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Bonding with books

I’ve never considered myself the maternal type. I even surprised myself when one day I said to my husband, “Let’s have a munchkin.” “From Dunkin Donuts?” he asked. But no, I was thinking about babies. Several of my close friends were expecting, and all the tiny socks and onesies that assigned cheeky personalities to a […]

Reading Race and Power in Fantasy

When my daughter was three or four, we would play a computer game together where she would have to choose an avatar to represent herself. To the game’s credit, there were at least twelve options for girls, with all different skin colors and hair colors and styles. Inevitably, my very pale daughter would select a […]

On Ibi Zoboi’s “A Fine Bookshelf” (from March/April 2016)

“I’ve never been able to think about literacy for black children without thinking about the historical effects of slavery. Black children were not allowed to read for far longer than there have been books that feature them.” In “A Fine Bookshelf,” published in the March/April 2016 Horn Book Magazine, author, mother, and Haitian immigrant Ibi […]

On Rachael Stein’s “The Penderwicks on Hayward Street” (from May 2013)

“We owe a permanent debt of gratitude to Jeanne Birdsall. Her words are the refiner’s fire that helped turn our leaden hearts to gold.” In her Books in the Home column, “The Penderwicks on Hayward Street,” from the May/June 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, librarian and mom Rachael Stein writes eloquently about how […]

On Andrea Fox’s “The Secret Garden’s Perennial Wisdom…for Parents” (from September 2012)

Writer, reader, and former English teacher Andrea Fox loved Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden when she was a child. She gained a new appreciation for the classic, however, when she reread it as a parent. In an article published in the September/October 2012 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, Andrea reflects on how her […]

Of Fantasy and Daughters

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

I read my daughter’s first fantasy book to her when she was one week old. Every evening I swaddled her up and rocked her to sleep while reading aloud another chapter of Diana Wynne Jones’s Howl’s Moving Castle. What else was I supposed to do with a tiny speechless creature with big eyes who only wanted […]

On Crescent Dragonwagon’s “Over and Over”

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 […]

Mother: Treat Her Right 2016

What’s better than hearing Mr. T extol the virtues of mothers? (that would be: nothing) You know who else loved their mothers? Abraham Lincoln (“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother”) and John Quincy Adams (“All that I am, my mother made me”), among others, whose pithy remarks […]

YA mother-daughter reading recommendations

Last summer, website mom.me asked us to contribute to their feature “Books to Read With Your Teen Daughter.” Here are our recommendations from that article — plus a few new ones! — to get you ready for Mother’s Day. What YA book would you recommend for a mother-daughter read? Cindy: Cinder (Feiwel, 2012), the first […]