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Five questions for Mordicai Gerstein

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Ancient Greece wasn’t always so ancient, and sometimes gods just wanna have fun. Using cartoon panels, child-friendly dialogue, and copious humor, Mordicai Gerstein’s I Am Pan! (Roaring Brook, 4–8 years) gives us a first-person, picture-book Pan whose big personality can’t be contained: “Arcadia, here I come!” 1. Your appended bibliography is pretty dense stuff! How […]

From the Editor – May 2016

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On June 2nd, the Boston Globe and the Horn Book will be announcing the winners of the Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards for the fiftieth time. Arguments have been raging in the office on the difference between the 50th occurrence of something and the 50th anniversary, which is actually the 51st time — oh, never mind, […]

Eureka!

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Inspire middle-school readers with these true tales of intellectual inquiry, scientific advancement, and STEM trailblazers. In her latest Scientists in the Field series entry Inside Biosphere 2: Earth Science Under Glass, Mary Kay Carson takes readers into the research facility designed to be a self-sustaining model of Earth’s environments. The ability to control environmental conditions […]

Audio for teens

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Who says teenagers never listen? The following YA audiobooks are so compelling that teens will be lost in the stories. The audiobook version of Challenger Deep, Neal Shusterman‘s novel about one young man’s battle with mental illness, reinforces both the disorienting confusion of the disease and the tenuous hopes for its treatment. Caden Bosch’s first-person […]

A little light fantasy

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With historical, contemporary, and folkloric set-ups, this selection of new light fantasies has something for every middle-grade fantasy fan. Grayling’s Song is a moral tale with a simple lesson: it’s not magic but rather “courage, cleverness, imagination, good judgment, and good sense” that make for a hero who can overcome evil. When her wise-woman mother […]

Folktales redux

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Three recent picture books offer fresh takes on old tales from the likes of Grimm and Aesop; a fourth paints fairy-tale baddies in a more favorable, relatable light. Holly Hobbie’s handsome edition of Hansel & Gretel strikes just the right balance between scary and not-too. The deep green forest is mysterious but inviting, its darkness […]

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

Five questions for Mordicai Gerstein I Am Pan! by Mordicai Gerstein, Roaring Brook, 4–8 years. Folktales redux Hansel & Gretel by Holly Hobbie, Little, Brown, 4–8 years. Hare and Tortoise by Alison Murray, Candlewick, 4–8 years. Little Red by Bethan Woollvin, Peachtree, 4–8 years. Good Night, Baddies by Deborah Underwood, illus. by Juli Kangas, Simon/Beach […]