to readers in Ghost (rev. 11/16), Patty has been forced to grow […]

Review of Lines

Lines by Suzy Lee; illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    32 pp. 9/17    978-1-4521-5665-1    $17.99 The front endpapers show a pencil and eraser on a blank page. The main story begins with a solitary figure skater tracing a crisp line across the ice. What follows are wordless pages of elegant choreography as the skater launches […]

Reviews of Selected Books Edited by Iona Opie

I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild’s Pocket Book edited by Iona and Peter Opie; illus. by Maurice Sendak Of Interest to Adults     Candlewick     160 pp. 6/92     1-56402-046-0     $19.99 Generously embellished with illustrations ranging from full-page compositions to vignettes illuminating individual verses, this newly reissued edition of the book which first appeared in […]

Holiday High Notes 2017

We have a little section of books this time of year. They’re new (and some reissued), and filled with winter cheer. Nutcracked by Susan Adrian Intermediate    Random    234 pp. 9/17    978-0-399-55668-5    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55669-2     $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55670-8    $10.99 During each rehearsal for her role as Clara in The Nutcracker, Georgie finds herself — […]

Review of Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story!

Grandma’s Tiny House: A Counting Story! by JaNay Brown-Wood; illus. by Priscilla Burris Preschool    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-58089-712-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-60734-868-9    $9.99 No matter how big Grandma’s extended family grows, she always finds room for relatives and friends. The young, brown-skinned narrator describes in (generally) metered verse a gathering at Grandma’s house. The […]

Review of Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song

Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song by Kathryn Erskine; illus. by Charly Palmer Primary, Intermediate    Farrar    48 pp. 10/17    978-0-374-30301-3    $18.99 The effects of colonialism on the continent of Africa are pernicious and vile; in every country the consequences continue to be real and raw, among them those from apartheid, the […]

From The Guide: Chapter Book Mirrors

In her “Field Notes” column “Lucha Libros: Bilingual Battle of the Books,” AnnMarie Hurtado says, “Lucha Libros started in response to the growing body of research on the importance of bolstering kids’ reading skills by third grade, and from hearing so many parents (especially non-English-speaking parents) tell me how hard it was to motivate their […]

Review of Louis Undercover

Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt; illus. by Isabelle Arsenault; trans. from the French by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou Middle School    Groundwood    160 pp. 10/17    978-1-55498-859-4    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-860-0    $16.95 The collaborators behind Jane, the Fox & Me (rev. 1/14) have crafted another poignant picture book–sized graphic novel, this time about alcoholism, family separation, […]