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Lighting the Candle: Unearthing a Writer

Mrs. Arnoldus (top row, third from left) and Donna Barba Higuera (second row from top, far left). When word spread that homeroom assignments had gone out, every sixth grader at Roosevelt School waited by their mailbox, promising God they’d be good the rest of the year if Mrs. Arnoldus’s name...

Lighting the Candle: El Paso to Pura Belpré

From the May/June 2021 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: The Pura Belpré Award at 25. Find more in the "Lighting the Candle" series here....

Lighting the Candle: Inherited Exile

When I was little, my mother read poetry to me in Spanish. José Martí’s Versos sencillos were the essence of my memories from those early years. Even though he died in battle, his rosa blanca of forgiveness for enemies had an enormous impact on my lifelong commitment to peacemaking. After...

What the Pura Belpré Award Means to Me

I was digging into a plate of masitas de puerco at a Cuban restaurant on 46th Street in Manhattan a couple of years ago when the doors opened and in walked Minnie and Mickey Mouse. Nothing is ever really surprising in New York, so I assumed they were on a...

A Letter to Readers: ¡Celebremos!: 25 Years of the Pura Belpré Award

¡Bienvenidos! Welcome to this special issue of The Horn Book Magazine commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pura Belpré Award and, more generally, Latinx literature for young people. As the 2020–21 vice president/president-elect of the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and as past president of the National Association...

Editorial: (Re)Claiming Our Literature (May/June 2021)

Welcome to our celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Pura Belpré Award, founded in 1996 by REFORMA and the American Library Association to honor Latino and Latina creators of children’s and young adult literature whose work “best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience.” But before I pass...

Table of Contents: May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25

Cover from Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré. Illustration © 2019 Paola Escobar. Used by permission from HarperCollins Publishers.   Features What the Pura Belpré Award Means to Me by Meg Medina Thoughts from a Belpré winner and Newbery medalist. Titi Pura by Anika Aldamuy Denise...

Preview May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25

Special issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25 Cover art by Paola Escobar from Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré, written by Anika Aldamuy Denise. Editorial page by special guest Sujei Lugo. A welcome letter from 2020–21 vice president/president-elect of ALSC; REFORMA past president; and Belpré...

ALA Awards 2021: Horn Book Reviews of the Winners

The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Tae Keller for When You Trap a Tiger and Michaela Goade for We Are Water Protectors on January 25, 2021, at the American Library Association’s virtual midwinter meeting. Also announced at the gathering were the...

Additional ALA Awards 2021

  Alex Award [for the ten best adult books that appeal to teen audiences] Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (Saga Press/Gallery Books/Simon) The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune (Tor Books/Tom Doherty Associates/Macmillan) The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice - Crossing Antarctica Alone by Colin O'Brady (Scribner/Simon)...

Reviews of the 2021 Sibert Award Winners

Winner Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming; illus. by Eric Rohmann Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp. 2/20    978-0-8234-4285-0    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4304-8    $11.99 A worker bee breaks out of her honeycomb cell and begins a task-filled life in her colony. The “teeming, trembling flurry” of bees within...

Reviews of the 2021 Pura Belpré YA Award Winners

Winner Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez High School    Algonquin    368 pp.    g 9/20    9781616209919    $17.95 REVIEW TO COME             Honor Books Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera High School    Bloomsbury    320 pp.    g 9/20    978-1-5476-0373-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0374-9    $13.29 Pheus is an...

Reviews of the 2021 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Winners

Winner ¡Vamos!: Let’s Go Eat by Raúl the Third; illus. by the author; color by Elaine Bay Primary    Versify/Houghton    40 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-328-55704-9    $14.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-33070-7    $9.99 Little Lobo and his canine sidekick Bernabé, whom we met in ¡Vamos!: Let’s Go to the Market (rev. 3/19),...

Reviews of the 2021 Pura Belpré Author Award Winners

Winner Efrén Divided by Ernesto Cisneros Intermediate, Middle School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    272 pp.    g 3/20    978-0-06-288168-7    $16.99 REVIEW TO COME           Honor Books Lupe Wong Won’t Dance by Donna Barba Higuera Intermediate, Middle School    Levine Querido    272 pp.    g...

Reviews of the 2021 Printz Award Winners

Winner Everything Sad Is Untrue: (A True Story) by Daniel Nayeri Middle School    Levine Querido    368 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-64614-000-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-64614-002-2    $9.99 Framed loosely as his twelve-year-old self’s responses to a series of school assignments, Nayeri’s fictionalized memoir swirls through his own memories as well as stories from his family...

Reviews of the 2021 CSK Illustrator Award Winners

Winner R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul  by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Frank Morrison  Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp.    g  8/20    978-1-5344-5228-2    $18.99  e-book ed.  978-1-5344-5229-9    $10.99  This impressionistic picture-book biography of Aretha Franklin (1942–2018) consists of a series of rhyming couplets following the iconic singer through her life. Weatherford employs...

Reviews of the 2021 CSK Author Award Winners

Winner Before the Ever After  by Jacqueline Woodson Intermediate    Paulsen/Penguin    176 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-399-54543-6    $17.99 In her latest novel in verse, Woodson (Locomotion, rev. 3/03; Brown Girl Dreaming, rev. 9/14) explores the impact of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) on football players and their families from the...

Reviews of the 2021 Caldecott Medal Winners

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Winner We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom; illus. by Michaela Goade Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-250-20355-7    $17.99 The book opens with a young Indigenous girl collecting water with her grandmother, who tells her that “water is the first medicine.” Vibrant blues, greens, and purples...

Reviews of the 2021 Newbery Medal Winners

Winner When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller Intermediate, Middle School    Random House    298 pp.    g 1/20    978-1-5247-1570-0    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1572-4    $9.99 Korean American middle schooler Lily thinks she has to take on a magical tiger in order to save her beloved Halmoni (grandmother), but...

2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards Acceptance Speeches Roundup

We've compiled all of the wonderful acceptance speeches from our 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners, along with reviews of the winning books and some extras (interviews! articles! previous speeches!) on the winners and their work. See the January/February 2021 issue of The Horn Book Magazine and the tag BGHB20...

Saturday: Oge Mora's 2020 BGHB Picture Book Award Speech

As I worked on Saturday, it was important to me that every visual decision embodied joy. Throughout the book, there is a steady stream of fluorescent pinks, bold yellows, and electric blues. I designed each page with broad diagonal lines in mind in the hope that they would feel dynamic...

Pokko and the Drum: Matthew Forsythe's 2020 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

A great author — whose name I can’t recall — once said, “All happy frog families are alike. But each unhappy frog family is unhappy in its own way.” When I made Pokko and the Drum, I wanted to make a book about a flawed family. For this reason, the...

Birdsong: Julie Flett's 2020 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

I am so very grateful to everyone who is a part of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards. Kinanâskomitin, Roger Sutton. Kamâciwisimow, committee members Julie Danielson, Leo Landry, and Sujei Lugo. And a big, warm congratulations to Matthew Forsythe and Oge Mora — I am humbled to have received recognition alongside...

Infinite Hope: Ashley Bryan's 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Award Speech

Dear Awards Committee, Staff, Family and Friends of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, I would like to humbly express my gratitude to you for selecting me as the 2020 recipient of this prestigious award for Infinite Hope. As I held up my award, which is a replica of the “Liberty...

It Began with a Page: Author Kyo Maclear's 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

     A few years ago, Julie Morstad and I met with the family of Gyo Fujikawa in Los Angeles. I had an uncanny sense, as we sat with them over lunch, that Gyo was there among us, threading her way into our conversation. Why did we want to tell her...

It Began with a Page: Illustrator Julie Morstad's 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

Gyo Fujikawa has long meant much to me as an artist and bookmaker, but this project allowed me to learn so much more about not only the vital role she played in bringing diversity to children’s books but also many details of her little-known life story, including her personal journey...

Ordinary Hazards: Nikki Grimes's 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

I’ve always believed that my coming-­of-age story is the single most important story I had to tell. I didn’t imagine that it would take me quite so long to tell it, though I shouldn’t have been surprised. Ordinary Hazards is easily the most difficult work I’ve ever written. Memoir is...

King and the Dragonflies: Kacen Callender's 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Award Speech

Dreams have always fascinated me. When I was a child, I’d beg my mom to buy every “dreamology” and dream interpretation book I could find. I felt that dreams were, at the very least, my subconscious trying to communicate: reveal feelings I might not have realized I had, or help...

Clap When You Land: Elizabeth Acevedo's 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Honor Speech

I am delighted to be an honoree of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards. From years of following this award [ed. note: and winning it in 2018 for The Poet X], I know that the judges tend to be readers who are thoughtful and with a high standard of excellence. It...

When You Trap a Tiger: Tae Keller's 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Honor Speech

Thank you so much for this award. I am so honored and grateful. Receiving it is surreal, because the fact that this book even exists is still surreal. To be honest, I was afraid to write it. I almost didn’t write it. Many times, I nearly quit. It felt too...

BGHB 2020: Saturday

We've reached the culmination of Picture Book week in our first-ever, month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, judge Leo Landry introduces the 2020 BGHB Picture Book Winner Saturday:   The 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Picture Book is presented to Oge Mora for Saturday published by Little,...

BGHB 2020: Pokko and the Drum

Picture Book week continues in our first-ever, month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, chair Julie Danielson introduces the 2020 BGHB Picture Book Honor Book Pokko and the Drum:   The 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book Award for Picture Book is presented to Matthew Forsythe for Pokko and...

BGHB 2020: Birdsong

Welcome to Picture Book week of our first-ever, month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, judge Sujei Lugo introduces the 2020 BGHB Picture Book Honor Book Birdsong:   The 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book Award for Picture Book is presented to Julie Flett for Birdsong published by Greystone...

BGHB 2020: Infinite Hope

We've reached the culmination of Nonfiction week in our first-ever, month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, judge Sujei Lugo introduces the 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Winner Infinite Hope:   The 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction is presented to Ashley Bryan for Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey...

BGHB 2020: It Began with a Page

Nonfiction week continues in our first-ever, month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, judge Leo Landry introduces the 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Book It Began with a Page:   The 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book Award for Nonfiction is presented to author Kyo Maclear and illustrator Julie Morstad...

BGHB 2020: Ordinary Hazards

Welcome to Nonfiction week of our first-ever, month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, chair Julie Danielson introduces the 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Book Ordinary Hazards:   The 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book Award for Nonfiction is presented to Nikki Grimes for Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir published by...

Field Notes: Teaching Infinite Hope

Ashley Bryan’s Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace won the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction and a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award — but as a teacher, children’s literature aficionado, and friend of Ashley’s, I’ve known the book was special for...

BGHB 2020: King and the Dragonflies

We've reached the culmination of Fiction and Poetry week in our first-ever, month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, chair Julie Danielson introduces the 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Winner King and the Dragonflies:   The 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Fiction and Poetry is presented to Kacen...

BGHB 2020: When You Trap a Tiger

Fiction and Poetry week continues in our first-ever, month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, judge Leo Landry introduces the 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Honor Book When You Trap a Tiger:   The 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book Award for Fiction and Poetry is presented to Tae...

BGHB 2020: Clap When You Land

Welcome to Fiction and Poetry week of our first-ever, month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, judge Sujei Lugo introduces the 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Honor Book Clap When You Land:   The 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book Award for Fiction and Poetry is presented to Elizabeth...

Welcome to BGHB 2020

Wecome to the first-ever virtual Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards celebration! The month-long event kicks off today with Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton's prerecorded opening remarks above. Check back on the award's landing page each day in October for more about these award-winning books and follow us on: Twitter:...

Profile of 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Award Illustrator and Caldecott Medal winner Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is the winner of the 2020 Caldecott Medal and the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander, who also won a Newbery Honor for the book’s text. Here, Alexander pays tribute to his creative collaborator.   I gave my father, a children’s...

Happy Anniversary: The People Could Fly

The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales told by Virginia Hamilton, illustrated by Leo and Diane Dillon, was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1985. We look back on this iconic Coretta Scott King Author Award winner (also a CSK Illustrator honor) as it celebrates its thirty-fifth anniversary.   Since...

2020 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn't win at ALA

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. The books that didn’t win.   Misplaced A Place to Land by Barry Wittenstein; illus. by Jerry Pinkney A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata; illus. by Julia Kuo     Adrift River by Elisha Cooper Lalani of the Distant Sea by...

Reviews of 2020 Mind the Gap Award winners

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. Our annual Mind the Gap Awards pay tribute to our favorite books that didn’t win. Here’s how we reviewed our 2020 winners.   A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation by Barry Wittenstein; illus....

A Year with Words and Pictures — but No ALA Annual

Who are we this time of year, without the organizing principle of the various celebrations of books and authors at ALA Annual? Usually, we’d be looking forward to the Coretta Scott King (CSK) Book Awards Breakfast, the Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy Banquet, the Pura Belpré Celebración; running into old friends on the exhibit...

From the Chair: Small Moments of Joy (2020 Caldecott Committee, ALA)

Readers of The Horn Book Magazine will have heard this before: a book has the power to change a person, and a person has the power to change a book. Depending on who you are at a given time and the experiences you have collected, the understanding of a book...

From the Chair: Universality in Times of Uncertainty (2020 Newbery Committee, ALA)

In these times of uncertainty, we can all relate to what’s happening now because we are all experiencing it on some level. We have a shared experience. How we react to our situation and what we learn about ourselves may be what we look back on as our defining moments....

From the Chair: Continuing the Legacy (2020 CSK Book Awards Jury, ALA)

Since nervously accepting the appointment of jury chair from previous Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee chair Dr. Claudette McLinn, my goal has been to continue the legacy that the Coretta Scott King Book Awards have created of identifying quality children’s literature that features various narratives of the Black experience....

Profile of 2020 Children's Literature Legacy Award winner Kevin Henkes

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Dudley Carlson: The farmers’ market was a riot of color. Red and green lettuces, orange carrots, blue and purple berries, and breads in rich browns and tans stretched for two blocks. At one end, a single booth held only green. Beautiful green beans were neatly bundled and stacked like a...

Profile of 2020 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement winner Mildred D. Taylor

From the time she was very young, Mildred Taylor knew she would be a writer, and she knew what her subject matter would be. She grew up listening to the family stories told by her father and uncles as they sat by the fire or on the porch of their...

Profile of 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Award Author and Newbery Medal winner Jerry Craft

For Jerry Craft, books are the building blocks of communities. Certainly, in the year since it was published, his graphic novel New Kid has created and strengthened countless communities all on its own. The letters from teachers who say they’ve made the book a school-wide read — and the letters...

Read Jerry Craft's 2020 Newbery Medal Acceptance Speech at ALA's Virtual Book Award Celebration

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I’d like to begin by thanking the 2020 Newbery Award Selection Committee, chaired by the incomparable Krishna Grady. Thank you for the tremendous honor of making New Kid the first graphic novel in your ninety-eight-year history to receive your prestigious medal. I would also like to thank the ALA for...

Read Kevin Henkes's 2020 Children's Literature Legacy Award Acceptance Speech at ALA's Virtual Book Award Celebration

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When I found out on January 26th that I’d won the Legacy Award, I was ecstatic. However, it didn’t take me long — about an hour! — to start fretting about my speech. That’s just the way I am. I began working on my speech right away and had a...

Read Kadir Nelson's 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Award Illustrator Acceptance Speech at ALA's Virtual Book Award Celebration

Good morning, or good afternoon, or good evening, depending on when or where in the world you are reading this. As I compose this speech, I am sitting at home under a nationwide quarantine in the midst of the proliferation of a remarkable novel virus that has commandeered the attention...

Read Jerry Craft's 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Award Author Acceptance Speech at ALA's Virtual Book Award Celebration

I’d like to begin by thanking the 2020 Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury, chaired by LaKeshia Darden, who gave me one of the two best near-dawn phone calls of my life! I would also like to thank the ALA for making this moment possible. This is truly an amazing...

Read Kadir Nelson's 2020 Caldecott Medal Acceptance Speech at ALA's Virtual Book Award Celebration

The year was 1999, and my very first picture book, Brothers of the Knight, was slated to be published by Dial Books for Young Readers. It was written by the actress and dancer Debbie Allen and based on a stage production of the same name that she had both written...

2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Award winners extras

Roger Sutton, editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., announced the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners on May 27th, 2020, at School Library Journal's virtual Day of Dialog in New York City. You can watch the announcement video here and read the press release here. Read reviews of all...

2020 BGHB Picture Book Award winners extras

Roger Sutton, editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., announced the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners on May 27th, 2020, at School Library Journal's virtual Day of Dialog in New York City. You can watch the announcement video here and read the press release here. Read reviews of all...

Presenting the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners

  On Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at SLJ's virtual Day of Dialog, Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton announced the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners. If you missed the live stream (or if you just want to relive the excitement!), you can watch the archived video here:  ...

2020 BGHB Nonfiction Award winners extras

Roger Sutton, editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., announced the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners on May 27th, 2020, at School Library Journal's virtual Day of Dialog in New York City. You can watch the announcement video here and read the press release here. Read reviews of all...

Reviews of the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award Winner and Honor Books

Nonfiction Winner Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace by Ashley Bryan; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Dlouhy/Atheneum    107 pp. 10/19    978-1-5344-0490-8    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0491-5    $10.99 Ashley Bryan was a nineteen-year-old art student when he was drafted into a segregated army...

Reviews of the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction and Poetry Winner King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender Intermediate, Middle School    Scholastic    263 pp.    g 2/20    978-1-338-12933-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-12935-9    $10.99 In their second middle-grade novel (Hurricane Child, rev. 5/18), set in contemporary small-town Louisiana, Callender masterfully balances resonant themes of grief, love, family, friendship, racism,...

Reviews of the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award Winner and Honor Books

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Picture Book Winner Saturday by Oge Mora; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.    g 10/19    978-0-316-43127-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-43126-2    $9.99  Mora (Thank You, Omu!, rev. 11/18) follows up her Caldecott Honor winner with another story built around family and community connection. On Saturdays, Ava and...

1971 Newbery Medal Acceptance by Betsy Byars

During the past few years I have on occasion found myself in front of a classroom or in a library trying to talk to children about writing books. I have never been a success at this. For one thing, I have learned that questions come in twos. If one child...

ALA Midwinter 2020 slideshow

Scroll through the slideshow below for some of our favorites moments (and meals!) from ALA Midwinter 2020. Read The Horn Book's reviews of this year's Youth Media Award winners, and catch up on Calling Caldecott. As always, the July/August issue of The Horn Book Magazine will include the Newbery, Caldecott,...

ALA Awards 2020: Horn Book reviews of the winners

The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Jerry Craft for New Kid and Kadir Nelson for The Undefeated on January 27, 2020, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Philadelphia. Also announced at the gathering were the winners of the Coretta...

Additional ALA Awards 2020

  Alex Award [for the ten best adult books that appeal to teen audiences] A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C.A. Fletcher (Orbit/Hachette) Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh (Saga Press/Gallery Books/Simon) Dominicana by Angie Cruz (Flatiron/Macmillan) Gender Queer: A Memoir by...

Reviews of the 2020 Geisel Award winners

Winner Stop! Bot! by James Yang; illus. by the author Preschool    Viking    40 pp.    g 7/19    978-0-42528-881-8    $17.99 After a child's remote-control robot flies away in front of an apartment building, the building's residents try to help retrieve it ("My broom may reach that bot!"). The book's tall trim size...

Reviews of the 2020 Pura Belpré Author Award winners

Winner Sal & Gabi Break the Universe [Rick Riordan Presents] by Carlos Hernandez Intermediate, Middle School Disney-Hyperion    389 pp. 3/19    978-1-368-02282-8    $16.00 REVIEW TO COME       Honor Books The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Balcárcel Middle School    Chronicle    332 pp. 8/19    978-1-4521-6998-9    $16.99 REVIEW TO COME...

Reviews of the 2020 Sibert Award winners

Winner Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story by Kevin Noble Maillard; illus. by Juana Martinez-Neal Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    48 pp. 10/19    978-1-62672-746-5    $18.99 This affectionate picture book depicts an intergenerational group of Native American family members and friends as they make fry bread together. The text begins: “Fry...

Reviews of the 2020 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winners

Winner Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle; illus. by Rafael López Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 8/19    978-1-4814-8740-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-8741-2    $10.99  Engle and López (Drum Dream Girl, rev. 5/15) bring us another engaging story about a young, successful, female musician of...

Reviews of the 2020 Printz Award winners

Winner Dig. by A.S. King High School    Dutton    394 pp.    g 3/19    978-1-101-99491-7    $17.99 David has never met his father and is tired of constantly moving around with his mom. Malcolm has already lost his mother and is about to lose his beloved father to cancer. Katie deals drugs out...

Reviews of the 2020 CSK Illustrator Award winners

Winner The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Kadir Nelson Primary, Intermediate, Middle School     Versify/Houghton     40 pp.    g 4/19     978-1-328-78096-6     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-05761-1     $12.99 Alexander and Nelson honor the achievements, courage, and perseverance of ordinary black people as well as prominent black artists, athletes, and activists. The free-verse poem...

Reviews of the 2020 CSK Author Award winners

Winner New Kid by Jerry Craft; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    249 pp.    g 2/19    978-0-06-269120-0    $21.99     Paper ed.  978-0-06-269119-4    $12.99     e-book ed.  978-0-06-269121-7    $10.99  Craft’s engaging graphic novel follows Jordan Banks (an African American seventh grader from Washington Heights) through his first year at the prestigious...

Reviews of the 2020 Caldecott Medal winners

Winner The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Kadir Nelson Primary, Intermediate, Middle School     Versify/Houghton     40 pp.    g 4/19     978-1-328-78096-6     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-05761-1     $12.99 Alexander and Nelson honor the achievements, courage, and perseverance of ordinary black people as well as prominent black artists, athletes, and activists. The free-verse poem...

Reviews of the 2020 Newbery Medal Winners

Winner New Kid by Jerry Craft; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    249 pp.    g 2/19    978-0-06-269120-0    $21.99     Paper ed.  978-0-06-269119-4    $12.99     e-book ed.  978-0-06-269121-7    $10.99  Craft’s engaging graphic novel follows Jordan Banks (an African American seventh grader from Washington Heights) through his first year at the prestigious...

2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards Acceptance Speeches Roundup

The 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners, judges, and presenters. L-R: Brian Norman, Jason Chin, Miranda Paul, Cynthia K. Ritter, Kekla Magoon, Kim Parker, Roger Sutton, Adib Khorram, Yuyi Morales, Debbie Levy, Jo Ann Allen Boyce, Gina Krosoczka, Zoe Krosoczka, Karen Boss, and Meredith Goldstein. Photo: Aram Boghosian for the...

This Promise of Change: Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy's 2019 BGHB Nonfiction Award Speech

Co-authors Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy delivered their acceptance remarks as a conversation.    JO ANN ALLEN BOYCE: Thank you. I speak for both Debbie and myself in expressing our gratitude to The Boston Globe, The Horn Book, and the awards committee. (We’re sending our healing wishes to the chair of...

Nine Months: Illustrator Jason Chin's 2019 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

When our editor, Neal Porter, came to me with this manuscript a few years ago, I was very excited because it was by Miranda Paul. I read it, and it was terrific. I was all ready to sign up, but then I got scared. I thought, How the heck am I...

Nine Months: Author Miranda Paul's 2019 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

Thank you for honoring Nine Months. (It’s a risky thing to tell your agent and editor you want to write a children’s book, intended for the trade market and aimed at three-to-six-year-olds, on the topic of fetal development.)  Tonight you honor a ten-year journey to produce a book that I had wanted, but...

Hey, Kiddo: Jarrett J. Krosoczka's 2019 BGHB Nonfiction Honor Speech

Hey, Kiddo is the story of my family history, and while it centers specifically on my upbringing, way back in the 1980s and 1990s, it is also the story of so many young people in America today. My hope is that my graphic memoir allows readers dealing with family trauma to...

The Season of Styx Malone: Kekla Magoon's 2019 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Award Speech

A few years back, a friend and I went into a frozen yogurt shop — you know, one of those places where they give you a big bowl and you fill it with whatever flavors and toppings you want, and then they weigh the monstrosity you’ve created and charge you fifteen...

On the Come Up: Angie Thomas's 2019 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Honor Speech

Friends, homies, and everything in between,  I am so sorry that I cannot be there with you tonight. When I got the news that On the Come Up was a Boston Globe–Horn Book honoree, I was stunned. Yes, even after everything I’ve experienced, I still get stunned. The last time I saw...

Darius the Great Is Not Okay: Adib Khorram's 2019 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Honor Speech

It’s a little surreal to be up here. If you had told me a year ago that a book about a nerdy, depressed, tea-loving, Star Trek–obsessed teenager would win this honor, I would have asked for a glass of whatever you were drinking. As I think of the young readers who...

The Patchwork Bike: Illustrator Van Thanh Rudd's 2019 BGHB Picture Book Award Speech

Hi, everyone, and thank you so much for awarding the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award to The Patchwork Bike. It’s such a privilege to receive this award, especially from a country where the political dynamics are very intense, and certainly where the creative industries are thriving and being really enlivened in this...

The Patchwork Bike: Author Maxine Beneba Clarke's 2019 BGHB Picture Book Award Speech

Van and I would like to thank you so much for awarding us the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for The Patchwork Bike, our first picture book. We are absolutely thrilled to be the recipients of this prize.  This book came to fruition through my short-fiction collection Foreign Soil. The first story in...

We Are Grateful: Author Traci Sorell and Illustrator Frané Lessac's 2019 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

TRACI SORELL: Some books seem to make their way in the world even if there wasn’t a clear intention to do so at the beginning. Such is the case with We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga. I had written a few contemporary picture-book manuscripts featuring Cherokee children and culture before I penned this one....

Dreamers: Yuyi Morales's 2019 BGHB Picture Book Honor Speech

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Two years ago, I was in my studio and decided to write a picture book that I had been promising my editor and my agent — that I had promised myself — to write, but I was dubious. How to tell that story, from more than two decades ago, of...

BGHB19 Slideshow

The 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards were presented on Friday, October 4, 2019, at Simmons University. We were joined by winners and honorees: Kekla Magoon, Yuyi Morales, Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy, Miranda Paul and Jason Chin, and Adib Khorram. Jarrett J. Krosoczka's wife and extremely poised ten-year-old...

Considering the Criteria: Addressing Book Discussion Guidelines in the Twenty-First Century

In our awards-focused children’s book industry, the calendar is full of rituals. January is when we learn which books won ALA awards and which did not; June is when we celebrate those winners. With the turning of the season to fall, this is the moment in the award year when...

Boston Globe Horn Book Awards

Please join us the entire month of October 2020 as we celebrate, for the first time, the virtual Boston Globe-Horn Book Awards! Every week we'll be posting judges remarks, video interviews with the winners, acceptance speeches by the honorees, archival material, and more! Check back here each day in October for...

Lift Every Voice: Side B

When I was eight years old — you might say octave age — in 1971, I was a DJ playing a record, a single 45, in my bedroom. The song on vinyl I would play was side B of Michael Jackson’s “Got to Be There” — “Maria (You Were the...

Lift Every Voice: Thank You, Gusty

Funny thing is, I have never before shared this experience with anyone. It is most likely the event that had the most impact on the direction of my life. When I was young, my imagination was voracious. In the corner of one of the three rooms of our house (the...

2019 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn't win at ALA

  Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. The books that didn’t win.     Rained out     A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes The Field by Baptiste Paul; illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara Water Land by Christy Hale       Singing the blues   They Say Blue...

Reviews of 2019 Mind the Gap Award winners

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. Our annual Mind the Gap Awards pay tribute to our favorite books that didn’t win. Here’s how we reviewed our 2019 winners.   A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes; illus. by the author Preschool    Greenwillow    40 pp.    g 9/18    978-0-06-266827-1    $18.99...

What the CSK Means to Me

I’m not a children’s librarian. I don’t even work in the children’s book field. But as an African American, an academic librarian, and a library and information science (LIS) administrator/educator, I have always known the importance of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. I began my professional career just about...

2018: The Year in Words and Pictures

Who are we? What kind of community are we going to be, do we want to be? These are the ever-more-urgent questions that were being asked — and answered — in 2018, not just by book award committees but also by professional organizations devoted to children’s books and reading, in discussions...

Lift Every Voice: My Grandparents' House

As a child, I loved to visit my grandparents. Their home was very different from ours. My grandmother had purchased it late in life with her own money, she would proudly say. In the house were cherry-wood end tables with scalloped edges and leather insets, beautiful ornate ceramic peacocks that...

Lift Every Voice: History and Stories

In addition to this year being the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards, it is also fifty years since I graduated from high school. My foundational education provided very few opportunities to read books by African American writers, either for school or pleasure. Interestingly,...
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