Subscribe to The Horn Book

Review of One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to 
Send You Off to Sleep

One Minute till Bedtime: 60-Second Poems to 
Send You Off to Sleep selected by Kenn Nesbitt; 
illus. by Christoph Niemann Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    168 pp. 11/16    978-0-316-34121-9    $19.99 A former Children’s Poet Laureate has compiled over 120 short and engaging poems by an impressive number of today’s children’s writers. Here you won’t find the […]

Review of Somos como las nubes / 
We Are like the Clouds

Somos como las nubes / 
We Are like the Clouds by Jorge Argueta; illus. by 
Alfonso Ruano; trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado Primary, Intermediate    Groundwood    32 pp. 10/16    978-1-55498-849-5    $18.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-850-1    $16.95 Argueta’s bilingual collection of poems gives voice to the many refugee children who emigrate from Central American countries to […]

On Naomi Shihab Nye’s “Delicious rhythms” (from March 1997)

Happy New Year! The first morning back to school after winter break was a hard one in our house. No one, including the grownups, wanted to get out of bed, accustomed as we’ve all been to staying up late and sleeping in. Day two (today) was worse. I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions, but […]

Teaching poetry

In a short 6-week module like the one I teach at Harvard Ed School, time is the enemy. My quixotic goal for this too-short class is to expose students to all aspects of children’s literature, in breadth and in depth. Of course, every year and there is something I wish we had discussed in more […]

Folklore and poetry | Class #5, fall 2016

For our class on November 16, we are reading four books and one article. I like combining these two genres because both need to be read aloud in order to really appreciate them. Folklore has to have a strong voice, as it comes from an oral tradition where storytellers have individual styles, just as today’s […]

Review of Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life

Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate, Middle School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    56 pp. 9/16    978-1-4814-5690-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-5691-3    $10.99 A historical document dated July 5, 1828, lists the property to be sold from the Fairchilds’ estate. Hogs. Cattle. A handmill. Men. […]

Happy 100th birthday, Roald Dahl!

Roald Dahl wrote a lot, from short stories for adults to fantastical novels for kids. But what I love best about his work is the poetry, which he often tucked into his novels in the form of characters bursting into song. (Those Oompa Loompas had songs in the books with nary a “doopity doo.”) So […]

How I Discovered Young Adult Poetry – The Zena Sutherland Lecture

A couple of weeks ago, at a dinner with several poets, one of them said, “You’re lucky, Marilyn: you know how to write poems for the young adult audience.” I laughed and told him he was entirely wrong. I have absolutely no idea how to write for the young adult audience. I just write what […]

Review of Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science

Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science by Jeannine Atkins Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    198 pp. 9/16    978-1-4814-6565-6    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6567-0    $10.99 Atkins (Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C. J. Walker, Marie Curie, and Their Daughters, rev. 5/10) here tells the stories, again in poetry, of three real-life self-taught female […]

Review of You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford; 
illus. by Jeffery Boston Weatherford Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    82 pp. 5/16    978-1-4814-4938-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4940-3    $10.99 Thirty-two poems written in the second person bring to life the experiences of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Pilots, bombardiers, instructors, maintenance workers, and navigators […]