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Archives for April 2014

Week in Review, April 21st-25th

This week on hbook.com… From the May/June 2014 Harriet at 50 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: “I Spy: Harriet and I” by Newbery medalist Jack Gantos “Writer, Wrestler, Stutterer, Spy” by author/illustrator Megan McDonald “Becoming a Book Detective” by Simmons Center for the Study of Children’s Literature director Cathie Mercier “Fifty Years of Novel Exploits” […]

#outfitoftheday

You never know what you’ll find when opening boxes at the Horn Book. You might come across the perfect accessory to complete your ensemble.

Historical fiction — why didn’t I use it more?

A librarian friend of mine* recently asked me why historical fiction doesn’t make its way into social studies and language arts classrooms more often. The thought keeps rattling around in my brain. First, I should say that I don’t know for sure that there aren’t tons of classrooms where historical fiction is a great pillar […]

52 Fun Things to Do on the Plane app review

It’s school vacation week here in Boston — which always makes me think about taking trips. The app 52 Fun Things to Do on the Plane (Oceanhouse Media and Chronicle Books, 2013), created by Lynn Gordon with illustrations by Susan Synarski and Karen Johnson, will come in handy for parents looking for activities to occupy […]

Harriet at 50

She doesn’t look a day over eleven, but this year Harriet the Spy, first published in 1964, is turning 50. To celebrate, The Horn Book Magazine‘s May/June issue features thoughts, musings, riffs, and remembrances about the girl spy. Click on the tag Harriet at 50 to see what Jack Gantos, K. T. Horning, Megan McDonald, […]

I Spy: Harriet and I

When I was a boy, I knew I was sneaky, but I didn’t think of myself as a “lowlife sneak” until my mother called me one with such disgust in her voice I actually did feel ashamed. I was babysitting at the next-door neighbor’s house when my mother looked out her own bedroom window and […]

Core values

Narrative nonfiction is on the lesson plan in Lolly’s Classroom today. Is anyone else worried that the CCSS demand for more nonfiction reading does not seem to be translating into more nonfiction publishing? I have the feeling that publishers are mostly sitting this one out. (As well they might, now that no one seems to […]

Anybody want a peanut?

We recently received the (adult) graphic novel biography Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown (May 2014, First Second). As any Princess Bride fan will know, Andre the Giant is the professional-wrestler-turned-actor who played Fezzik in the movie. Born Andre Rene Roussimoff, he grew up in rural Molien, France, where he was too large […]

Review of Half a Chance

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord Intermediate    Scholastic    218 pp. 3/14    978-0-545-03533-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-62083-3    $16.99 When twelve-year-old Lucy enters a photography contest, she must decide whether or not to send in her very best photo — a picture of her new friend Nate’s grandmother, whose life has become punctuated with moments of dementia […]

Writer, Wrestler, Stutterer, Spy

This is the story of how I came to read and know and love Harriet the Spy. It is also a harrowing account of my brush with danger, in which my ten-year-old self stared fear in the face. When I was nine or so, I started having trouble with words. I grew up with four […]