Subscribe to The Horn Book


Reviews of Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games trilogy

hunger games

The Hunger Games [Hunger Games] by Suzanne Collins Middle School, High School     Scholastic      374 pp. 10/08     978-0-439-02348-1      $17.99 Survivor meets “The Lottery” as the author of the popular Underland Chronicles returns with what promises to be an even better series. The United States is no more, and the new Capitol, high in the Rocky […]

Review of The Amber Spyglass

pullman_amber spyglass

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman Middle School, High School     Knopf     523 pp. 10/00     0-679-87926-9     $19.95 Armed with a rare numbered typescript copy of The Amber Spyglass, I’m tempted to roll up my shirtsleeves, light a cigar, splash some Tokay into a glass, and discuss fine points of reason, fancy, and theology before all hell […]

Get Appy


Horn Book reviews have hit the mobile market as Book Verdict, available for free at the iTunes Store. I have just started playing with it but it seems pretty neat: including reviews taken from the Horn Book Magazine and Guide, the app recommends about 10,000 children’s and YA titles published in the last ten years. […]

The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie review

The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie poster

The long-awaited movie version of Stephen Chbosky’s 1999 novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Summit Entertainment, October 2012; PG-13) celebrates the 90s, the mix tape, friendship, love, and the benefits both of observing life and participating in it. What could have been cloying is in fact a sensitive coming-of-age film. And though there are […]

It’s here…and it’s about time

m here cover

When I came across this book, it made enough of an impression for me to want to mention it well past its August 2011 publication date. Peter H. Reynolds’s I’m Here (Atheneum) is a welcome addition to the growing body of (mostly mediocre) children’s literature dealing with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and Asperger’s Syndrome in […]

Reviews of select books by Maurice Sendak

A Hole Is to Dig written by Ruth Krauss, illus. by Maurice Sendak, Harper, 1952 Entirely original in approach and content is this “first book of first definitions” in which Miss Krauss, with the help of children themselves, gives us such gems as “a seashell is to hear the sea”;  “cats are so you can […]

Reading recommendations for mythology buffs

young zeus

We’ve just put up a list of recommended mythology-related books, published and reviewed in the Magazine in the last few years. Enjoy!

Those happy golden years


Raymond Bial, well-known author of nonfiction for children (Ellis Island: Coming to the Land of Liberty; Tenement: Immigrant Life on the Lower East Side; Amish Home; Frontier Home), has just published a novel, one “intended primarily for adults,” according to the promotional copy on the back of the (attractive) paperback. Set in small-town 1959 Indiana […]

Fighting in the Shade

fighting in the shade

I still recall fondly the female protagonists of teen “chick lit” and coming-of-age stories I read in high school. On a given day I might feel as tormented by love and teenage awkwardness as Mia Thermopolis (Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries) or lonely and isolated like Melinda Sordino (Laurie Halse Anderson’s Speak). These were gals […]

2011 NBA Finalists reviews


[scroll down for all six reviews] Chime by Franny Billingsley Middle School, High School   Dial   358 pp. 3/11   978-0-8037-3552-1   $17.99 Reviewed 3/11 “Ooze and muck and the clean muddy smell of life” suffuse Billingsley’s long-awaited third work of fiction, which mingles “Tam Lin,” “Lord Randall,” and its own swampy folklore into […]