Review of The Hired Girl


 The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz Middle School   Candlewick   392 pp. 9/15   978-0-7636-7818-0   $17.99 e-book ed. 978-0-7636-7943-9   $17.99 In 1911, spirited fourteen-year-old Joan, the only girl in a family of three boys plus a verbally abusive father (her weak-of-constitution mother has died), musters her courage and leaves her rural Pennsylvania home for Baltimore, the […]

Review of The Rest of Us Just Live Here


The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness High School   HarperTeen   320 pp. 10/15   978-0-06-240316-2   $17.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-06-240318-6   $10.99 Ness’s latest offering is a fantasy novel — and simultaneously a fantasy-novel send-up — whose true focus is on its cast of innocent bystanders. Mikey’s town is “just like your town,” except […]

REALLY scary middle grade


Horrifying Hymenoptera, frightening faeries, malicious magick, and creepy corpses come out to play in these chilling middle-grade novels. Steve’s baby brother comes back from the hospital sick (“there was something wrong with his heart and his eyes and his brain”) and needing lots of care, so his parents don’t pay much attention when Steve develops […]

Pick your poison

tucholke_slasher girls & monster boys

A chilling short story collection, two suspenseful novels, and one book that’s a bit of both: there’s something here for every young adult horror fan. Each of the fourteen short tales of horror in Slasher Girls & Monster Boys, selected by April Genevieve Tucholke, is inspired by at least one other story, film, or song: […]

Not-scary magic

heppermann_sadie's story

Not everyone wants the pants scared off of them on Halloween. Some people like their witches sweet and their HobGrackles cuddly. Sadie’s Story, the first in the Backyard Witch series by Christine Heppermann and Ron Koertge, introduces readers to nine-year-old Sadie, her cat — and the small witch who takes up residence in the plastic […]

Review of Sunny Side Up

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Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm; 
illus. by Matthew Holm; color by Lark Pien Intermediate   Graphix/Scholastic   218 pp. 9/15   978-0-545-74165-1   $23.99 Paper ed. 978-0-545-74166-8   $12.99   g e-book ed. 978-0-545-74167-5   $12.99 Set largely during the summer of 1976, this semiautobiographical graphic novel from the brother-and-sister team behind the Babymouse series includes an […]

Review of Old Wolf


Old Wolf by Avi; illus. by Brian Floca Intermediate, Middle School   Jackson/Atheneum   147 pp. 8/15   978-1-4424-9921-8   $16.99 e-book ed. 978-1-4424-9924-9   $10.99 As winter wanes in the mountain regions of Colorado, Nashoba, an aging wolf, struggles to find fresh game for his pack, all the while desperately trying to hold on to his alpha status. He […]

2015 BGHB Fiction Day

Cartwheeling in Thunderstorms

Today we’re honoring our BGHB Fiction Award winners! Read reviews of all of the 2015 fiction winners here; see below for more web extras to celebrate them. Join us on October 2–3, 2015, for the Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium: Transformations, featuring several 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award recipients. The 2015 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction […]

Katherine Applegate on Crenshaw


In our September/October issue, HB editorial assistant Shoshana Flax asked Katherine Applegate about the impetus for her touching new novel Crenshaw. Read the full starred review of Crenshaw here. Shoshana Flax: Which came first: the idea of writing about an imaginary friend or about a boy and his family dealing with poverty? How did one […]

Review of Lair of Dreams

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Lair of Dreams: A Diviners Novel by Libba Bray High School   Little, Brown   691 pp. 8/15   978-0-316-12604-5   $19.00   g e-book ed. 978-0-316-36488-1   $9.99 Seventeen-year-old flapper Evie O’Neill (The Diviners, rev. 11/12) and friends confront another supernatural threat. As before, Bray follows multiple characters, many of them also paranormally gifted; while Evie (now a radio star […]