Elizabeth Wein on Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

From the May/June 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Roger asks Code Name Verity author Elizabeth Wein about writing books and flying airplanes. Read the full review of Code Name Verity here. Roger Sutton: You’re a pilot—what has flying taught you about writing? Elizabeth Wein: As a student pilot, the lengthy “outside aircraft checks” […]

Review of Code Name Verity

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein High School    Hyperion    337 pp. 5/12    978-1-4231-5219-4    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4231-5325-2    $16.99 Wein’s exceptional — downright sizzling — abilities as a writer of historical adventure fiction are spectacularly evident in this taut, captivating story of two young women, spy and pilot, during World War II. Wein gives us […]

If Babies Ran The Horn Book, Part 1 of 4

If Babies Ran the Horn Book...

Review of Lady Hahn and Her Seven Friends

Lady Hahn and her Seven Friends

Lady Hahn and 
Her Seven Friends by Yumi Heo; illus. by the author Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    32 pp. 4/12    978-0-8050-4127-9    $16.99    g “Long, long ago when tigers still smoked pipes, there lived Lady Hahn.” Heo’s story, which originates from an unknown Korean author’s nineteenth-century classical essay, reads like a folktale: a straightforward telling, a simple refrain, […]

The Horn Book Magazine — May/June 2012

May/June 2012 Horn Book Magazine cover

     Table of Contents   Features Roger Sutton 10 What Hath Harry Wrought? How Harry Potter changed children’s publishing. Uma Krishnaswami 19 No Joke! Yes, multicultural fiction can be funny. Barbara Bader 27 Cleveland and Pittsburgh Create a Profession Early children’s librarianship in two cities of the industrial heartland. Jane Yolen 35 A Children’s […]

Editorial: We Belong Together

Roger Sutton caricature by Ed Bryant

Like you (I’m guessing), I felt my soul give a little lurch at the news that Encyclopaedia Britannica was getting out of the book business to go online, all the time. Part of my reaction was nostalgia—when I was a child we owned the first four or five volumes of some encyclopedia that my parents […]

No Joke! Humor and Culture in Middle-Grade Books

Right Ho, Jeeves

When I was a child, growing up in the various parts of India to which my father’s job took us, books were my friends, and I liked them funny. I discovered my grandfather’s P. G. Wodehouse collection at the age of eleven and was at once enchanted by the amiable lunacy of fictional worlds like […]

What Makes a Good YA Dystopian Novel?


Dystopias are characterized as a society that is a counter-utopia, a repressed, controlled, restricted system with multiple social controls put into place via government, military, or a powerful authority figure. Issues of surveillance and invasive technologies are often key, as is a consistent emphasis that this is not a place where you’d want to live. […]

Review of Oh No! Not Again! (Or How I Built a Time Machine to Save History) (Or at Least My History Grade)

Oh No! Not Again!

Oh No! Not Again!: (Or How I Built a Time Machine to Save History) (Or at Least My History Grade) by Mac Barnett; illus. by Dan Santat Primary Disney-Hyperion 40 pp. 6/12 978-1-4231-4912-5 $17.99 g Barnett and Santat reunite with this companion to Oh No! (Or How My Science Project Destroyed the World). This time […]

What Hath Harry Wrought?

Sutton bookstack

Just to get a sense of historical perspective, when I last spoke at this festival, there was no euro, no iPods, no Wikipedia, no Facebook; Pluto was still a planet; and I was still drinking. More to the point—today’s point—is that Harry Potter had yet to appear on our side of the pond. That would […]