Subscribe to The Horn Book

Harrumph.

Grumpy_Cat

Protagonists are having terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days in these new and upcoming picture books: (What’s with the pissy penguins? I thought they were supposed to have happy feet.) Fortunately, these grumpy characters find ways to turn their frowns upside-down. The protagonist of Jory John and Lane Smith’s Penguin Problems gets a reality […]

Ribbon writing

charaipotra_shiny broken pieces

Cover art fads are such fun to watch. There have been Headless Torsos; Girls in Red; Girls in Flowy Dresses; Girls Looking Over their Shoulders; Teens on the Edge; Apples; and so, so many more. Another one I’ve noticed recently: ribbon writing.       I like it, I think. It looks sassy but classy. And, […]

Books in bloom

marr_seven black diamonds

It’s almost summer! The weather is getting warmer, the daydreams are kicking in, and the flowers are blooming — outside and on YA covers. Take a look:    

Trending: cults in YA

oakes_sacred lies of minnow bly

Lately the YA sci-fi/fantasy market has been dominated by Strong Female Protagonists who take down corrupt regimes or lead groups of survivors in the post-apocalypse. Meanwhile, Strong Female Protagonists in realism have been dealing with more day-to-day issues: boyfriends, girlfriends, dead parents, mental illness, etc. These young ladies, while being emotionally courageous, have not been […]

Red.

red coated nails

Red. Red tells us a young lady is daring. Bold. Bright. She’s ready to break out of old, familiar roles and start anew, maybe with a new boy (or a new boy, or a new boy). She’s ready for anything. Except showing her face. ‘Cause that’s a bit much, y’all.       Also, she […]

This title trend

schwab_this savage song

This trending structure seems to indicate that something serious is going down. It could be the reanimation-via-clockwork of the deceased. It could be that someone’s in love, but at the worst possible time. It could be a mysterious death. Or it could be a war between humanity and monsters. In any case, this dramatic phrase […]

Dream, dream, dream

The Horn Book Guide

The cover of the Fall 2015 Horn Book Guide is a beautiful Rafael López illustration from Drum Dream Girl by Margarita Engle (which, by the way, just won the Charlotte Zolotow Award). In this story, saturated acrylic-on-wood illustrations capture the island’s musicality and the surreal dream-images that inspire young Millo — a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who […]

Trend alert: authors who <3 authors

viorst dedication 2

In the process of checking the bibliographic info of Judith Viorst’s forthcoming poetry collection What Are You Glad About? What Are You Mad About?: Poems for When a Person Needs a Poem (Atheneum/Dlouhy, February 2016), I happened to notice something a little more interesting than an ISBN: Visions ensued of a power friendship between two […]

Things I Did Before They Were Cool: Coloring Book Edition

pippins_i love my hair

Recently, I have seen many articles about coloring books for adults (like this one). I paid little attention because I was so ahead of this trend. You see, my right-out-of-college boyfriend and our group of friends were super into board games. Initially I tried to play, but it became very clear to all of us […]

Cuckoo’s song

yovanoff_replacement

I discovered the podcast “Lore” yesterday, and I’m already eleven episodes in. Created by supernatural thriller author Aaron Mahnke, “Lore” tells real-life stories behind or informed by scary folklore, urban legends, and other creepy tales. Thus far, it’s covered the requisite vampires (this particular case taking place in colonial Massachusetts), werewolves (in medieval Germany), and […]