Writing about writing

this is not a writing manual

Around the same time, two books about writing arrived at the Horn Book office. Always keen to brush up on my writing skills, I was curious to find out what advice these books would offer. As screamed from a large toothy mouth gracing the cover, This Is Not A Writing Manual is not a writing […]

A whole bunch of questions for Lucy Knisley

relish

In her adult graphic-novel memoir Relish: My Life in the Kitchen (First Second, April 2013), Lucy Knisley portrays specific periods of her life and their associated “taste-memories” in a series of witty, touching vignettes. Relish begins with Lucy’s early childhood in New York City, growing up in a family of foodies with great faith in […]

Delirium Stories

Delirium Stories by Lauren Oliver

There are some story worlds readers just don’t want to leave behind. This has happened to me oh so many times: I race to the end of book, breathlessly finish, and then feel totally abandoned. I read the acknowledgements, the author’s information, and then I sit, staring, wishing there were more. With Delirium Stories: Hana, […]

The White Bicycle

The White Bicycle

It’s always disappointing when we miss the opportunity to blow our horn for a really good book — but in this case the ARC arrived too late to review in the Magazine. Fortunately, this year’s Printz committee found it in time to award it an Honor and get it the recognition it deserves. And here’s […]

My Epic Fairy Tale Fail

my epic fairy tale fail

Once upon a time — last Friday, March 1st, to be exact — my friend and former writing professor Anna Staniszewski released My Epic Fairy Tale Fail (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, March 2013), sequel to her debut novel My Very UnFairy Tale Life. Returning with her deliciously droll wit and a brand new mission for her now-thirteen-year-old […]

Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box

Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box

From down in the bottom of the Horn Book boxes comes JonArno Lawson’s newest paperback collection of children’s poetry from Canadian publisher The Porcupine’s Quill. Down in the Bottom of the Bottom of the Box (September 2012), a compilation of poems culled from one of Lawson’s earlier projects for falling outside its narrative scope, features […]

Ye olde children’s poetry

Fleas, Flies, and Friars by Nicholas Orme

Belt up your kirtles and hold onto your snoods. Fleas, Flies, and Friars: Children’s Poetry from the Middle Ages by Nicholas Orme (Cornell University Press, May 2012) presents a variety of verse from days of yore. After a brief context-setting chapter (“Children’s Poetry from the Middle Ages”), Orme provides sections on “Growing Up,” “Words, Rhymes, […]

Secret Origami

Origami X

Origami is an fun craft experience for both boys and girls, and the paper shapes created can serve purposes beyond the decorative. At least, that’s what these two Secret Origami books, Origami X: Paper Folding for Secret Agents and Origami XOXO: Paper Folding for Special Secrets (Capstone, August 2012), propose! In Origami X, Nick Robinson […]

Missed Connections: F4I [fan for illustrator]

missed connections

–F4I [fan for illustrator] (Boston) I saw you from across the Paresky Center at the 2011 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards ceremony. You were accepting your honor for illustrating Pecan Pie Baby. Charmed by your watercolors, your accent, and your admission that you can’t draw bicycles, I was too shy to ask you to sign my […]

Sumo

sumo

I’ve never witnessed an actual sumo wrestling match, so this graphic novel about sumo caught my curiosity. Thien Pham’s Sumo (First Second, December 2012) follows Scott, an American college graduate who thought he was heading toward the NFL but didn’t make the cut and subsequently lost the love of his life, Gwen. A new opportunity […]