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It’s the end of the world as we know it…

end of the world books

I was just looking something up in the November/December 2015 HB Mag and spotted these two YA novels — with their matchy-matchy titles and covers — on facing pages: Yikes. Think the authors know something we don’t?

The Girl Who Spotted Another Title Trend

roberts_girl with the silver eyes

Does your summer read have a cover Girl? I’ve noticed quite a few hit grownup books have female protagonists — and familiar-sounding titles. The Girls Who Started It All: The Girls Who Followed Their Lead:   And let’s not forget this Girl. Many of these Girls star in psychological thrillers — not to mention similar […]

The Maine event


The September/October 2016 Horn Book Magazine book review section features four books set in and around Maine: A quick Horn Book Guide Online keyword search on “Maine” showed that some other recent favorites are set in Vacationland. And there are many more! There must be something in the water. Sal would be proud.

Beware the Jabberbook!

nonsense quote

Or don’t beware. Be excited. Picture books with made-up words that make complete sense are my new favorite trend.   There’s Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette “Kleebo” Portis (Roaring Brook, July 2016; received a starred review in the May/June 2016 Horn Book Magazine), about two residents of Boborp who have been best […]

Updated not-so-new New Yorkers


We just HAD to update this post to include this beautiful Kadir Nelson cover: Read 2011’s Kadir Nelson Talks with Roger about Nelson’s book Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans and publisher Donna Bray’s 2012 profile of Nelson. There are many more…here are a couple others of note. *    *    * […]



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 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 […]