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From the Editor – February 2016

In honor of Black History Month, we are daily posting key articles from the Horn Book archives about the African American experience in children’s and young adult literature. Up today: Augusta Baker’s “The Changing Image of the Black in Children’s Literature,” a speech she gave in 1974 in honor of the Horn Book’s fiftieth anniversary, […]

Of magic and moxie

These books take place in fantastical worlds, but the protagonists’ pluck may feel familiar to many intermediate and middle-school readers. Twelve-year-old Gracie Lockwood, the high-spirited heroine of Jodi Lynn Anderson‘s My Diary from the Edge of the World, lives in a world that’s like ours but with a few key differences (involving dragons and poltergeists, […]

Winning sports picture books

Cheating marathoners; a trailblazing sports reporter; a girl shortstop; and an illegal integrated b-ball game. Here are some nonfiction sports picture books that capture the dramatic action both on and off the track/field/court. Meghan McCarthy’s The Wildest Race Ever: The Story of the 1904 Olympic Marathon describes America’s first Olympic marathon, which took place in […]

Apps for morning, noon, and night

Whether following friendly characters through a day of fun or settling users down for sweet dreams, these apps make perfect additions to preschoolers’ own busy days. In Fiete: A Day on the Farm, children help sailor Fiete and his farmer friends, Hein and Hinnerk, throughout their busy day. Users wake the snoring men in the […]

Not your average problem novel

Facing illness, sexuality, family issues, and life-and-death situations, the following teen protagonists maturely and deeply explore the world around them while also looking within themselves. Until the hospital called, asking her mother to pick up elderly Mary, seventeen-year-old Katie — star of Jenny Downham’s Unbecoming — didn’t even know she had a grandmother. Katie, her […]

Five questions for Tanita S. Davis

Coretta Scott King Author Award honoree (for Mare’s War in 2010; Knopf, 13–16 years) Tanita S. Davis’s fourth novel, Peas and Carrots (Knopf, 13–16 years), is told through the alternating perspectives of prickly Dess, whose mother is in jail, and privileged Hope, whose family has fostered Dess’s half-brother since he was a baby and is […]

Books mentioned in the February 2016 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Tanita S. Davis Peas and Carrots by Tanita S. Davis, Knopf, 13–16 years. Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis, Knopf, 13–16 years. Not your average problem novel Unbecoming by Jenny Downham, Scholastic, 14 years and up. Rules for 50/50 Chances by Kate McGovern, Farrar, 14 years and up. The Smell of Other […]