Jacqueline Woodson, why are you so poet?


When the Cambridge Public Library announced that Brown Girl Dreaming would be this year’s Cambridge Reads book I was beyond thrilled. Now Jacqueline Woodson and I would be best friends! I’d say, Jacqueline, you are my hero, thank you for your perspective, your advocacy and for creating windows and mirrors for my students! Then she […]

Middle-Grade Madness recapped

Rebecca Stead and me.

Shoshana has written up an excellent recap of last night’s goings-on at the Cambridge Public Library. I’ll just add my thanks to the panelists, who were all engaged, enthusiastic, and nice to me and each other. (Jeanne Birdsall brought along a belt for me to use if things got out of hand, but luckily I […]

Come early

Concert Crowd

Cambridge Public Library is telling me they expect to run out of room at Middle Grade Madness, tonight at the Main Library at 6:00PM; show up early to be guaranteed admission. Youth services director Julie Roach is legendary for the ease with which she firmly shuts the door on even the most well-connected mom trying to […]

Middle Grade Madness


Next Monday, September 28th, I’ll be moderating a panel of five middle-grade Random House authors at the Cambridge Public Library at 6:00PM. Participating authors include: –Jeanne Birdsall, talking about THE PENDERWICKS IN SPRING –Bruce Coville, DIARY OF A MAD BROWNIE –Alice Hoffman, NIGHTBIRD –R.J. Palacio, AUGIE & ME –Rebecca Stead, GOODBYE STRANGER Quite the lineup, no? […]

Marcus and McCloskey

Make Way for Ducklings, by Nancy Schon

Leonard S. Marcus, whose look at Robert McCloskey’s emergence as an illustrator appears in our current issue, will be speaking on the occasion of the illustrator’s hundredth  anniversary at the Cambridge Public Library on Monday, September 15th at 7:00PM. The Horn Book is happy to co-sponsor this event, and Porter Square Books will be on […]

Early Notes on Early Learning


From Dr. Robert Needlman explaining the difference between babies falling asleep and learning how to go to asleep, through Cambridge librarians Julie Roach and Beth McIntyre coaching us through selecting books for preschool story time to Anna Dewdney using photographs to demonstrate how to transform unpleasant expressions on family members faces into picture book gold, […]

Last Friday and this Thursday

Boston was certainly an eerie place last Friday. I had gone to bed early the night before, missing all the news about the pursuit of the bombers, and was catching up early Friday morning when the news flashed across my phone that the T was shut down. I texted the Horn Book staff to wait […]

Five Questions for Julie Roach


Cambridge Public Library youth services manager (and Horn Book reviewer) Julie Roach will be discussing library services for preschool children at our Fostering Lifelong Learners event (free; you should come) at CPL on April 25th. I asked her to share some of her thoughts on serving this (very) particular audience. (I think her answer to […]

Five Questions for Kitty Flynn

Chloe and Jakob

At our upcoming Fostering Lifelong Learners: Prescribing Books for Early Childhood Education conference, Horn Book Guide Executive Editor Kitty Flynn will be leading a presentation about how the Horn Book evaluates and reviews preschool books. This is one aspect of her work that also engages her off the clock: Kitty and her husband are parents […]

Five Questions for Dr. Robert Needlman of Reach Out and Read


It was exciting to realize that emergent literacy was a field that was not spoken of at all in the pediatric literature. Imagine that! A whole area of crucial child development which doctors seemed utterly unaware of. It was an opportunity that could not be passed up.