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Goodbye, Jim

I was sorry to hear on Monday about the death of James Cross Giblin, editor, publisher, author, and friend–to me and countless others in the children’s book business. Back before it was even a Thing, Jim was writing narrative nonfiction about the damnedest things–windows, milk–and had the gift for conveying his own enthusiasm for his topics […]

Peter Dickinson, 1927-2015

One-of-a-kind British writer Peter Dickinson died in December at age eighty-eight. His work cannot be easily categorized: a prolific author, he wrote everything from adult detective novels to speculative YA science fiction to heart-stopping adventures to intriguing almost-fantasies. The protagonists in his work for children range from an American-missionary boy who finds himself trekking through […]

Reviews of select titles by Peter Dickinson

Heartsease by Peter Dickinson; illus. by Nathan Goldstein Little      223 pp. 1969     $4.95 A companion to The Weathermonger, set in a future time in England after the “Changes” which caused man to retrogress to dark medieval ways and to outlaw machines. Again, witchcraft is an element in the story, and again some of the few […]

Children’s Books Boston presents!

Join Children’s Books Boston for a special theater event with author Gregory Maguire! Thursday, December 17th | 7 pm Central Square Theater 450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge Be part of a special CBB night at the theater, featuring two children’s books brought to life on the stage. MATCHLESS, written by Gregory Maguire, is a rekindling of […]

Come fly with me

This coming Saturday evening, I’ll be interviewing Gary Schmidt about his new novel, Orbiting Jupiter, at the Peabody School in Cambridge, sponsored by Porter Square Books. It’s a very different kind of book from this author, and I am eager to talk with him. I hope you can join us!

Oh look, another newsletter

Look for The Horn Book’s new quarterly newsletter, WHAT MAKES A GOOD…? debuting on August 26th with “What Makes Good Narrative Nonfiction?” The issue features Five Questions for Steve Sheinkin, an essay about how to select NNF by the Junior Library Guild’s Deborah Brittain Ford, and brief reviews of our choices for the best narrative nonfiction published for kids […]

Picture book problems

Just one more story about Miles–after deciphering the peculiar mysteries of the Thank-You Note, he wanted to hear a story, so for reasons of propinquity as much as anything else (Richard handed a copy to me lazing on the couch), I started in on Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel. Elizabeth Bluemle at ShelfTalker has […]

Putting it together

After ALA, we had a couple of days to visit with our kids and grandchildren up in sunny Marin. One afternoon, Miles (just turned six) and I were walking back from the playground when a friendly neighbor lady approached and pressed an envelope into Miles’s hands. “Oh, I know what this is,” he said, “it’s […]

Jack and Hazel

WHY I have to go to Chicago to see Jack Gantos when he lives only a mile away from my office is a question I’ll happily ignore to hear his Zena Sutherland Lecture at the Chicago Public Library tomorrow night. Join us if you can; otherwise you can read Jack’s speech in the Horn Book this […]

What ELSE do you do?: five questions for T. A. Barron

Author T. A. Barron instituted the Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes in 2000. Named for the author’s mother, the Prize is given annually to fifteen young people “who have made a significant positive difference to people and/or our environment.” Each winner receives $5,000 toward his or her work or higher education. Barron’s latest fantasy […]