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Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at

Family Reading: A place for ALL families

Each Kindness by Jacqueline WoodsonThis has been a rough week for a lot of us. We’ve read in the news and heard firsthand stories of uncertainty and fear from our children and their classmates and from neighbors and friends. The presidential election’s hateful rhetoric has prompted kids to worry about what is to come under the incoming administration: “Will people hurt us?” “Will people hurt YOU?” “Will we have to leave our home?”

Jacqueline Woodson, winner of the National Book Award and Coretta Scott King Award (among many other accolades), writes in this piece for the New York Times Magazine, “How Do I Comfort My Frightened Son After the Election?”: “In all my childhood, I never heard my grandparents say that anything shocked or surprised them. They knew what their country was capable of.”

We have to do better. Together.

We want to recommit to the idea that Family Reading is for ALL families — a place to hear EVERYONE’S stories and to go forward together. Please share your experiences with us — it always helps to get things out in the open, to shine a light through the darkness. If you’d like to write a guest post for Family Reading, send an email to Elissa (egershowitz[at]hbook[dot]com) and/or Kitty (kflynn[at]hbook[dot]com).

And let’s keep reading to the kids in our lives and discussing the ways books can heal division and build bridges (not walls!).


The Horn Book’s Talking About Race page

On Jacqueline Woodson: “Who Can Tell My Story?”

“Young Dreamers” by Christopher Myers

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson: “Mind the Gaps: Books for ALL Young Readers”

“Loud in the Library: Creating Social Activists at School” by Liz Phipps Soeiro

Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book: Recommended books about Activism

Recommended picture books for International Day of Peace



The American Library Association’s booklist “Unity. Kindness. Peace.

“A Declaration in Support of Children” at The Brown Bookshelf

“Library Resources for Fostering Empathetic Communities and Celebrating Diversity” at YALSA’s The Hub

Elissa Gershowitz and Kitty Flynn About Elissa Gershowitz and Kitty Flynn

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor and Kitty Flynn is consulting editor of The Horn Book, Inc. They co-parent the Horn Book's Family Reading blog at



  1. Kelly Ahlfeld says:

    Beautifully put! Bring on the stories; they are the key to empathy and kindness.

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