Notes from the Horn Book

November Notes is here!

nov 14 notes

In November’s Notes from the Horn Book, K. T. Horning chats with Sharon G. Flake about her new middle-grade mystery Unstoppable Octobia May. In this issue, you’ll also find more wacky middle-grade adventures pals in new picture books books around the world for primary and intermediate readers YA nonfiction about social justice Read the issue […]

From the Editor – November 2014

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Please permit me to highlight two of the titles reviewed in this issue of Notes from the Horn Book, alike only in their consideration of the friendship possible between the old and the young, and — refreshingly — their resistance of current splashy publishing trends. That The Farmer and the Clown is wordless is the […]

Social justice

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Civil rights, global warming, and crime and punishment: these complex social issues receive accessible, clear treatment in four new nonfiction books for teens. In Because They Marched: The People’s Campaign for Voting Rights That Changed America, Russell Freedman documents the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery march, including the horrific Bloody Sunday confrontation between marchers and Alabama state troopers. […]

Around the world

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Reading can take children on journeys outside of their everyday realms. The following stories — some humorous, some tender — allow independent readers to spend time with characters from all over the globe. When Naomi Shihab Nye’s The Turtle of Oman opens, Aref and his mother are preparing to leave their home in Muscat, Oman, […]

You’ve got to have friends

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Picture books about friendship can be a dime a dozen. However, these four new gems — about companions in adventure, in-sync skating partners, a tender odd-couple bond, and a freewheeling affection-giver — freshen things up. In Sam & Dave Dig a Hole, two boys set out to do just that — but unearth nothing. Eventually […]

Middle-grade mirth

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Kids having strange and wacky adventures with their friends — what’s a more engaging topic for upper-intermediate and early-middle-school readers? Two of the books below will have readers saying goodbye to favorite characters, one is a (snarky) sequel, and one is an homage — albeit a strange one — to a beloved classic. The Key […]

Five questions for Sharon G. Flake

Photo: Richard Kelly

Is Mr. Davenport a vampire, as Octobia May insists? The answer is not so cut-and-dried in Sharon G. Flake’s Unstoppable Octobia May, a historical-fiction-cum-mystery-novel with more than a dash of social commentary (Scholastic, 9–12 years). From the 1950s boarding house setting to the vivid characters — some plucky, some humorous, some downright sinister — the […]

Books mentioned in the November 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Sharon Flake Unstoppable Octobia May by Sharon G. Flake, Scholastic, 9–12 years. Middle-school mirth The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos, Farrar, 9–12 years. He Laughed with His Other Mouths [Pals in Peril] by M.T. Anderson, illus. by Kurt Cyrus, Simon/Beach Lane, 9–12 years. Cartboy Goes to Camp by L.A. […]

From the Editor – October 2014

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When it comes to spooky stories, it’s always hard to know just how scared any given person wants to be. Maurice Sendak always said that children sent him drawings of Wild Things that terrified him; I, on the other hand, once drove a little girl screaming from a story hour with “The Three Billy Goats […]

Books mentioned in the October 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Julie Berry All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry, Viking, 14 years and up. The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry, Roaring Brook, 11–14 years. Eerie places Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf, trans. by John Nieuwenhuizen, Enchanted Lion, 9–12 years. Greenglass House by Kate Milford, illus. by […]