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A Note from Me (Sep 18, 2020)

Dear friends: What I’m late with this week are my Christmas book reviews, destined for our annual “Holiday High Notes” list to be published in the November/December issue of the Magazine. I believe it was a Winnie Winkle comic that taught me that some industries — fashion, publishing — live...
      

"Already a Butterfly": Powerful Women Characters -- Today

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I search almost desperately for powerful female characters in whom to find strength. I need them as I need mentors. I want them for my own daughter so she won’t undermine herself and her own power (as I look back and recognize I did for so many years). I thirst...
      

Children's Books and Contradictions

In March 1888, New York City was in the midst of a legendary blizzard. The city had been caught off-guard, unprepared for a storm so late in the year. The trees were already blooming in Central Park, the birds were singing — and then the unexpected snow. For days, streetcars...
      

A Note from Me (Sep 11, 2020)

Dear friends: This has happened to all of you. You save up a book for a holiday weekend and it just isn’t working for you. That Denise Mina I told you about, The Less Dead, keeps (I mean, I’ll finish it) testing my willing suspension of disbelief. Maybe I could...
      

A Note from Me (Sep 4, 2020)

Dear friends: Oy, I have eighty-seven book reviews to edit, thirty-one Publishers’ Preview questions to write, and a Talks interview tomorrow, and here I am, writing to You People. I hope it’s worth it. Hopefully (hey, let’s see if I can get a singular they in here someplace, too) this...
      

Carrots, carrots

Is anyone else starting to look like a children's book character? Photo credit to the seven-year-old. See also "Why is it always the redhead? —or— How to use stock photos sparingly." And to read about a real character see Roger Is Reading a Book....
      

Drawing Comfort from Shared Reading

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I last saw my eldest son Rory (aged twenty-three) in person at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It was February, and he was performing in the opening event for the exhibit “Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent.” Rory’s role was to read McKeller’s letters as part of a...
      

Editorial: Effin' Jeez (September/October 2020)

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Welcome to the September/October issue of The Horn Book Magazine, with, among other riches, 120 book reviews blowing the horn for the best new books. This issue is also the second one whose reviews are the result of a completely digital process, with nary a hand to physical book or...
      

A Note from Me (Aug 28, 2020)

Dear friends: You know, ever since I was babbling about prime numbers here and here, I’ve been insisting upon them, whether we crank the TV to volume twenty-three rather than twenty-two or I eat seventeen frozen Spice Drops for my snack rather than fifteen. Numbers are everywhere. I’m glad my...
      

The Writer's Page: "At the Mercy or Whim of Others": Policing Protest in Children's Publishing

“I will not write another lament.” That’s the first line of my poem “Room to Breathe,” which I wrote on May 29, 2020, the day a White Minneapolis police officer was charged with the murder of George Floyd. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, I turned to poetry, since I couldn’t...

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