Fiction Reviews of 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction Winner Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith High School     Dutton     390 pp. 2/14     978-0-525-42603-5     $18.99 Unfortunate coincidences involving sixteen-year-old Austin and his best friend Robby lead to the unleashing of gigantic, ravenous praying mantises related to a diabolical scientist’s decades-old experiments. Austin’s love for and attraction to both his girlfriend and […]

Picture Book Reviews of 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Winner and Honor Books

brown_mr tiger goes wild

Picture Book Winner Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Little, Brown     48 pp. 9/13     978-0-316-20063-9     $18.00 Mr. Tiger walks upright and wears a top hat and a handsome coat with a bow tie, fitting in with the rest of society. But his orange fur provides the only spot […]

They ARE judging you

idol

The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award judges will be meeting in Boston this weekend to make their decisions. Anyone have any inside dirt? I’ll be announcing the winners on Saturday, May 31st at BEA, 1:00PM in the Librarians’ Lounge at Javits.

The elephant was in the room

elmersocks

I can’t decide if the p.r. disaster that was the Children’s Choice Awards last night is exacerbated or ameliorated by the fact that the Children’s Book Council website is down this morning (and, according to Facebook) has been offline since the announcements last night.(Edit 11.45AM:It’s back up.) I do know that the CBCBook Twitter account […]

Moving moments No. 2

TernRock

Cindy found this one, The Light at Tern Rock by Julia Sauer, a Newbery Honor Book in 1952–and originally published in the Horn Book Magazine in 1949. This would seem to break the award’s rule about “original work,” that the “text is presented here for the first time and has not been previously published elsewhere […]

“Why did THAT book win?”

MVPandME

While it was more often a question of “why did that book LOSE?” (Martha, above, is expressing her incredulity at the ALA shutout of The Thing About Luck) the discussion at last night’s Children’s Books Boston panel about awards was lively. Cindy Ritter has a full recap over at Out of the Box. And: I […]

We’ll never know

 . . . but that won’t stop speculation. While the winners (and honor books) of ALA’s Newbery and Caldecott Awards posed no surprises in themselves, everyone wants to know what happened to Mr. Tiger. As Calling Caldecott blogger Robin Smith sensibly says, it’s likely that the committee simply found four other books it liked more. […]

Is it still formula fiction if you’ve never read anything like it?

I’m still thinking about “literary fiction” and what it might mean in the context of books for young people. The National Book Awards named their shortlist of finalists yesterday, and I’m guessing those lucky ducks can serve as at least a pretty good approximation of what researchers Kidd and Castano were looking for when they […]

Science, My Aunt Fanny

baby_mozart

Congratulations to Alice Munro. What should I read by her? You might guess from that question that I am not the world’s heaviest lifter of “literary fiction,” and am not even sure I know it when I see it. The New York Times recently reported on a study published in Science which purported to suggest […]

More, more, more (How do you like it?)

spitz

So I see the Man Booker Prize is opening itself up to Americans. I wonder why; my cynical side believes it has less to do with enhancing “its prestige and reputation through expansion” and more to do with trying to grab a piece of American publishing money (such as it is) through what has euphemistically […]