Please pass the beignets

winter_how jelly roll morton invented jazz

In our upcoming May/June issue, we review two nonfiction books starring jazz greats from the Big Easy: How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz and Trombone Shorty.    Now I’m nostalgic for NOLA, particularly its incredible live music scene! I can’t wait to get back to Frenchmen St. The annual — and beloved — New Orleans […]

T for two

t logo

Reading through the fiction reviews section of the May/June Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Transformations, I’m struck by the sudden urge for tea. One lump or two, protagonists? Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff: “I didn’t do it on purpose, obviously,” says twelve-year-old Trent Zimmerman. “Kill Jared Richards, I mean.” Cuckoo Song by Frances […]

Everywhere dragons

florian_how to draw a dragon

…at least, everywhere in the March/April Magazine! These four new dragon-themed books are all reviewed in that issue, offering something for dragon fans of several different age groups. Consider them additions to our dragon-centric fantasy booklist. For preschool- and primary-aged kids, there’s author/illustrator Douglas Florian’s How to Draw a Dragon (Simon/Beach Lane, April 2015). Less […]

Whistling past the graveyard

flavor_graveyard

Another odd mini-trend to go with our rapture-girl books: The Boy in the Black Suit and The Dead I Know star teenage boys who work in funeral homes. The girl in Six Feet Over It lives in a graveyard (well, on the grounds of one) and works, after school, as its manager. Where’s Bod when […]

My brother’s got a secret

Child-Superhero

Now, this is just cute.

Reading rainbow? Not quite

purple books

Yo, Marsala, I’m happy for you, I’ma let you finish — but Eggplant is the real Color of the Year. At least according to this entire shelf of purple-jacketed books.

Most popular boys’ names 2025?

brennan_unspoken

I read a lot of supernatural romance YA — for the Mag, for the Guide, and for fun — and I’ve been noticing how many dreamy guys in recent series are named either Jared or Cole. Bonus points for a Jared/Cole in a love triangle with the female protagonist, or if the protagonist and said […]

Holistic healing, YA-style?

save_life

Serendipitously, these two audiobooks were next to each other on a cart. I’d take the song.

Veggies in undies: real-life remix

Mutant carrot.

Hey, it’s an art form. Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.

I see London! I see France! I see broccoli in underpants!

doodler_veggies with wedgies

What’s with the books about vegetables in underwear? As a pro-underpants vegetarian, I feel compelled to comment on this mushrooming trend. Okay, maybe it’s less a trend and more…well…three books on the topic, a veritable cornucopia of corn cobs in tightie-whities. Last spring’s Veggies with Wedgies by Todd H. Doodler (Little Simon, May 2014) started […]