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Using Books

Bringing books and people together.

Chapter books | Class #3, fall 2017

For our next class on October 4, we are reading three chapter books — Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina, Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key by Jack Gantos, and The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Each is the first book in a series (the sequel to Juana & Lucas has not yet been published) and […]

Looking for Queer Girls on the Shelves

I was a library fugitive. In elementary school I lost a few library books, and instead of telling anyone, I hid the notices and avoided the public library for most of my adolescent years. I read voraciously from the shelves of my school libraries, but as a self-sufficient grazer, I never had a strong relationship with […]

How to deal

For the protagonists of these recent YA novels, school variously serves as a source of anxiety and a means to cope (healthily or otherwise) with turmoil in other parts of their lives. In Posted by John David Anderson, the administration of Branton Middle School bans cell phones, and a new, old-fashioned idea comes along: sticky […]

Books mentioned in the September 2017 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five Questions for Anne Quirk The Good Fight: The Feuds of the Founding Fathers (And How They Shaped the Nation) by Anne Quirk, illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley, Knopf, 10–14 years. This Is Our Constitution: Discover America with a Gold Star Father by Khizr Khan, Knopf, 10–14 years. Of scientists and samurai Samurai Rising: The Epic […]

Of scientists and samurai

These nonfiction audiobooks, recommended for middle-school listeners and up, highlight a variety of memorable moments and important figures throughout human history. Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune is the bloody, heroic saga of an iconic twelfth-century samurai. Author Pamela S. Turner combines meticulous historical detail with conversational modernity and wry asides. Her narrative […]

Chapter-book chums

As new readers head back to school, these recent chapter books will help cement a love of read-it-yourself stories. King, an exuberant dog, introduces himself in the initial two entries of a new early-chapter-book series by Dori Hillestad Butler: “Hello! My name is King. I’m a dog. This is Kayla. She is my human.” Each […]

Back-to-school silliness

School is in session. Here are some new picture books that play up the silliness for students and teachers — including one most ridiculous substitute. For more, look to our Back-to-School Horn Book Herald and What Makes a Good School Story? newsletters. The mischievous feline star of Here Comes Teacher Cat by Deborah Underwood is […]

Picture books & easy readers | class #2, fall 2017

During our first class, we started to look at picture books. For our second class on September 20, we are adding easy readers into the mix. Here’s what we are reading and discussing: Three more picture books That New Animal by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Pierre Pratt School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, […]

Picture books | class #1, fall 2017

For our first class on September 6, we will be reading two picture books and three articles. Where the Wild Things Are is a classic in the US now, but when it was first published in 1963, it was controversial. If you knew this book as a child, what did you notice this time that […]

Time to go back to school

Labor Day weekend is about to start and so is school. Here in Boston, today is moving-in-day for most of the colleges — and the Horn Book office sits right in the middle of five: Simmons, MassArt, Wentworth, Emmanuel, and Wheelock. The Horn Book editors once again put together a great list of Back to […]