Truth, lies, and secrets

angel_things I'll never say

Adolescence is a time of self-discovery — and of deciding how much of that self to reveal to others. These new YA books explore themes of honesty and dishonesty, secret selves and public personas. When compiling the book Things I’ll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves, editor Ann Angel asked contributors to write “about […]

From the Editor – February 2015


The ALA has spoken, and this year’s roster of awards for children’s and young adult books is impressively diverse and Diverse. The forthcoming issue of The Horn Book Herald includes all the lowdown about the Newbery, Caldecott and other book awards announced earlier this month in Chicago — and 2015 Newbery medalist Kwame Alexander gets […]


russell-brown_little melba

These new picture-book biographies of African American music pioneers give primary readers something to sing about during Black History Month — and all year long. Seven-year-old Melba Liston chose to learn to play the trombone — an unconventional choice for a girl. By age seventeen, she was touring alongside the jazz greats. As a female […]

Books mentioned in the February 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Lucy Cousins Count with Maisy, Cheep, Cheep, Cheep! by Lucy Cousins, Candlewick, 2–5 years. I’m the Best by Lucy Cousins, Candlewick, 2–5 years. ABC, easy as 123 Mix It Up! by Herve Tullét, Chronicle, 2–5 years. Press Here by Herve Tullét, Handprint/Chronicle, 2–5 years. The Happy Little Yellow Box: A Pop-Up Book […]

Bad company

myers_on a clear day

Conspiracy theory or everyday life? These new YA novels — three thrillers and one dark comedy — star teen protagonists finding their places in worlds manipulated by not-so-scrupulous corporations. Walter Dean Myers‘s posthumously published On a Clear Day takes place in 2035. The Central Eight (C-8) companies rule everything, enriching themselves while the rest of […]

(Not-so) long ago or far away

hill_bo at iditarod creek

In these works of historical fiction for middle graders — taking place in 1920s Alaska, 1932 North Carolina, WWII England, or 1950s Illinois — the settings may be unfamiliar, but the feelings are timeless. At the start of Kirkpatrick Hill’s Bo at Iditarod Creek, Bo’s family has left Ballard Creek for the bigger and noisier […]

ABC, easy as 123

tullet_mix it up

Who says ABC books are just for babies? Why can’t you mix up some colors using just your finger, no paint? The following concept books defy conventions — and expectations. In Mix It Up!, Hervé Tullet follows the same format as in his hugely entertaining Press Here, but this time the play is focused on […]

Five questions for Lucy Cousins


If you know any little girls named Maisy (or Tallulah; or, for that matter, any little boys named Cyril), chances are good that it’s because of Lucy Cousins. Her indomitable little-girl-mouse is beloved by toddlers and their grownups the world over, making Cousins one proud mama. 1. Your latest Maisy book — Count with Maisy, […]

The first Notes of the year

notes jan 2015

In January’s issue of Notes from the Horn Book, Jennifer Brabander asks Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future author A. S. King about that bat and lots more. You’ll also find: more fierce female YA protagonists snowy-day picture books intermediate series graphic-novel memoirs Read the issue online or subscribe to receive the monthly Notes from […]

Five questions for A. S. King

as king_240x300

A. S. King’s books are one of a kind: strange, sometimes surrealistic, but always grounded in truth. Her latest YA novel — Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future (Little, Brown, 14 years and up) — is most likely the only children’s book you’ll ever read in which a protagonist ingests desiccated bat remains — and […]