The Secret Garden’s Perennial Wisdom…for Parents

The Secret Garden

Every September of my English teaching career, I’d type up the semester’s reading list and prepare myself for the inevitable question: I’ve already read this! Why do I have to read it again? I’d tell my 
students that rereading a novel at a new period in their lives could bring fresh insight. But I never […]

Give ‘Em Helvetica: Picture Book Type

The Stinky Cheese Man

Type — the formal language of the printed word — speaks to us in mysterious ways. It’s not always clear just what type is saying, or how our reading experience is enhanced or undermined, however subtly, by slight variations in point size (the overall dimensions of the type), or the thickness and proportions of an […]

Judge Judy


You are about to enter the courtroom of Judge Judy. The cases are real. The creatures are folkloric. The rulings are final. . CASE #10705: EVIL STEPSISTERS v. CINDERELLA Judge Judy: You two stepsisters are suing Cinderella and her prince because your feet were irrevocably damaged after trying on some shoes, correct? Evil Stepsister #1: […]

Review of Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics

rush for the gold

Rush for the Gold: Mystery at the Olympics by John Feinstein Middle School, High School     Knopf     314 pp. 5/12     978-0-375-86963-1     $16.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-96963-8     $19.99 e-book ed. 978-0-375-98455-6     $10.99 Timed to coincide with the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, Feinstein’s sixth sports mystery novel again features teen reporters Stevie Thomas and Susan Carol Anderson—except that […]

Preview September/October 2012 Horn Book Magazine

September/October 2012 Horn Book Magazine

Philip Nel illuminates 1950s America in an adapted excerpt from his new book about Crockett Johnson, Ruth Krauss, and the FBI. Christine M. Heppermann on her experiences as a work-for-hire writer of series nonfiction. Susan C. Griffith calls for a reframing of discussion surrounding racism and The Cay. Susan Dove Lempke answers the question: “What […]

Review of A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness; inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd; illus. by Jim Kay Middle School    Candlewick    206 pp. 9/11    978-0-7636-5559-4    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-7636-5633-1    $16.99 Conor’s mum has cancer; his father lives in America with his new family and rarely visits; he doesn’t get along with his grandma who helps […]