Being a White Guy in Children’s Books

BadBeginning

Don’t get me wrong. White guys working in children’s books have it good. In fact, it would be fair to say we have it pretty much made. But in the wake of host Daniel Handler’s remarks at Wednesday’s National Book Awards, I find myself thinking about the privileged but peculiar position white guys have in […]

Magic School

PrincetonMagic

Continuing my adventures in books for boys grown big, I’m reading Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, which I somehow missed when it came out and only noticed on the recent publication of a second sequel. It’s a story about a nice boy who thinks he’s on the way to Princeton but winds up in magic school […]

Go your own way

smith_100 sideways miles

Teen boys go on journeys both physical (road trip!) and psychological in these affecting YA novels. Finn Easton, protagonist of Andrew Smith’s 100 Sideways Miles, has unusual scars on his back, products of the freak accident that also killed his mother when he was a kid. He has a pretty good life otherwise: his sci-fi […]

Summertime books for middle school boys

lieberman_boys_all

Earlier this summer, my middle school colleagues and I worked on a curriculum project in our district’s comprehensive high school — a busy place during the summer. On one of those days, literally hundreds of our students lined up to participate in a teen summer job fair. As they patiently waited in line, they chatted […]

YA by the numbers

Boys&Girls

Pursuant to our discussion of who YA is for, I asked Horn Book intern Jill to take a look at the most recent issue of the Horn Book Guide and see what she saw. The spring 2014 issue of the Guide contains reviews of virtually every trade hardcover book published for young people during the […]

Summer reading remixed

summmerreadingcircle_300x300

Far too many of our students enter as ninth graders reading woefully below level. Part of the problem, we believe, is due to the Matthew effect. The gist of this theory is that kids who struggle with reading for whatever reason avoid it all costs, causing them to fall even further behind. And of course, […]

Moving moment No. 4

cubscout

                              Me fifty years ago, my last attempt to be a Real Boy.

Boys’ life

herrndorf_why we took the car

A heartrending and hilarious junior-high road-trip novel; a story about stepping up in dire straits; an exploration of grief, false exteriors, and hope; and a riveting depiction of a boy feigning manhood. These new novels featuring teenage boys offer coming-of-age drama with real heart. Two teens abandon their lackluster lives and hit the Autobahn in […]

Picture book father-son reading recommendations

goldilocks and the three dinosaurs

Celebrate Father’s Day with a good picture book! Here are our recommendations for fathers and their sons — or daughters — to read together. What picture book would you recommend for a father-son read? (See our YA mother-daughter reading list here.) Katie: One of my own fond childhood memories is listening to my dad read […]

Reading Along the Gender Continuum

10,000 Dresses

Having grown up in the Free to Be generation, I’ve tried as a parent to steer clear of limiting gender norms in raising, and reading to, 
my son. We’ve read about boys and girls of all types, and (just as 
Hilary Rappaport describes in her May/June 2012 Horn Book article “On the Rights of Reading […]