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Caribbean American Heritage Month 2017

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month, which celebrates “the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States.” Summer Edward, founder and editor in chief of Caribbean children’s literature magazine Anansesem, was kind enough to direct us to her recommendations of recent or forthcoming kids’ and YA books by […]

Review of American Street

American Street by Ibi Zoboi High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    330 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-247304-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-247306-6     $9.99 Immediately after landing in New York from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Fabiola’s mother is detained by U.S. Immigration. Fabiola must continue the journey alone to her aunt and cousins in Detroit, specifically […]

On “The CCBC’s Diversity Statistics” (from 2017)

The Cooperative Children’s Book Center at the University of Wisconsin–Madison has been tracking the number of children’s books created by people of color since 1985. In an interview that will be published in the July/August 2017 issue of The Horn Book Magazine, book review editor Martha V. Parravano talks with CCBC director Kathleen T. Horning […]

Review of Amina’s Voice

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan Intermediate, Middle School    Salaam/Simon    197 pp. 3/17    978-1-4814-9206-5    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9208-9    $10.99 Musically talented Amina struggles with shyness and, since she started middle school, with issues of assimilation. Her best friend Soojin, who is Korean American, is considering changing her name with […]

Review of When We Were Alone

When We Were Alone by David Alexander Robertson; illus. by Julie Flett Primary    HighWater Press    32 pp. 12/16    978-1-55379-673-2    $18.95    g This quiet story is one of love and resistance during the decades-long era of oppressive residential schools for First Nations children in Canada. While spending the day with her […]

When Google Translate Gives You Arroz con Mango: Erroneous Español and the Need for #ownvoices

I recently had a Twitter conversation with three writer and librarian colleagues, two of whom are native Spanish speakers, about the use of Spanish in primarily English-language children’s books. The conversation started after one of us wrote about finding incorrect Spanish in a book. Each of us chimed in, able to produce at least one […]

Angie Thomas on The Hate U Give

In our March/April 2017 issue, assistant editor Shoshana Flax asked author Angie Thomas about the timeliness of her important novel The Hate U Give. Read the full starred review. Shoshana Flax: The book feels very, tragically up-to-the-minute. How far into the editorial process were you making changes based on current events? Angie Thomas: I tried […]

Review of The Hate U Give

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    453 pp. 2/17    978-0-06-249853-3    $17.99 Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter lives a life many African American teenagers can relate to: a life of double consciousness. Caught between her rough, predominantly black neighborhood and the “proper,” predominantly white prep school she attends, […]

On Zetta Elliott’s “Decolonizing the Imagination” (from 2010)

Author and teacher Zetta Elliott contributed “Decolonizing the Imagination” to the Writer’s Page column in the Magazine‘s March/April 2010 issue. As a child and young adult, Zetta loved classic British novels; she notes, however, that she “learned early on that only white children had wonderful adventures in distant lands; only white children were magically transported […]

On Ibi Zoboi’s “A Fine Bookshelf” (from March/April 2016)

“I’ve never been able to think about literacy for black children without thinking about the historical effects of slavery. Black children were not allowed to read for far longer than there have been books that feature them.” In “A Fine Bookshelf,” published in the March/April 2016 Horn Book Magazine, author, mother, and Haitian immigrant Ibi […]