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Five questions for A.S. King

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 then […]

From the Editor – January 2015

As we all peruse the best of the year lists from the various review journals (here’s ours) and look forward to ALA’s announcements later this month of the Newbery Medal, etc., I’d like to call your attention to something I glanced at in my editorial in this month’s issue of The Horn Book Magazine. In […]

Graphic-novel memoirs

The creators of these graphic-novel memoirs use words and pictures to revisit experiences from their youth. Their work relates sometimes-difficult, sometimes-comical stories with poignancy, bittersweet humor, and expressive art. At the age of four, in 1975, Cece Bell contracted meningitis, leaving her severely to profoundly deaf. In her characterful, often amusing graphic-novel memoir El Deafo, […]

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

Five questions for A.S. King Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King, Little, Brown, 14 years and up. Fierce females Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle, Houghton, 14 years and up. Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld, Simon Pulse, 14 years and up. Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer, Dutton, 14 years […]

Snowy days

Winter in New England (and in picture books) usually means one thing: snow. Here are a few stories to put readers in the mood for sledding, snowmen, and hot chocolate. While the city’s “brave trucks” perform flashy tasks such as fixing power lines and fighting fires, our unassuming, bespectacled hero — star of Stephen Savage’s […]

Fierce females

Katniss, they feel your pain. The following protagonists have the weight of the world on their shoulders — and, in at least one case, it’s just as the world may be ending. Katie Coyle’s Vivian Apple at the End of the World takes place in a near-future America where the cultish Church of America has […]

Series for the elementary set

Discover some new favorite characters or keep up with old ones. These series installments can stand on their own or perhaps start a new series obsession. Sleuth on Skates, first in the Sesame Seade Mystery series by Clémentine Beauvais, introduces a type-A, roller-skating kid detective from Cambridge, England with a large vocabulary and a highly […]