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With a little help from their friends

We could all use a reminder that there is kindness in the world — as well as a reminder to extend kindness to others. These new picture books for young children show how small gestures of generosity can make a big difference. A woman bakes a special batch of red heart-shaped cookies and sends them […]

From the Editor – April 2017

Don’t miss the annual special issue of The Horn Book Magazine, this year on the theme of humor. Wow, that sounds deadly. But it isn’t, trust me! Along with mostly-serious articles about how and why to be funny in books for young people, we’ve also solicited some of our author and illustrator friends to tell […]

For animal lovers only

Four middle-grade novels feature animals (and one mysterious creature) that change the protagonists’ lives. From an inventive, slightly mystical environmental fable to a compelling work of historical fiction, these are all recommended for the animal lovers in your life. Me and Marvin Gardens is a smart, environmentally conscious fable with a lot of heart and […]

Love the Earth 2017

Earth Day and the March for Science are coming up on Saturday, April 22, 2017. The following picture books introduce children to some of the challenges facing our Earth, and provide suggestions to help on a scale they can manage. For more on this topic, see Kathleen T. Isaacs’s Horn Book Magazine article “Fostering Wonder.” […]

Tales as old as time

Retellings can offer teenagers an accessible entrée into classic literature and lore, and the best of them also connect with today’s readers through timeless themes and issues. These four new titles — including a graphic novel and one in verse — repackage centuries-old source material into books that will resonate with today’s young adults. Sara […]

Five questions for David Elliott

“Whaddup, bitches?” says Poseidon at the start of David Elliott’s Bull (Houghton, 14 years and up) a verse-novel retelling of the Minotaur story from ancient Greek mythology that keeps readers on their toes with whip-smart dialogue, narrative double-crosses, changing poetic forms (seven main characters each has his or her own), and, of course, the stormy, […]

Books mentioned in the April 2017 issue of Notes from the Horn Book newsletter

Five questions for David Elliott Bull by David Elliott, Houghton, 14 years and up. Tales as old as time Bone Jack by Sara Crowe, Philomel, 12–16 years. Yvain: The Knight of the Lion by M. T. Anderson, illus. by Andrea Offermann, Candlewick, 12–16 years. Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin, HarperCollins/Tegen, 14 years and […]