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Who the Wild Things Are: The Feral Child in Fiction

gerstein_victor

by Mordicai Gerstein Stories about feral children have always fascinated me. As a child, I read what I could find, and as an adult I found myself writing them. For me, part of the purpose of writing is to find out why a subject intrigues me. Why the feral child? I first encountered him when […]

One Childhood, One World

HBM cover nov 1999

On an evening in November 1930, during Children’s Book Week, Bertha Mahony arranged a festive Mexican Dinner in honor of the authors and illustrators of the season’s bumper crop of books on a Mexican theme. The most imposing, surely, was René d’Harnoncourt, illustrator of The Painted Pig, who was not only a splendid six-foot-six but […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Lee Kingman

Kingman book plate

By Lee Kingman My earliest memory of Bertha Mahony, before she added Miller to her name, begins with her feet. Small feet, proportioned to her small frame. As I was a lanky nine-year-old, I was almost as tall as she was. Her lack of size, however, had nothing to do with her authority, which was […]

Realms of Gold and Granite

Horn Book magazine cover

The Bookshop for Boys and Girls was born, in a twelvemonth, with a pedigree and a distinguished list of patrons. Its role was largely determined from the outset. But life, real life, is also a string of accidents. Bertha Mahony was thirty-three and restless after ten years as a good right-hand at Boston’s Women’s Educational […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Elizabeth Orton Jones

Elizabeth Orton Jones

by Elizabeth Orton Jones Tchrr-r-r-r! The phone would ring. I’d answer, and after a considerable while I’d hear a faint little quavery voice, as if someone were calling me from beyond the Pleiades…“E-li-i-izabeth?” It would be my dear friend Bertha Mahony Miller, calling from Ashburnham, Massachusetts, about seventeen miles from Mason, New Hampshire, where I […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Lee Kingman

Kingman book plate

By Lee Kingman My earliest memory of Bertha Mahony, before she added Miller to her name, begins with her feet. Small feet, proportioned to her small frame. As I was a lanky nine-year-old, I was almost as tall as she was. Her lack of size, however, had nothing to do with her authority, which was […]

Realms of Gold and Granite

Cover of the Horn Book September 1999 issue

The Bookshop for Boys and Girls was born, in a twelvemonth, with a pedigree and a distinguished list of patrons. Its role was largely determined from the outset. But life, real life, is also a string of accidents. Bertha Mahony was thirty-three and restless after ten years as a good right-hand at Boston’s Women’s Educational […]

Editorial: Potter’s Field

On this occasion of our 75th anniversary issue, I’m reminded what a constant presence the past is at the Horn Book offices. When, as we do here with some regularity, we invoke past editors of the Horn Book, we don’t bother with chronology. They aren’t Back Then but (with the exception of my immediate predecessor) […]

Horn Book Reminscence from Nancy Sheridan

reminisces_square_header

By Nancy Sheridan It was December of 1979, and Susan Cooper, Margaret Hodges, David McCord, Erik Haugaard, Jill Paton Walsh, and Norma Farber were contributors to the Horn Book. Not a bad line-up. And I was continuing an editorial internship that would eventually lead to the job of editorial assistant and, later, assistant editor. Memories […]

Horn Book Reminiscence from Karen Klockner

Karen Klockner

By Karen Klockner I recently discovered a paper I wrote in fourth grade about the history of the alphabet. I loved the letter forms, the symbols, the idea of historical change reflected in the characters. So it amused me to think that years later, as a graduate student in Boston, the alphabet came to play […]