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 […]

Review of Pinned

pinned

Pinned by Sharon G. Flake Middle School, High School    Scholastic    231 pp. 10/12    978-0-545-05718-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-46984-5    $17.99 Ninth-grader Autumn is great at some things — wrestling, for one; cooking, for another. Reading is not one of her skills, due in part to multiple moves during her early childhood and parents who also don’t […]

Review of The McElderry Book of Mother Goose

The McElderry Book of Mother Goose compiled by Petra Mathers

The McElderry Book 
of Mother Goose: Revered and Rare Rhymes compiled by Petra Mathers; 
illus. by the compiler Primary, Intermediate    McElderry    96 pp. 8/12    978-0-689-85605-1    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4424-5314-2    $12.99 Not since Leonard Marcus’s Mother Goose’s Little Misfortunes (rev. 11/90) has there been such a delightfully idiosyncratic selection. Drawn mostly from the canonical Opies (see […]

Review of Dodger

Dodger by Terry Pratchett

Dodger by Terry Pratchett Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    360 pp. 10/12    978-0-06-200949-4    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-200950-0    $18.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-219015-4    $9.99 Who would have the skill, the sensibility, and the sass to put Charles Dickens into a novel and then proceed to write that novel in full-octane Dickensian style? Terry Pratchett, of course. Like his namesake […]

Review of Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin

Electric Ben

Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd; illus. by the author Intermediate    Dial    40 pp. 9/12    978-0-8037-3749-5    $17.99 With a jacket showing Benjamin Franklin as a cross between a mad scientist and a superhero standing amid wild lightning bolts and surrounded by all manner of electrical devices, this book […]

Gary D. Schmidt on What Came from the Stars

gary schmidt

Reviewer Deirdre F. Baker asks What Came from the Stars author Gary D. Schmidt about the function of elevated language in the novel. Read the full starred review of What Came from the Stars here. Deirdre F. Baker: For the book’s fantasy elements, you hark back to biblical, Old English, and Tolkienesque language, imagery, and […]