The new headless torsos, redux

erlings_boy on the edge

The new headless torsos could also be this.   For more book jacket love, read Thom Barthelmess’s article What Makes a Good Book Cover? From the March/April Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: Illustration.

Jeune filles fatales

reeves_slice of cherry

As Elissa and Shara have both noted, YA themes tend to be cyclical. Vampires, zombies, mermaids, cyborgs, even Emily Dickinson devotees have all had — are still having — major upswings in YA. Dia Reeves’s 2011 Slice of Cherry (Simon Pulse) starred sisters Kit and Fancy, who took after their serial killer father. Now with […]

You are what you read

bella reading

From The Outsiders to The Perks of Being a Wallflower to the Twilight saga, teen fiction has long used protagonists’ reading taste as a characterization device. It’s a fast way to say a lot about a character with very little information (or effort, depending on the novel). For instance, avid Jane Austen fans show up […]

Animal sounds

what does the fox say

It seems like lately everyone’s been asking “What does the fox say?” but children’s books have been asking this question (and others like it) since long before it was cool. Not only are animal noises fun and engaging for children to read aloud or say along, but the variety of these noises shows kids that […]

Flora is the new Chloe?

flora and the flamingo

Last year, Betsy Bird commented on the “Cluster of Chloes” showing up in children’s books. (And, in the comments section, Lois Lowry noted the Emmas and Bens of yore.) A new crop of books seems to have blossomed, all starring girls (or other animals) named Flora. Recent books…and counting: Flora and the Flamingo by Molly […]

Paging Jaime Sommers, or: Girls-who-don’t-know-they’re-part-robotic are the new zombies

bionic_woman

Vampires have had their day in the sun. Zombies are resting in peace. The new it-girls in supernatural romance seems to be bionic women. [Possible spoilers appear below; and, okay, to be fair, they're not all robots, but I do sense a trend. And just for fun, Freaks & Geeks fans, click here.] Cinder (Feiwel, […]

All hail the queen

The Queen of Kentucky

First there was The Queen of Kentucky (by Alecia Whitaker, Little/Poppy, January). Look what popped up yesterday at our offices: The Princesses of Iowa (by M. Molly Backes, Candlewick, May).     Could this be a new trend? Regal YA? I hope the royals aren’t limited to the Midwest though—I, for one, wouldn’t mind The […]

Well, this bites

norvelt33 3copy

Here at the Horn Book we’ve gotten used to publishers sending us off-the-wall books.  But this week even we were taken aback when we lifted the flap of a box and found this volume sitting on top of the stack:                           As Bertha […]

Here’s lookin’ at you

heart-shaped glasses

Intern Ariel gave Juliet Marillier’s forthcoming Shadowfell (Knopf, September) and A. C. Gaughen’s just-published Scarlet (Walker, February) a makeover. Now they’re fashion-forward for summer 2012.

Summer trend watch

heart-shaped 1

I can’t believe that I’m already sorting through mounds of July and August galleys for the Spring 2013 Guide issue. I’m also floored that heart-shaped glasses are apparently this summer’s hottest trend. Don’t believe it either? These two nearly identical summer ARC covers might convince you:     Personally, I’m still a cat-eye kind of […]