Review of The Screaming Staircase

screaming staircase

The Screaming Staircase [Lockwood & Co.] by Jonathan Stroud Intermediate, Middle School     Disney-Hyperion     374 pp. 9/13     978-1-4231-6491-3     $16.99     g With a morbidly cheery tone and sure-footed establishment of characters and setting, Stroud (the Bartimaeus trilogy; Heroes of the Valley, rev. 1/09) kicks off a new series that is part procedural and part ghost story, with […]

Review of Boxers & Saints

boxers & saints

Boxers & Saints Boxers by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     328 pp. 10/13     978-1-59643-359-5     $18.99 Saints by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien Middle School, High School     First Second/Roaring Brook     172 pp. 10/13     978-1-59643-689-3     $15.99 Boxed set […]

Chris Raschka on When Lions Roar

Chris Raschka

In the September/October 2013 Horn Book Magazine, reviewer K. T. Horning asked Chris Raschka about illustrating scary emotional situations in When Lions Roar. Read the review here. K. T. Horning: For many young children, a roaring parent is even scarier than a roaring lion. How did you approach the challenge of depicting “When daddies yell!” […]

Review of When Lions Roar

when lions roar

When Lions Roar by Robie H. Harris; illus. by Chris Raschka Preschool     Orchard/Scholastic     32 pp. 10/13     978-0-545-11283-3     $16.99     g A young child (of indeterminate gender) is frightened by loud noises on a trip to the zoo — from screeching monkeys and booming thunder to yelling parents and blaring sirens, each one simply described using the […]

Horn BOO!

vampire baby

Trick or treat! Enjoy our inaugural selection of new books for Halloween, with reviews written by the Horn Book staff. For more spooky books for middle graders, see “Slightly Spooky Middle-Grade Tales.” Vampire Baby by Kelly Bennett; illus. by Paul Meisel Primary     Candlewick     32 pp. 7/13     978-0-7636-4691-2     $15.99 A boy describes […]

From the Guide: Slightly Spooky Middle-Grade Tales

wednesdays

It’s time for trick-or-treating, costuming-wearing, and embracing all things eerie. In “Horn BOO!” the Horn Book staff recommends spooky (or kooky) offerings, mostly picture books, for celebrating Halloween. The following books about ghosts, hauntings, monsters, and more will all appear in the forthcoming fall 2013 Horn Book Guide. These novels are lightly creepy, gently macabre, […]

Review of The Nazi Hunters

nazi hunters

The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World’s Most Notorious Nazi by Neal Bascomb Middle School, High School Levine/Scholastic 240 pp.     9/13     978-0-545-43099-9     $16.99     g e-book ed. 978-0-545-56239-3     $16.99 Dismissing Hannah Arendt via footnote, Bascomb concisely establishes Adolf Eichmann as an enthusiastic and painstaking  enforcer of Hitler’s Final […]

Review of Journey

journey

Journey by Aaron Becker; illus. by the author Primary     Candlewick     40 pp. 8/13     978-0-7636-6053-6     $15.99 In the tradition of Crockett Johnson’s Harold and the Purple Crayon (rev. 10/55), this wordless story shows a bored young girl  living in a monochromatic world who is able to draw herself into other worlds with […]

Review of The Lord of Opium

lord of opium

The Lord of Opium by Nancy Farmer High School     Jackson/Atheneum     412 pp. 9/13     978-1-4424-8254-8     $17.99 g e-book ed. 978-1-4424-8256-2     $12.99 With the death of El Patrón at the end of The House of the Scorpion (rev. 11/02), Matt, the drug lord’s fourteen-year-old clone, has not only been reclassified as a human but has […]

Review of Mr. Wuffles!

mr wuffles

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Clarion     32 pp. 10/13     978-0-618-75661-2     $17.99     g Is anything so fraught with potential energy as a stalking cat, or as relaxed as a bored one? Mr. Wuffles disdains all the playthings he’s offered — until, amongst scorned balls […]