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From the Editor — November 2015

People are already fighting about Starbucks’s holiday cups, there were Christmas tree ornaments on sale at CVS this morning, and The Horn Book is pulling together Fanfare, our list of the best books of the year. While I see that Publishers Weekly has already published its list of bests (which is really rushing the season, […]

Five questions for Tim Wynne-Jones

At the start of Tim Wynne-Jones’s The Emperor of Any Place (Candlewick, 14 years and up), Evan, reeling from the death of his single father, has no choice but to contact his paternal grandfather, Griff — whom Evan’s dad called a murderer. A gripping story-within-the-story unfolds about a WWII Japanese soldier stranded on a haunted […]

Lights, camera, chapter books!

These lighthearted outings for early primary readers offer adventures both everyday (a run-in with a teacher, a classmate rivalry) and extraordinary (a dog’s rise to superstardom and…a ghost raccoon sighting). In Eleanor Davis and Drew Weing’s Flop to the Top!, young Wanda is a superstar — in her own mind. After posting a selfie taken […]

Family ties

Families come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and configurations. The following nonfiction picture books present examples of this variety, with the common element being love. In My Family Tree and Me, Dušan Petričić creates an innovative introduction to the ordinary miracle of genealogy. Reading the book from front to middle, we meet the paternal line […]

Boys to remember

Four novels featuring teenage boys — in both contemporary and historical settings — take on big issues, with memorable results. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely is a ripped-from-the-headlines story written with nuance, sharp humor, and devastating honesty. When a quick stop at the corner store suddenly escalates into a terrifying scene […]

Sounds good

Audio can add another layer to a story, whether through the addition of story-enhancing music, through a narrator’s command of tricky jargon, or the way he or she can make even the prickliest character seem lovable. Here are four audiobooks recommended for older intermediate and middle school readers. As Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan begins, […]

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

Five questions for Tim Wynne-Jones The Emperor of Any Place by Tim Wynne-Jones, Candlewick, 14 years and up. Boys to remember All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely, Atheneum/Dlouhy, 14 years and up. Calvin by Martine Leavitt, Ferguson/Farrar, 14 years and up. Show and Prove by Sofia Quintero, Knopf, 14 years and up. Orbiting […]