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


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?)


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 […]

Keep coming back

bill and bob,jpg

I’m just catching up with SLJ’s Heavy Metal and our own Calling Caldecott (and I see Betsy Bird has posted her own award predictions, too). All good prep for a terrible prognosticator (who once told the Wall Street Journal that kids were gonna hate Lemony Snicket). I’m particularly enjoying the civilized debate following Martha’s post […]

2013 Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals announced


The 2013 winners of the Carnegie and Kate Greenaway Medals — the UK’s Newbery and Caldecott equivalents — were announced yesterday. The awards are presented annually by the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals (CILIP). Sally Gardner was awarded the Carnegie Medal, recognizing “the writer of an outstanding book for children,” for her novel […]

Dragon-centric fantasy


2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction Honor book Seraphina, written by Rachel Hartman, follows a protagonist navigating the treacherous political territory between dragonkind and human society. For readers whose flights of fancy take the form of dragons, we recommend these recent novels. Dragon Castle by Joseph Bruchac Middle School     Dial     346 pp. 6/11     978-0-8037-3376-3     $16.99 Rashko, […]

Reviews of books by Jaclyn Moriarty


Jaclyn Moriarty’s A Corner of White (Levine/Scholastic) is a 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book winner. Here’s how The Horn Book has reviewed some of her other titles. Spoiler alert: We like them.  The Ghosts of Ashbury High by Jaclyn Moriarty High School     Levine/Scholastic     486 pp. 6/10     978-0-545-06972-4     $18.99     […]

Meta, man

open this little book

2013 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book Open This Little Book by Jesse Klausmeier, illustrated by Suzy Lee (Chronicle Books), takes page-turning to a new level. Here are some other meta-fictional books that bend our minds. A Book by Mordicai Gerstein; illus. by the author Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 4/09    978-1-59643-251-2     $16.95     g “What’s my […]

Picture book surrealism

black dog

Horn Book Magazine reviewer Thom Barthelmess says, of 2013 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book Black Dog by Levi Pinfold (Candlewick): “The traditional feel of the cumulative telling and the art’s surreal precision and fanciful decay combine to offer a curious metaphorical consideration of what it means to be afraid and what it takes to conquer […]