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 Mahony Miller might have said:  WTF? Was this a sequel to our newly-crowned […]

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 […]

Ripperology: Saucy Jack is back

ripper petrucha

Jack the Ripper has been creeping into children’s literature recently: Gordon Korman included him in his 2011 Titanic trilogy (Scholastic). (Incorporating a Ripper mystery aboard the famed ship now marking the 100th anniversary of its sinking? That should sell a few books.) Last September saw the release of the first book in Maureen Johnson’s exciting […]

Modelling opportunity for blue-eyed brunettes

cryptic cravings

While editing my reviews for the upcoming Fall 2011 Horn Book Guide, Elissa spotted these: From the last Guide: Apparently, the heroine of a paranormal YA romance must be an extra-pale, blue-eyed brunette with her hair in her (partial) face—at least, if I’m going to review it.

>Cross out Beezus!

>I just saw two three four new YA novels indulging employing  annoying pervasive strike-throughs to indicate a narrator’s dithering second thoughts or transparently self-buffing lies strategic rearrangements of the truth. I think this might be 2012’s dead girl OCD selectively mute protagonist of choice. It’s kind of like when everyone gets the same toy for […]

July Notes

The July issue of Notes from the Horn Book is out, featuring “Five Questions for . . .” Sophie Blackall, a recent BGHB Honor honoree who seems to be everywhere these days and doing some great work. Also: new picture-book bios (talk about something that’s everywhere), middle-grade fiction, and a roundup of the kind of […]

>I blame Kate DiCamillo

>for the fact that her fellow Newbery Medalists Lois Lowry, Cynthia Voigt, and Richard Peck all have new middle-grade novels about talking mice. P.S. Now I’m remembering Susan Dove Lempke’s story about this snooty mom coming in after Kate’s Newbery was announced, and requesting “The Tale of Day-Pehrr-Rehhrrr.” (I know my phonetic fake French is […]

>Served by a window with an ocean view

>Heading out tomorrow to spend a few days at the Cape Cod Writers Center talking about children’s book publishing. I’ll be giving a keynote speech and moderating a mega-panel with Debbie Kovacs, Alison Morris, Nancy Werlin, Mary Lee Donovan and Martin Sandler. My main goal, though, is to meet Mitali Perkins, who is one of […]