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Deliciously creepy fantasy

hoffman_nightbird

Magical alter egos, parallel worlds, and uncanny situations add a bit of atmospheric creepiness to these four intermediate and middle-school fantasy adventures. Twig Fowler and her mother keep to themselves so that their neighbors in Sidwell, Massachusetts, won’t discover their secret: Twig’s older brother James has wings, thanks to a generations-old curse laid upon all […]

Hooray for Grandma!

wells_use your words sophie2

Four new picture books celebrate the special place grandmothers have in their grandchildren’s lives. Being a new big sister’s much-needed ally, introducing a young child to the pleasures of gardening, getting serious about pretend play as a custodial grandparent, or nurturing a budding artist’s creative spark, grandmothers’ roles are vibrant and varied. Just like the […]

Teens meet history

wein_black dove white raven

Adolescence is always a time of transition. For the characters in these YA historical novels, that transition takes place while the world is changing as well. Black Dove, White Raven is set mostly in Ethiopia in the 1930s. Em (who is white) and Teo (who’s black) have grown up together, their mothers American stunt-pilots who […]

From the Editor – May 2015

It’s that time of year again: the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards will be announced on May 27th. I’ll be sharing the honor of naming the winners with Rebecca Stead, who won the 2010 Fiction Award for When You Reach Me, at 5:00 pm in New York City at SLJ’s Day of Dialog. If you’re there, […]

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

Five questions for Christian Robinson Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson, Putnam, 5–8 years. Hooray for Grandma! Use Your Words, Sophie! by Rosemary Wells, Viking, 2–5 years. Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner, illus. by Christopher Silas Neal, Chronicle, 5–8 years. […]

They’ve got the beat

engle_drum dream girl

Picture-book biographies can be an instrumental way to introduce children to musical figures. Whether they’re breaking new ground or slapping the skins — or both! — the following real-life performers will inspire kids to march to their own beat. The protagonist of Margarita Engle’s poetic picture book Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed […]

Five questions for Christian Robinson

Christian Robinson

With Last Stop on Market Street (Putnam, 5–8 years), author Matt de la Peña and illustrator Christian Robinson take readers on a bus journey through the city — along the way exploring a young boy’s warm relationship with his nana, her sunny outlook on life, and their interactions with the diverse people they encounter. We […]