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Five questions for Caroline Cala

If you were a young reader in the nineties (or even if you weren’t), there’s a good chance you remember Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books. Author Caroline Cala definitely does, and her hilarious series-starter Best Babysitters Ever (Houghton, 10–12 years) brings Kristy’s great idea of yore to modern readers...

Five questions for Traci Sorell and Frané Lessac

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We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Frané Lessac (Charlesbridge, 5–8 years), is a lushly illustrated, through-the-seasons look at a contemporary Cherokee community's daily life, pausing for celebrations of traditional observances (e.g., Cherokee New Year) and making special note of gratitude.1. "Cherokee people say otsaliheliga to express gratitude....

Five questions for Kate DiCamillo

Fans of Kate DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale will remember Louisiana Elefante as the perceptive friend (and orphaned daughter of trapeze artists) who reassures the others: “We’ll rescue each other.” In companion book Louisiana’s Way Home (both Candlewick, 8–11 years), it seems that Louisiana may need rescuing — from the “care” of...

Five questions for Zetta Elliott

Zetta Elliott's Dragons in a Bag (Random, 8–11 years) kicks off a new middle-grade fantasy series starring Jaxon, a young African American Brooklynite who gets a glimpse of the magical possibilities of our world (and others) when he spends a day with new acquaintance Ma.1. In the acknowledgements of Dragons...

Five questions for Sergio Ruzzier

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Photo: Matt Carr.The Party and Other Stories [Fox + Chick] (Chronicle; 5–8 years) stars two friends whose relationship isn’t always so smooth. It looks like a picture book from the outside, but simply structured panels and spare, repetitive text make it work just as effectively as an easy reader and...

Five questions for Catherine Gilbert Murdock

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Photo courtesy of Catherine Gilbert Murdock.In The Book of Boy (Greenwillow, 9–12 years), we meet a young goatherd accompanying the pilgrim Secundus on his quest for relics, traveling from France to Rome in 1350. Boy is on a quest of his own…and as readers gradually learn (and Boy learns with...

Five questions for Jessica Love

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In Jessica Love's picture book Julián Is a Mermaid (Candlewick, 4–7 years), the little-boy protagonist daydreams about becoming a mermaid. Left to his own devices, he fashions a mermaid costume from household items and applies a coat of lipstick…but what will Abuela think?1. This is the best type of "message...

April 2018 Horn Book Herald: Spring News: Five questions for Margarita Engle

Poet Margarita Engle is the author of poetry collections (Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics), picture-book biographies (Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music; The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano), memoir (Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings), and works of historical fiction (Lion Island,...

Five questions for Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi. Photo: Elena Seibert.Tomi Adeyemi's high-octane fantasy Children of Blood and Bone (Holt, 14 years and up) begins with a bang (and, like much classic fantasy, with a map) and ends with a cliffhanger. In between, readers follow three narrators with shifting loyalties and motivations as they attempt to...
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