Books to Unite the Digitally Divided Family

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Ladies and gentlemen, winners of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, people of the book…

We gather to ask our annual question: “Can there still be books for the young?” Even now, in these darkening days, while Barnes & Noble eats independent booksellers, and Amazon eats Barnes & Noble. New problems to mask the old ones we never solved, since you can still sit out twelve years of school in the “remedial” program not because you’re “learning disabled” but because you aren’t home at night. Can our books still tell their stories in the age of the “digitally reduced attention span”? Can we still reach a generation whose own parents lost eye contact with them long ago? In the full knowledge that there is no app for eye contact…

Oh, yes. The answer is yes because never have the young needed us more. Never has a young generation on their way to adulthood lived this far from adults. Never has a generation needed an adult voice more, if only on the page and well disguised.

Review of Extra Yarn

Extra Yarn

Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins 40 pp. 1/12 978-0-06-195338-5 $16.99 g When young Annabelle (see p. 5) finds a small box containing yarn of every color, she does what any self-respecting knitter would do: she knits herself a sweater. Then she knits a sweater for her dog. […]

Review of Cold Cereal

Cold Cereal

Cold Cereal by Adam Rex; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins 422 pp. 2/12 978-0-06-206002-0 $16.99 g In the town of Goodborough, home to the Goodco cereal company, new kid Scott Doe is seeing things. Specifically, a rabbit-headed man, a unicat, and a leprechaun named Mick. His only friends, brainy twins […]

Letter to the Editor from Mary Alice Garber, January/February 2012

November/December 2011 Horn Book Magazine cover

November/December 2011 Horn Book I am one of the buyers, along with Jewell Stoddard, for the children and teens’ department at the Politics & Prose bookstore. The picture book “Proclamation!” published in the November issue and your editorial (“The Sign on Sendak’s Door”) echo what Jewell and I feel strongly. I just shared the “advertisement […]

Letter to the Editor from Margaret Bush, January/February 2012

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September/October 2011 Horn Book Barbara Bader’s series of articles on the “second generation” of prominent librarians in the children’s services field (“Virginia Haviland,” January/February 2011; “Augusta Baker,” May/June 2011; “Mildred Batchelder,” September/October 2011) has been enjoyable to read. For the small number of us who worked with these librarians or knew them, Bader stirs up […]

In Which We’ve Done Only Half the Work

Roger Sutton caricature by Ed Bryant

But let us here consider the books in need—those books for youth that make librarians both happy and industrious. When I look at our 2011 Fanfare list, beginning on page 10, I see an array of thirty books whose fortunes will largely depend on you. Yes, some of the choices have already established themselves (Press Here and I Want My Hat Back are on this week’s New York Times bestsellers list), and good for them. But most of the books on our Fanfare list will need your attention first if they hope to find the attention of young readers.

Horn Book Magazine — January/February 2012

January/February 2012 Horn Book Magazine cover

Table of Contents Features 10 Horn Book Fanfare Our choices for the best books of 2011. 18 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Gallery 2011 Celebrating this year’s winners and honor books. Steve Sheinkin 19 The Notorious Benedict Arnold Salley Mavor 25 Pocketful of Posies Tim Wynne-Jones 33 Blink & Caution Richard Peck 39 Books to Unite […]

Present Tensions, or It’s All Happening Now

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When the 2010 Man Booker shortlist was announced in the UK, the Daily Telegraph ran this headline: “Philip Pullman and Philip Hensher criticise Booker Prize for including present tense novels.” In fact, what Pullman said, as he explained in an article in the Guardian, was that “the use of the present tense in fiction had […]

The Notorious Benedict Arnold: Author Steve Sheinkin’s 2011 BGHB Nonfiction Award Speech

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Accepting the 2011 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction, author Steve Sheinkin delivered this speech on September 30, 2011. I’m extremely honored to accept this award, but there’s another reason this book is incredibly important to me. Writing it saved me from a twelve-year obsession. I’ll give you the abridged version. I visit schools a […]

Paranormal Romance

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Dying for some paranormal romance? These swoon-worthy YA stories of supernatural love, all recommended by The Horn Book Guide, are sure to melt hearts and raise spirits. —Elissa Gershowitz, Managing Editor, The Horn Book Guide Cremer, Andrea  Nightshade 454 pp. Philomel 2010. isbn 978-0-399-25482-6 YA  Werewolf Calla defies her pack by saving human Shay from […]