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Archives for October 2016

Shadow House app review

Set in Larkspur House, a home for abandoned and wayward children, Shadow House (Scholastic, August 2016; iOS and Android) is the app component of Dan Poblocki’s new multi-platform middle-grade horror series of the same name. The app allows users to interact with the series’ fictional world by choosing their own pathways through twelve different “Incidents.” […]

Information books | Class #4, fall 2016

Our next class will be in two weeks, on November 9. We’ll be talking about five information books: Actual Size by Steve Jenkins Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart, illustrated by Sarah S. Brannen Dave the Potter by Laban Carrick Hill, illustrated by Bryan Collier Voice of Freedom: Fannie […]

Revenge of the Little Free Libraries

Remember how all those Little Free Libraries were in the news, with people being forced to take them down because of zoning laws and such? Here’s one Little Free Library (preemptively) striking back: Those suckers can be prickly!

My Own Discretion Advised

Some parents are strict. They limit what their kids can watch on TV and how many hours they can watch it. They don’t allow their kids to read certain books. Usually what ends up happening is that those kids rebel and rent “inappropriate” movies or check out forbidden books from the library and read them […]

Review of Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis

Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis by Jabari Asim; illus. by E. B. Lewis Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp. 10/16    978-0-399-16856-7    $16.99    g John Lewis, longtime member of the U.S. House of Representatives, was a member of the “Big Six” during the 1963 March on Washington and went on to solidify his […]

Decolonizing Nostalgia: When Historical Fiction Betrays Readers of Color

If I look back at my childhood in the nineties, I can tie my preferences for types of play very closely to the types of books I liked to read. Beyond swimming and riding my bicycle, I was an indoor kid who, though I had plenty of friends, was happiest playing with paper dolls, Kitchen […]

They All Saw a Cat

It’s become old hat for an artist to have more than one really great picture book out in the same year, but usually it’s a familiar name. (Think Melissa Sweet, Jon Klassen, Philip Stead…) What’s unusual is when the artist has a rather unfamiliar name. This year, illustrator Brendan Wenzel has two books that many people […]

Review of Still Life with Tornado

Still Life with Tornado by A.S. King High School    Dutton    296 pp. 10/16    978-1-101-99488-7    $17.99    g “There is no such thing as an original idea,” sixteen-year-old Sarah’s teacher tells the class, a dictum that sticks with the once-promising art student. Sarah had an original idea, and she executed it beautifully, but Something Happened at school […]

Books mentioned in the October 2016 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Presidential biographies Presidential Powerhouses series Brennan, Linda Crotta  Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Presidency Middle school, high school     104 pp.     Lerner     2016 Library binding ISBN 978-1-4677-7928-9 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4677-8549-5 Goddu, Krystyna Poray  George Washington’s Presidency Middle school, high school     104 pp.     Lerner     2016 Library binding ISBN 978-1-4677-7924-1 Ebook ISBN 978-1-4677-8598-3 Rowell, Rebecca  John F. Kennedy’s Presidency Middle […]

Blood and gore (for Halloween!)

Bedell, J. M.  So, You Want to Work with the Ancient and Recent Dead?: Unearthing Careers from Paleontology to Forensic Science Gr. 4–6, middle school     248 pp.     Simon/Aladdin/Beyond Words Be What You Want series. “Think your Goth lifestyle is a predictor of your future vocation”? This broad series installment examines fields centered on dead things […]