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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

Spring Break (?!) 2018

Emack & Bolio’s ice cream: “Closed due to bad weather” on Marathon Monday. This never happens.

Though it doesn’t feel much like spring here in Massachusetts (brr!), this is April School Vacation Week. Monday was Patriots’ Day, a state holiday commemorating the Revolutionary War battles of Lexington and Concord; it was also Marathon Monday, and this year’s 122nd Boston Marathon marked five years since that horrible, unforgettable day of the marathon bombing. Two picture books to recommend:

Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes (both survivors of the bombing) about Jessica’s service dog, Rescue, illustrated by Scott Magoon (who ran the race this year to raise money for service dogs).

Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon by Annette Bay Pimentel, illustrated by Micha Archer, about “the first woman to run the Boston Marathon — in defiance of the rules, since she was denied an application due to gender.” Especially timely, since this year’s winner, Desiree Linden, is the first American woman to have won the Boston Marathon since 1985.

Springtime weather is on the way — see Signs of Springtime. If you missed last week’s Spring News edition of the Horn Book Herald, here are Five Questions for Young People’s Poet Laureate Margarita Engle, along with resources for National Poetry Month and for Earth Day (which is this Sunday, April 22nd). Also check out Family Reading contributor Susan Olcott’s series on outdoor science and nature family projects.

Our annual Summer Reading list is coming soon! Sign up for our free monthly e-newsletter Notes from the Horn Book to receive the Summer Reading edition on Wednesday, May 16th. Here’s 2017’s list, if you need some warming up.

Elissa Gershowitz About Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is executive editor of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and a BA from Oberlin College.

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