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Books mentioned in the October 2017 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Deborah Noyes The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead by Deborah Noyes, Viking, 11–14 years. Supernaturally good scares Poe: Stories and Poems: A Graphic Novel Adaptation by Gareth Hinds, Candlewick, 11–14 years. The Wrong Train by Jeremy de Quidt, illus. by Dave Shelton, […]

From the Editor – October 2017

We are just done with this year’s Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards and Horn Book at Simmons Colloquium: “Resistance.” With record attendance for both events, I can’t remember a more engaged and enthusiastic audience, and our speakers and discussion leaders were variously inspiring and provocative, and always informative. Congratulations to our awardees, and thank you to […]

The great unknown

Adventure awaits not only those intrepid real-life explorers who brave the great unknown…but also the readers of these captivating historical narratives about the exploration of space, the Amazon rainforest, the high seas, and the Arctic. Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and Beyond is a thoughtful, informative guide to the history of space […]

Five questions for Deborah Noyes

In The Magician and the Spirits: Harry Houdini and the Curious Pastime of Communicating with the Dead (Viking, 11–14 years), Deborah Noyes homes in on the Spiritualist movement during the turn of the twentieth century (think séances, spirit photography, ectoplasm, etc.) — and on Harry Houdini’s efforts to debunk its claims. 1. What drew you […]

Family curses, grief, and fate

These recent books for middle graders dip into the supernatural (ancestral curses, spectral mothers, ghost frenemies, growing skeletons) to raise larger questions about family, friendship, memory, grief, and love. In Lauren DeStefano’s The Girl with the Ghost Machine, ten-year-old Emmaline Beaumont and her father Julien are devastated by Emmaline’s mother’s sudden death, and grief drives […]

Scared silly

The following picture books perfect for Halloween put their own silly spins on thrills, chills, and…creepy underwear? For more, see “From The (Ghoulish) Guide: Horn Boo!” In Boo Who? by Ben Clanton, a little ghost named Boo is new to the neighborhood. He isn’t very good at the games his new friends invite him to […]

Supernaturally good scares

From a collection of ghost stories-within-a-ghost-story to classic tales of the macabre reimagined for a new format, these new books offer a fresh take on the usual suspects of supernatural horror. Graphic novelist Gareth Hinds adapts three of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems (“Annabel Lee,” “The Bells,” and “The Raven”) and four stories (“The Masque of […]