Review of Niño Wrestles the World

Nino Wrestles the World

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary     Porter/Roaring Brook     40 pp. 6/13     978-1-59643-604-6     $16.99     g Pint-sized Niño, fearless luchador, Popsicle enthusiast, and reluctantly attentive big brother, dons his red mask (he’s already wearing his orange and yellow sneakers and blue-waistbanded tighty-whities), ready to […]

Review of Far Far Away

far far away

Far Far Away by Tom McNeal Middle School, High School     Knopf     373 pp. 6/13     978-0-375-84972-5     $17.99 Library ed. 978-0-375-94972-2     $20.99     g e-book ed. 978-0-375-89698-9     $10.99 Sprightly, assured, and original, this story blends a small-town, middle-American, twentieth-century setting with the learned realms of the Brothers Grimm and their […]

Review of On a Beam of Light

on a beam of light

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne; 
illus. by Vladimir Radunsky Primary    Chronicle    56 pp. 5/13    978-0-8118-7235-5    $17.99 The title of this book refers to the mental picture young Albert Einstein conjured one day while biking through the countryside; he looked at the sunbeams “speeding from the sun to […]

Review of Crankee Doodle

crankee doodle

Crankee Doodle by Tom Angleberger; 
illus. by Cece Bell Primary    Clarion    32 pp. 6/13    978-0-547-81854-2    $16.99    g As concepts for picture books go, it’s hard to think of one cleverer than this absurdist deconstruction of the familiar song. Depicted in spindly lined cartoons, Yankee Doodle and his pony debate their plans for the afternoon. When […]

Review of Bo at Ballard Creek

Bo at Ballard Creek

Bo at Ballard Creek by Kirkpatrick Hill; illus. by LeUyen Pham Primary, Intermediate    Holt    279 pp. 6/13    978-0-8050-9351-3    $15.99    g The disarmingly forthright tone is set right at the start of this chapter book when we meet Bo, a little girl who lives with her papas (yes, that’s plural) in a small, almost-worked-out gold-rush town […]

Review of Ask the Passengers

Ask the Passengers

Ask the Passengers by A. S. King High School    Little, Brown    295 pp. 10/12    978-0-316-19468-6    $17.99 Astrid would be the quintessential Q-for-Questioning girl in her high school’s LGBTQ support group if her small-town, small-minded school had such a thing — and the gay question is only one of many weighing her down. When her humanities […]

Review of The Dark

The Dark by Lemony Snicket

Review of The Dark by Lemony Snicket. From the March/April 2013 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Review of Maggot Moon

maggot moon

Maggot Moon by Sally Gardner; illus. by Julian Crouch Middle School, High School    Candlewick    281 pp. 2/13    978-0-7636-6553-1    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-7636-6573-9    $16.99 Gardner (I, Coriander, rev. 8/05) here imagines an alternate, dystopic UK: a repressive 1950s regime that calls itself the Motherland, abhors “impurities,” is led by a man with a bad haircut, and […]

Horn Book Magazine March/April starred reviews

The following books will receive starred reviews in the March/April issue of the Horn Book Magazine. Incidentally, this is also our annual special issue; the theme this year is “Different Drummers” with a ground-breaking (for us, anyway) cover by Paul Zelinsky (whose absence from the recent Caldecott announcement marks a Dark Day in that award’s […]

Review of Building Our House

building our house

Building Our House by Jonathan Bean; illus. by the author Primary    Farrar    48 pp. 1/13    978-0-374-38023-6    $17.99    g Drawing on childhood memories from his own family’s house construction (see author’s note), Bean creates an engaging story as well as a glimpse into a warm family setting. A little girl narrates, and her childlike voice provides […]