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We walk in, by ones or twos, flash IDs and smiles. If you are lucky, the dance floor is already crowded and you can simply slip between the sounds, into the movement. There are colored lights spinning over skin, over carefully chosen outfits, over movements practiced in home mirrors, over moments of joy and sweat […]

Board Book Roundup: Spring 2016 Edition

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This column is part of a series of recommended board book roundups, formerly published twice a year, now published every season. You can find the previous installments here. Don’t miss Viki Ash’s primer “What Makes a Good Board Book?” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine. We need diverse board books, too! Start your child’s […]

HBook Podcast 1.13 – Special Guest Vicky Smith

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Podcast the thirteenth in which Siân and Roger chat with Vicky Smith, Children’s and Teen Editor at Kirkus Reviews, about Unmaking the White Default, ALA awards, and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Books we talk about Kenneth Oppel and Jon Klassen, The Nest John Bellairs, The House with the Clock in Its Walls Steve […]

Hbook Podcast 1.7 – Special Guest Hannah Gómez

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Podcast the seventh, in which Siân and Roger talk with Hannah Gómez–Horn Book reviewer, member of the WNDB staff, and all around awesome person–about racial coding in books and identifying race in book reviews. Also, cats. We also talk about cats. And dogs. Those too. Books we talk about Joshua Khan, Shadow Magic Virginia Euwer Wolff, Make Lemonade Toni Morrison, […]

Zetta Elliott at Harvard

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Last night I had the pleasure of finally meeting Zetta Elliott (whose “Decolonizing the Imagination,” from the March/April 2010 Horn Book Magazine, is a thought-provoking Writer’s Page article and one of the pieces featured in The Horn Book’s Black History Month 2016 series). She was speaking at the Harvard College Women’s Center right in Hahvahd […]

A Fine Bookshelf

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I once taught a rites-of-passage class to a group of African American and Caribbean American teenage girls. The workshops included lessons in history, self-care, and literacy. These classes weren’t supposed to be like school. I was there to help deepen their understanding of their world and their place in it. I created a lesson called […]

Shortest month of the year #HBBlackHistoryMonth16

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As our #HBBlackHistoryMonth16 coverage comes to a close, here is a reminder that these articles by and about African American children’s literature luminaries should be read by everyone, everywhere, everyday, not just during the shortest month of the year. In the meantime, we’ll keep updating our Horn Book Talking About Race resource page. We’ve already […]

Hermione, headcanons, and kindred spirits

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Recently, the two-part what-happens-next-in-the-Wizarding-World play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child announced three key cast members: Jamie Parker as adult Harry, Paul Thornley as adult Ron, and Noma Dumezweni as adult Hermione. Congratulations to them all, and I hope the plays are as good as the books, and I really hope they make it to […]

A Thousand Winters: 2015 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award Acceptance

In Jackie Woodson's Brooklyn living room, "on hiatus from saving the world." Photo: Nataki Hewling

I am a poet. On the morning of the youth media announcements, Jacqueline Woodson and I are texting each other. There is a shift happening in the wonderful world of children’s books, and we feel it, and I guess we want to share that moment. “Jackie, this is awesome, isn’t it? We need to get […]

#WeGotDiverseAwardBooks: Reflections on Awards and Allies

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I missed out on ALA Midwinter this year. At nine months pregnant, there was just no way I could hop on a plane (or hop anywhere, really) to be a part of the conference and its festivities. But shortly after the 2015 ALA Youth Media Awards were announced, a colleague emailed me, “How about all […]