Subscribe to The Horn Book
Family Reading logo

Read more Family Reading posts | Subscribe via RSS

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

On Christopher Myers’s “Orlando” (from 2016)

Art by Christopher Myers.

Just after the Pulse nightclub murders in June 2016, Christopher Myers wrote the Horn Book Magazine article “Orlando“:

What happens next, in the wake of these sorts of tragedies, I’m sorry to say, has become increasingly familiar. News outlets scramble, desperate to find narratives that they can apply like inadequate bandages on wounds too deep and too intricate to articulate in Band-Aids. All of the popular notes are played in this peculiarly American symphony of retelling.

This was just before that year’s ALA Annual, in Orlando, and Myers continued:

In the aftermath of incidents like what happened at Pulse or in Charleston, Ferguson, Steubenville, or anywhere around the world where violence becomes the chosen language to translate inequality or difference or the desire for power, there is a need for stories to contain, to comfort, to process, to prevent. Each time a body falls, there ought to be a story there to catch them. Those stories will serve the humanity of their readers even better if we can get them into the hands of young people before the bodies fall.

Read “Orlando” for the balm it may give your soul, then return to our industry’s (and our country’s) current difficult, vital conversations with renewed commitment and vigor. Sharing stories always helps.

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

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind