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A Note from Me (Jul 2, 2021)

Dear friends: ALA is behind us but the speeches remain, as ever, in the July/August issue of The Horn Book Magazine. (Has anyone seen a copy yet? I have not.) The September/October issue is already bearing down upon us, and I don’t even want to think about the amount of...

Treasuring when "nothing happens"

I admit I was immediately skeptical when I received a copy of the picture book Peanut Goes for the Gold by Jonathan Van Ness of Queer Eye fame, with illustrations by Gillian Reid. Though I’ve watched and enjoyed the show with my teenage daughters, I have a healthy suspicion of celebrity-penned children’s books. My leeriness was coupled with an...

LGBTQIA+ books that I have read

Editor’s note: Thirteen-year-old Onyx (they/them) has been keeping track of the books they’ve read during their pandemic year. Onyx notes the gender identities and/or sexual orientations represented in the books, their recommendation for age level, and whether or not the stories include romance. They’ve even created their own rating system, explained below. We’re delighted that Onyx has given us permission to share their list with our readers.   YA means young adult books, middle grade means middle-school books, kids means kids books.  The star✨ means...

A Note from Me (Jun 11, 2021)

Dear friends: So sorry to have missed you last week (dummy-reading-duty called!), but I hope everyone had an enjoyable long weekend/Memorial Day holiday. One of your number took perplexing exception to something anodyne I wrote here referencing Kamala Harris; I think our Vice President is in all ways wonderful, and...

LGBTQIA+ tweens and young teens

These recent middle-grade and middle-school novels star tweens and young teens exploring their LGBTQIA+ identities. Read them during Pride Month — and all year round. See also our recent Guide/Reviews Database Book Bundle: Pride. Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea by Ashley Herring Blake Intermediate, Middle School    Little, Brown   ...

A Note from Me (June 19, 2020)

Dear friends, Beverly Sills famously opined that she wasn’t happy, she was cheerful, a sentiment that could perhaps serve us all well now. (Although if you want to hear Bev being beautifully sad and despairing, try her “Addio del passato” from La Traviata.) We do have some stuff to be...

“Two, four, six, eight, don’t assume your kids are straight!”

“Two, four, six, eight, don’t assume your kids are straight!”* Happy Pride Month! And thank you, SCOTUS, for ruling to protect LGBTQIA+ workers’ civil rights! It’s about time we had some good news. Though the pandemic has forced this year’s Pride recognitions to go virtual, it’s still important to continue...

YA Pride fiction 2020

June is Pride month. Here are some recent books for middle schoolers and high schoolers about LGBTQIA+ young people coming into their own identities. See also Elizabeth Acevedo’s Clap When You Land (a 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry honoree; read our review in the upcoming July/August Horn Book...

Five questions for Elizabeth Acevedo

In Clap When You Land (Quill Tree/HarperCollins, 14 years and up), two teens — Camino, who lives in the Dominican Republic, and Yahaira, who lives in New York City — discover they are half-sisters after their father perishes in a plane crash. Told in alternating verse, the story — winner...

Books mentioned in the June 2020 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Elizabeth Acevedo Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo, Quill Tree/HarperCollins. YA Pride fiction 2020 The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta, Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins. Redwood and Ponytail by K. A. Holt, Chronicle. In the Role of Brie Hutchens... by Nicole Melleby, Algonquin. The Midnight Lie by Marie...

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