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[See also our Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book archives]   2020 January 2020 Five questions for Kacen Callender Sense of place Intergenerational warmth and wisdom Fascinating figures from twentieth-century history From the Editor February 2020 Five questions for A.S. King about Dig. ALA Awards 2020: Horn Book reviews of...
      

Week in Review, July 7th-11th

This week on hbook.com…July's issue of Notes from the Horn Book: 5 questions for The Great Greene Heist author Varian Johnson, more middle-school capers, pet picture books, nature nonfiction, and dragons and witches in YA fantasyFrom the July/August 2014 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: "From the Guide: Cultural Diversity...
      

July Notes

In this month's Notes from the Horn Book, we chat with author Varian Johnson about his tightly plotted novel The Great Greene Heist — and his favorite heist movies! You’ll also find• more middle-school capers• pet picture books• primary nature nonfiction• dragons and witches in YA fantasyRead the issue online...
      

Five questions for Varian Johnson

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Photo: Kenneth B. GallVarian Johnson (who was co-valedictorian, with his twin brother, of his high school class, thank you very much) enjoys two careers: as an author and an engineer. It's not surprising, then, that his new book The Great Greene Heist (Scholastic, 12–16 years) is so meticulously — almost...
      

From the Editor — July 2014

We lost two significant pioneers of YA literature this past month. When Nancy Garden’s Annie on My Mind was published in 1982, the possibilities for GLBTQ characters in teen fiction changed forever. The book said to gay kids: you are not going through a phase, you will meet others like...
      

YA dragons and witches

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What fantasy fan worth her salt doesn’t love a good dragon or witch story? There’s no shortage of them; but these YA novels are wholly original offerings that focus on the development of complex main characters and the subversion of traditional notions of good and evil.Teenager Nathan is a prisoner...
      

Science in your backyard

Outdoor play can double as an opportunity for learning about the natural world. These four nonfiction picture books may inspire readers to look more closely at the wildlife in their own neighborhoods.In Handle with Care: An Unusual Butterfly Journey, author Loree Griffin Burns explores the life cycle of butterflies alongside...
      

Dog days of summer

Dogs, cats, and…a sloth. These picture books showcase the comfort, companionship, aggravation, upheaval, and education that pets can bring into a family's life.In Karen Stanton's Monday, Wednesday, and Every Other Weekend, Henry and his dog Pomegranate live with Mama on Mondays, Wednesdays, and alternating weekends and with Papa the rest...
      

Middle-school capers

Middle school can be a time when kids broaden their horizons, explore new talents, and form more grown-up opinions. But it can also be a time for mischievous adventure, social snafus, rule-breaking, and guerilla-style activism — and these middle-school capers abound with such madcap antics.Twelve-year-old Jade, star of Tess Hilmo's...
      

Books mentioned in the July 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Varian JohnsonThe Great Greene Heist by Varian Johnson, Scholastic/Levine, 12–16 years.Middle-grade capersSkies Like These by Tess Hilmo, Farrar, 10–13 years.Kate Walden Directs: Night of the Zombie Chicken by Julie Mata, Hyperion, 10–13 years.I Kill the Mockingbird by Paul Acampora, Roaring Brook, 12–16 years.The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn...

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