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Happy Birthday to Us


Last Sunday marked the hundredth anniversary of the opening of Bertha Mahony’s Bookshop for Boys and Girls, whose “Suggestive Purchase List” begat The Horn Book Magazine and everything else we do today to blow the horn for fine books for youth. Lolly Robinson has given us the extraordinary gift of “The Horn Book’s Virtual History […]

On Robin Smith’s “A Letter to Parents” (from Sept/Oct 2006)


When it comes to second-grade reading, veteran teacher Robin Smith has seen it all. As the parent of a second grader, I have seen many things that we won’t go into, but seeing my eight-year-old reading voraciously isn’t one of them. I know he can read; if given the choice, however, he prefers not to. […]

On Crescent Dragonwagon’s “Over and Over”

charlotte zolotow

Published on our website in 2012 as part of The Horn Book’s celebration of Picture Book Month, Over and Over is Crescent Dragonwagon’s achingly beautiful tribute to her mother, legendary children’s book editor and author, Charlotte Zolotow. When Crescent wrote this piece, Charlotte was ninety-seven and in failing health; her mother’s picture book Over and […]

On Angela Johnson’s “Family Is What You Have” (from March/April 1997)


Award-winning author Angela Johnson (three Coretta Scott King awards, the Michael L. Printz Award in 2004, the 1991 Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Award—not to mention being a 2003 MacArthur Fellow), contributed “Family Is What You Have” to the Magazine‘s Family Reading issue in 1997. Her message of embracing difference is as powerful today as […]

On Cynthia Voigt’s “Have a Carrot” (from March/April 1997)


“High on the list of favorite read-aloud books in the house where I was the Mommy is The Runaway Bunny.” Newbery Medalist (for Dicey’s Song) Cynthia Voigt reflects on the classic picture book by Margaret Wise Brown in her article, “Have a Carrot,” published in 1997 in the Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: “Family Reading.” […]

Stay home reading

Family Reading by Liza Woodruff

I love Perri Klass, here offering sensible advocacy of young children reading real books. Shut up, you know what I mean by real. Right after Labor Day, the Horn Book will debut its new blog, Family Reading, devoted to offering book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in […]

FLOTUS booklist


Here are some books for children and young adults about First Ladies of the United States. The titles below were reviewed and recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide at the time of their publication; reviews (with dates) reprinted below. Click here for more recent Hillary Clinton books — there are […]

RIP Lois Duncan


I was sorry to hear about Lois Duncan’s death yesterday. Lois had been writing for young people for a long time–her first novel, Debutante Hill, was published in 1958 (and republished in 2013 by Lizzie Skurnick Books). She is someone whose work I always point towards as a reminder that YA fiction did not begin […]

She’ll be swell, she’ll be great!

Carla Hayden

I am over the moon about President Obama’s nomination of Carla D. Hayden to the position of Librarian of Congress. Carla and I were buddies back in Chicago–we met when she was YA coordinator at CPL and I interviewed her for a paper I was writing for library school, and later I worked for her […]

HB NB February


—Elissa and Katie are ransacking the archives to honor Black History Month with an article every day about African American books, authors, and illustrators. Up today, Yolanda Hare’s call for more books about “more black teens living mundane middle-class lives.” –On February 23rd, I’ll be moderating a panel discussion about the ALA awards and children’s […]