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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.

Supernaturally good scares

From a collection of ghost stories-within-a-ghost-story to classic tales of the macabre reimagined for a new format, these new books offer a fresh take on the usual suspects of supernatural horror. Graphic novelist Gareth Hinds adapts three of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems (“Annabel Lee,” “The Bells,” and “The Raven”) and four stories (“The Masque of […]

Review of Genuine Fraud

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart High School    Delacorte    265 pp. 9/17    978-0-385-74477-5    $18.99 Library ed.  978-0-375-99184-4    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-0-385-39138-2    $10.99 As soon as Lockhart’s latest intoxicating psychological thriller (We Were Liars, rev. 5/14) opens in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, readers will be perversely enamored of eighteen-year-old narrator Jule. She’s cold — sociopathic, even — […]

Updated booklist for Indigenous Peoples Day

It’s Indigenous Peoples Day! We urge you — today and all year — to seek out and share books respectfully representing and honoring the multitude of indigenous North American peoples and cultures. For an extensive resource by both a cultural insider and a children’s literature scholar, please visit Debbie Reese’s website American Indians in Children’s […]

Review of Rapunzel

Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin; illus. by the author Primary    Peachtree    32 pp. 10/17    978-1-68263-003-7    $16.95 Woollvin (Little Red, rev. 3/16) offers another wryly comic rewrite of a Grimms favorite, updating it with a can-do, self-rescuing heroine — there’s no prince in sight. Rapunzel resides in a tower, trapped by a witch who visits daily to […]

Review of Long Way Down

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds High School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    306 pp.    g 10/17    978-1-4814-3825-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-3827-8    $10.99 Fifteen-year-old Will, immobilized with grief when his older brother Shawn is shot and killed, slowly comes to mull The Rules in his head. There are three: don’t cry, don’t snitch, and “if someone you love / gets […]

Review of Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México

Danza!: Amalia Hernández and El Ballet Folklórico de México by Duncan Tonatiuh; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Abrams    32 pp. 8/17    978-1-4197-2532-6    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-68335-110-8    $15.54 Tonatiuh (Separate Is Never Equal, rev. 7/14; Funny Bones, rev. 11/15) tells the story of Amalia Hernández (1917–2000), founder of Mexico’s most famous dance company, El Ballet […]

Review of Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen

Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence; illus. by Elizabet Vuković Primary    Farrar    115 pp. 7/17    978-0-374-30410-2    $15.99 Paper ed.  978-0-374-30834-6    $5.99 e-book ed.  978-0-374-30412-6    $4.25 Jasmine’s favorite holiday is New Year’s. Relatives gather at her home in Los Angeles to celebrate, and her beloved Obaachan comes all the way from Japan to visit. […]

Review of Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals

Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals by Mo Willems; illus. by the author Preschool    Hyperion    32 pp. 5/17    978-1-4847-6746-7    $15.99 An offstage narrator addresses listeners using the language of the hospitality industry: “THANK YOU FOR JOINING US. / Your arrival has been anxiously awaited…PLEASE / ENJOY YOUR STAY.” Our world is presented as a cruise […]

From The (Ghoulish) Guide: Horn BOO!

  In addition to Boo Who? and Creepy Pair of Underwear, reviewed in the September/October 2017 issue, here are nine new picture books our staff thinks are unboolievably right for Halloween reading. Clickard, Carrie  Magic for Sale 32 pp.     Holiday     2017     ISBN 978-0-8234-3559-3 e-book ISBN 978-0-8234-3910-2 K–3  Illustrated by John Shelley. In a story told […]

Review of Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters by Michael Mahin; illus. by Evan Turk Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp. 9/17    978-1-4814-4349-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4350-0    $10.99 McKinley “Muddy Waters” Morganfield (1915–1983) is known for his role in establishing the musical genre known as the “Chicago blues.” This picture-book biography begins with his childhood in […]