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From The Guide: #goodtrouble

Congressman and civil rights hero John Lewis, coauthor of the March graphic novel memoir trilogy, preached to his chickens as a child (see right); in the July/August 2017 issue, Lewis’s March coauthor Andrew Aydin describes their mission to keep “preaching” to a new generation. The following nonfiction picture books about the civil rights movement and […]

From The Guide: Darkly Funny YA

When Andrew Smith’s book Grasshopper Jungle won the 2014 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction, it was praised for its blending of catastrophic sci-fi with angsty teen-humor. The following books likewise rely heavily on dark comedy to appeal to the snarky, self-referential nature of teenagers themselves, creating an appealing subgenre for self-aware readers looking to […]

From The Guide: Art Appreciation

Rita Auerbach’s extended review of Molly Bang’s Picture This 25th anniversary edition took me back to my Simmons grad school days. I remember the eye-opening experience of reading Picture This for the first time — how it forever altered the way I “read” and examine art and illustration. The following books, all recommended by The […]

From The Guide: Wonder-full World

In Miss Rumphius, Alice’s grandfather told her to “do something to make the world more beautiful.” Now more than ever we need to encourage children’s interest in, connection to, and responsibility for the Earth and its inhabitants. As contributor Kathleen T. Isaacs says in “Fostering Wonder,” “When we share picture books that explore the natural […]

From The Guide: American Politics 2016

After months and months and months of campaigning, the presidential election is upon us. The following books, all recommended in recent and forthcoming issues of The Horn Book Guide, teach middle-graders about the American political system, providing some context for what the candidates have been fighting about. —Elissa Gershowitz Senior Editor, The Horn Book Magazine […]

From The Guide: First-Day-of-School Picture Books

The first day of school is a momentous event, one often anticipated with a mix of worry and excitement. School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, illustrated by Christian Robinson, is one of our recent favorites and received a starred review in the March/April 2016 Magazine. The following picture books, recommended in the spring […]

From The Guide: Celebrating Music

Troy Andrews’s Trombone Shorty, for which Bryan Collier took home the 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award (read his acceptance speech), is an inspirational musician’s-origin story. It’s also a celebration of music’s power to transform and uplift performers and to open doors. For more books to foster a love of and respect for music for […]

From The Guide: Picture Books in Translation

In her article “Translator: Trafficking Between Cultures,” Elena Abós compares translators to travel guides, successfully delivering a book from one culture to another. With universal relevance and appeal, the following picture books — all originally published in languages other than English and all recommended by The Horn Book Guide — exemplify sound “culture trafficking.” —Katrina […]

From The Guide: Narrative Nonfiction

The trending genre of narrative nonfiction is one we have followed closely — see for example our August 2015 What Makes Good Narrative Nonfiction e-newsletter and Marc Aronson’s Writer’s Page article “What Is Narrative Nonfiction?” The Horn Book Guide’s wide-lens view on children’s publishing makes narrative nonfiction’s current popularity and usefulness abundantly clear. All recommended […]

From The Guide: Spanish-Language and Bilingual Books

In her article “On Writing the American Familia,” author Meg Medina speaks to the language “dilemma” of Latino families: “Some of us speak Spanish, and some of us don’t — sometimes all under the same roof.” Written in Spanish; both English and Spanish; or Spanglish (of which Medina is an “unabashed fan”), these picture books […]