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 [...]
In the age of preschool princesses and teenage werewolves, nonfiction, conspicuously, has class. That came across buoyantly in the March/April 2011 issue of the Horn Book, where prominent persons in the field wrote about their work and what today’s nonfiction aspires to.
Their aims are admirable, their commitment is impressive, their enthusiasm is infectious; as a cadre, they have a lot to be proud of. But not because their work, however fine, surpasses the work of their predecessors. It isn’t better researched or better illustrated, as some of the contributors suggest, and it certainly isn’t more venturesome. In kids’ nonfiction, “going where no adult book has gone before” is nothing new.
At Macy’s department store, marionette maker Tony Sarg started inside and worked his way out. He designed mechanical storybook figures for Macy’s window displays before inventing the giant balloon characters that would become the signature feature of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Sweet’s whimsical mixed-media collages, embellished with little dolls she made herself out of odds and ends, reinforce the theme that, for Sarg, work was play. He loved his job just as much as the cheering crowds loved his balloons (one of Sweet’s watercolor illustrations shows open-mouthed children fairly dancing with delight).
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson; illus. by the author Intermediate | Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins | 108 pp. 9/11 | 978-0-06-173074-0 | $19.99 “Most folks my age and complexion don’t speak much about the past,” begins the unnamed narrator of this graceful and personalized overview of African American history. But [...]
While perusing Cliques by Toney Allman, part of Lucent Books’ long-running Hot Topics series for middle-schoolers, I noticed this poor girl, presumably being teased about her hair. “Why is it always the redhead?” thought I. From Anne Shirley (and doesn’t it look like this little lady’s ready to break her slate over somebody’s head?), to [...]
>Marc Aronson takes on challenges, particularly a substantial critique by Jim Murphy, to his article “New Knowledge,” which appears in the current issue of the Magazine. In his post Jim says he wishes we had a way for readers to comment on articles we post on the site and SO DO I. Until we figure [...]