From the Editor – September 2013

Roger Sutton

Come October 4th and 5th, I hope you will join us at the annual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards and the Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium. The theme of this year’s HBAS is “Building Character,” and I invite you to join with the BGHB winners, Simmons faculty, and Horn Book staff in a day-long exploration of […]

Creature features

dinosaur kisses

Young readers may recognize themselves in these four funny picture books portraying animals — contemporary, extinct, and imaginary alike — in very human situations and with very human foibles. Dinah, the star of David Ezra Stein’s Dinosaur Kisses, bursts out of her egg, eager to experience her prehistoric world. After some exploratory stomping and chomping, […]

Apps for young scientists

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Budding scientists rejoice! These four nonfiction apps use cutting-edge technology, from x-ray composites to 3D imaging, to explore biology, paleontology, and archeology in educational and entertaining ways. Bats! Furry Fliers of the Night introduces users to the world’s only flying mammal. Mary Kay Carson, author of Scientists in the Field entry The Bat Scientists, presents accessible information […]

Real girls

45 pounds

Body image issues; death and grief; attempted suicide; mental illness. Problem novels move into the twenty-first century with these books starring young women who cope with their troubles in refreshingly realistic, nuanced ways. In K. A. Barson’s 45 Pounds (More or Less), sixteen-year-old Ann Galardi wants to lose weight: she can’t fit into department store […]

Essential back-to school stories

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What will the new school year bring? Here are four fresh, age-appropriate, and accessible school stories that will please early-elementary readers. In twenty very short, generously illustrated chapters, Rose Lagercrantz’s My Happy Life takes the essential matter of the early-elementary school years — best friends, weird curriculum (potato week?!), playground accidents — and recasts it […]

August Notes

august notes

In this issue of Notes from the Horn Book, Elissa has five questions for Mitali Perkins on her latest book, Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices, and finding the humor in cultural identity. You’ll also find YA starring protagonists of color recommended apps for preschool and primary users math and science […]

Five questions for Mitali Perkins

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Author and blogger Mitali Perkins was born in Calcutta and raised in suburban California, with stops along the way in Africa, the UK, and Mexico. She has written fiction about Burmese boy soldiers (Bamboo People, Charlesbridge 2010, 11–14 years); a Bangladeshi girl disguised as a boy (Rickshaw Girl, Charlesbridge 2007, 10–12 years); Indian and half-Indian, […]

From the Editor — August 2013

Roger Sutton

I’m grateful to Mitali Perkins for bringing some humor to the multicultural canon; it’s in shorter supply than it should be, a situation caused at least in part by the utter seriousness with which adults — that’s us — talk about appropriate depictions of ethnicity in books for children and teens. The fact that we […]

Apps for preschool and primary users

animal snapp farm

With all the traveling summer brings, it’s good to have a few tricks up your sleeve to keep kids entertained in the backseat or on the plane. These interactive apps for preschool- and early elementary–aged users fit the bill nicely. Animal SnApp: Farm, illustrated by Axel Scheffler, introduces six alliteratively named barnyard denizens in a […]

Indigenous protagonists and people of color

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As the heated — and very productive — discussion on Read Roger reflects, readers are clamoring for more books that represent, as author/illustrator Yuyi Morales eloquently put it, “the experience of other cultures ‘other than the dominant one.’” There’s no question that there aren’t enough such books to choose from; here are four of our […]