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The 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners...for families!

Yesterday Roger announced the 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners, and they are GREAT! My youngest, age six, will be most drawn to the picture books, some of which he's already seen, some he hasn't. Picture Book Award winner The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd, with its spirited (and creative!) kids, is great for active days; Honor Book Dreamers by Yuyi Morales is wonderful for bedtime snuggles (and library reading); Honor Book We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac is perfect for everyday — and every season. Though my kid hasn't yet seen Nonfiction Honor Book Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin, I know he'll be fascinated; lately he has been agitating for a baby sibling (never gonna happen, kid).

One of my favorite books of last year was Kekla Magoon's Fiction & Poetry Award winner The Season of Styx Malone, starring three hilariously (and heart-warmingly) indelible and irrepressible boys, and I think it will be the perfect summer read for my nine-year-old (alongside Kekla's Horn Book Magazine article about being an "everyday un-hero," which everyone of all ages should read). Nonfiction Award winner This Promise of Change: One Girl's Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce (one of the real-life "Clinton 12") and Debbie Levy, is an excellent book on its own — and a wonderful real-life example that ties into work my children's school has been doing around local, ongoing issues of race and inequity in our school and education system.

As to the three YA titles -- we're not there yet; but the big kid loves the comics format, and Hey, Kiddo, Jarrett J. Krosoczka's honest and affecting graphic memoir (a BGHB Nonfiction Honor Book) will be a draw. Fiction Honor Book Darius the Great Is Not Okay provides a unique and engaging snapshot of adolescent young-manhood; and Fiction Honor Book On the Come Up by Angie Thomas, with its portrait of a bright, determined, fiercely creative and sometimes misunderstood teen spoken-word artist/rapper, is just as compelling as Thomas's blockbuster The Hate U Give — if not even richer and deeper.

Thanks to this year's Boston Globe-Horn Book judges Cindy Ritter, Kim Parker, and Monica Edinger for selecting such wonderful winners — and for giving my family's summer reading an additional boost!

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 University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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Judy Freeman

Fabulous work, BG-HB judges! I haven't read the 2019 titles yet, but I'm beyond thrilled and tickled purple to see the spectacular The Season of Styx Malone--my very favorite realistic fiction book of 2018 (my very favorite fantasy being The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson & Eugene Yelchin, a Nat. Book Award finalist) as the Fiction award-winner. The Patchwork Bike is another brilliant choice, utterly original with artwork that thrills, as are the spectacular Dreamers and We Are Grateful. So satisfying to see books I've been championing all year get the recognition & adoration they deserve. This sure made my day/month/year!

Posted : May 30, 2019 09:08


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