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Jonathan Auxier Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Jonathan Auxier says he needed a break after Sweep, so here we are with Willa the Wisp, the first volume in a projected series about the Fabled Stables, themselves...

Publishers' Preview: Fall 2020: Five Questions for Saadia Faruqi

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Fall 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Preteens Mimi and...

Publishers' Preview: Fall 2020: Five Questions for Jan Thomas

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Fall 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by He thinks of...

Publishers' Preview: Fall 2020: Five Questions for Amanda McCrina

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Fall 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Traitor follows the...

John Rocco Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Because I’d only seen a PDF of How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity’s Greatest Adventure (Crown), I didn’t know...

In Memoriam: Lee Kingman Natti (1919–2020)

Editor, author, artist, and designer Lee Kingman Natti’s association with The Horn Book, Inc., spanned eighty years — surely a record. Bertha Mahony, founder of The Horn Book Magazine and owner of The Bookshop for Boys and Girls, gave the nine-year-old Lee advice on choosing ten free books from the...

Daniel Kraus Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   In They Threw Us Away, book one of Daniel Kraus’s new middle-grade trilogy the Teddies Saga, five little teddy bears find themselves in a big bad world (ours) and,...

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...

Traci Chee Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Fantasy writer Traci Chee moves to historical fiction in We Are Not Free, a kaleidoscopic look — fourteen narrators! — at the lives of young Japanese Americans “relocated” (incarcerated)...

Five questions for Evette Dionne

Last month, in recognition of the Nineteenth Amendment’s centennial, we featured Lifting as We Climb (Viking, 12 years and up) by Evette Dionne among other books about women’s suffrage. The subtitle of Dionne’s book, however, focuses readers’ attention on a very specific, vital, and too-frequently overlooked — and/or whitewashed —...

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...

Trudy Ludwig Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   “Sometimes One can feel like a small and lonely number” according to The Power of One, but it’s also the place where everything starts. As Ludwig discusses the power...

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...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Julie Lee

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Sora has always...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Lynnette Mawhinney

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Being a member...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Kim Johnson

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In This Is...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Tessa Allen

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Sometimes People March,...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Aiden Thomas

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In Cemetery Boys,...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Seamus Kirst

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Papa, Daddy, &...

Five questions for Ryan T. Higgins

In young dino Penelope Rex’s picture-book debut, she learned that We Don’t Eat Our Classmates. Now the pony-loving T. rex is back in Ryan T. Higgins’s We Will Rock Our Classmates (Disney-Hyperion, 4–7 years). Readers discover her equally passionate love of rock ’n’ roll when she signs up for the...

In Memoriam: Tomie dePaola (1934–2020)

The first thing I think of when I think of Tomie dePaola (who died in March at the age of eighty-five, from complications following a fall) isn’t a book at all. It’s Christmas. I think of a Tomie dePaola nativity set my family had growing up. I’m not even talking...

Five questions for Monica Brown

In the picture-book biography Sharuko: El arqueólogo Peruano Julio C. Tello / Peruvian Archaeologist Julio C. Tello, illustrated by Elisa Chavarri; translated into Spanish by Adriana Domínguez (Children’s/Lee & Low, 6–9 years), author Monica Brown tells the story of Julio C. Tello, “one of the most important archaeologists in all...

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...

Rule Breakers: The Styrofoam Tray Incident

From the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules. Find more in the "Rule Breakers" series here....

Candace Fleming Talks with Roger

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Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   After writing about such American icons as Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, Buffalo Bill, and Amelia Earhart, Candace Fleming takes a good close look at The Rise and Fall...

Rule Breakers: I Simply Cannot Draw

I’ve never thought of myself as that type of visual artist. You know, the kind of person whose absentminded margin doodles actually look like something? Someone with those fine motor skills that translate into magnificent sketches of stuff you can recognize without having to get liberal artsy about it? And...

Rule Breakers: The World Is My Canvas

From the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules. Find more in the "Rule Breakers" series here. ...

Our Modern Minstrelsy

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The phrase literary blackface came up in popular conversation recently, when Barnes & Noble announced they were putting out a line of classic literature titles that had been reissued with “diverse” covers in celebration of Black History Month. Novels like Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, and The Secret Garden...

Rule Breakers: Amy and the Bus

It was a Wednesday, and Wednesday meant what in 1979 was called gifted class, and gifted class meant getting out of regular class (yay!) and getting on a bus (yay!) and driving along a really curvy road with a bump on it that made us all fly up from our...

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...

Rule Breakers: What Was I Doing with Those Books?

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My first job after I graduated from college was as a sixth-grade science teacher. I was woefully ill-prepared for this position — I had limited passion for the subject of science, and even less aptitude. I struggled with everything from classroom management to balancing the seemingly never-ending piles of paper...

Revolution Kid Style Now!*: Writing Books (About Kids) That Break the Rules

As someone who writes books about kids who break rules, I keep waiting for it to happen. I’m waiting for the moment when an adult points out that the protagonists in my books are disagreeable troublemakers. These kids lie and sneak. Sometimes they do illegal things. Yes, illegal things. Twelve-year-olds!...

Rule Breakers: The Things We Do for Love

The story starts like this. “One time, at orchestra camp…” Maybe this isn’t the kind of rule-breaking you meant, but it’s true. One time at orchestra camp, I met a boy who played the bass like an absolute wizard. I did everything I could to make myself attractive to this...

Rule Breakers: Not "Not Your Business"

When I was in my late twenties, I studied karate at a women’s dojo. This surprised my friends, who immediately started teasing me — a newly out lipstick lesbian — about going for a “pink belt” (there’s no such thing). I surprised myself by progressing from white belt to yellow...

Rule Breakers: Never a Rule to Begin With

When I was young, I heard a family member say something that has stuck with me for all of these years: “Black people can’t be gay.” As ridiculous as this sounds, there are plenty of people who have had and still have this mindset. Beyond the unfortunately common homophobia, the...

Publishers' Preview: Diversity Five Ways: Five Questions for Christian Robinson

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diversity Five Ways, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by You Matter,...

Publishers' Preview: Diversity Five Ways: Five Questions for Erin Entrada Kelly

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diversity Five Ways, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Three siblings,...

Publishers' Preview: Diversity Five Ways: Five Questions for Gayle E. Pitman

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diversity Five Ways, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by This book’s...

Publishers' Preview: Diversity Five Ways: Five Questions for Kiku Hughes

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diversity Five Ways, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Time travel...

Publishers' Preview: Diversity Five Ways: Five Questions for Tae Keller

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diversity Five Ways, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In When...

Rule Breakers: Stepping Off the Hamster Wheel

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I was thirty-one years old. I had two fine arts degrees, both in printmaking. “Printmaking?” an acquaintance once commented. “That’s like having a degree in dressage.” In terms of usefulness or relevance, he meant. Or employability. I was onto something now, though, working at a graphic design and typesetting business...

Karen Blumenthal (1959–2020)

We were sad to hear about the death earlier this week of Karen Blumenthal. A respected journalist (for the Wall Street Journal and Dallas Morning News) and author of nonfiction books for young adults, Blumenthal also co-created the #KidLitWomen* initiative. Read our review of her latest book, Jane Against the...

Rule Breakers: Rule Number One

We’ve been writing about art and artists since 1990 — fourteen books in thirty years — and, like any longtime collaborators, we have a long list of rules. Sometimes we even remind each other about them (politely, of course). One rule we’ve agreed on since we planned our first book...

"Give Me a Decent Bottle of Poison": Writing a Mystery

My most recent book is a middle-grade mystery, my first. I realized, after only a few days of struggling to construct a murder, that I didn’t know how to do it. I’d written plenty of novels, but I’d always begun with a person, not the plot. The person, in this...

Rule Breakers: Trusting My Instincts

I have never felt especially burdened by rules. In fact, I sometimes find it necessary to impose them on myself. For instance: you must spend the next hour writing your essay for The Horn Book! There! Rules are a part of creative work. With every project, an artist must grapple...

Five questions for Lucy Knisley

Adult comics creator Lucy Knisley’s middle-grade graphic novel debut Stepping Stones (RH Graphic/Random, 9–12 years) follows city kid Jen and her mom to a small farm in the country. There she contends with new chores (feeding chickens!), tricky family dynamics (Mom’s annoying boyfriend and his daughters who visit on weekends),...

Rule Breakers: The Good Kid

From the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules. Find more in the "Rule Breakers" series here. ...

Disturbing the Universe: Books That Broke the Rules

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Betsy Hearne and I have been colleagues for forty years, including working together for a decade at The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books. Below, we discuss some landmark rule breakers from our collective memory. —R.S. ROGER SUTTON: So here we are: two longtime reviewers remembering books that broke...

Jessie Sima Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Oh, wouldn’t it be great if we could go to the beach? DON’T GO TO THE BEACH. But let Jessie Sima take you there in Jules vs. the Ocean,...

Rule Breakers: The Workaround

From the May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules. Find more in the "Rule Breakers" series here. ...

Rule Breakers: Walk Away

I started ninth grade as one of five girls admitted to the Friends Boys School in Ramallah. We all needed a school that taught in English, but from the first week, the girls were often in trouble for minor infractions. A school mistress kept her sharp eye on us. We...

Jordan Ifueko Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Jordan Ifueko brings her Nigerian heritage (and twenty-first-century sensibility!) to bear in her first novel Raybearer, a high fantasy set in a dangerous and complicated world. Roger Sutton: How...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Michael Genhart

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Two accordions provide...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Rebecca Stead

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Bea has been...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Carole Lindstrom & Michaela Goade

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by We Are Water...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Linda Sue Park

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Prairie Lotus brings...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Angela DiTerlizzi

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Procrastinating? Frustrated? Hopeless?...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2020: Five Questions for Kelly Yang

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2020, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In Parachutes, Dani’s...

Happy Anniversary: The Janitor's Boy

The Janitor’s Boy by Andrew Clements was published by Simon & Schuster in 2000. We look back on it on its twentieth anniversary.   Published twenty years ago, The Janitor’s Boy was the third middle-grade novel by the late Andrew Clements, following a bestselling debut with Frindle and then The...

Jon Lasser Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   With his daughter Sage Foster-Lasser and illustrator Christopher Lyles, school psychologist Jon Lasser has now published three picture books about young Kiko and her acquisition of interpersonal and emotional...

Henry Cole Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Back in high school, Henry Cole carried his lunch in the same paper bag for three years. Fifty years later, that bag became a picture book, One Little Bag:...

Five questions for Diana Murray and Zachariah OHora

In the adorable rhyming picture book Goodnight, Veggies (Houghton, 3–6 years), author Diana Murray’s tongue-in-cheek verse takes readers on a very special tour of an apartment rooftop garden as various vegetables get ready for bed. Zachariah OHora’s illustrations show friendly-faced veggies and a spiffily dressed worm, à la Richard Scarry...

Tomie dePaola (1934-2020)

Beloved author and illustrator Tomie DePaola has passed away this week, on March 30, 2020, from a fall. "What a rich legacy he has left us with," says Roger Sutton. Some articles, interviews, and artwork by and about this "great guy" are here; look for a full remembrance in an...

Publishers' Preview: Middle-Grade Novels: Five Questions for Amy McCulloch

This interview originally appeared in the January/February 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Middle-Grade Novels, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Jinxed presents us...

Publishers' Preview: Middle-Grade Novels: Five Questions for Janae Marks

This interview originally appeared in the January/February 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Middle-Grade Novels, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Talented baker Zoe...

Publishers' Preview: Middle-Grade Novels: Five Questions for Lily Williams & Karen Schneemann

This interview originally appeared in the January/February 2020 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Middle-Grade Novels, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by High school sophomores...

Carmen Agra Deedy Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Veteran (and irrepressible) storyteller Carmen Agra Deedy, along with illustrator Pete Oswald, reinvents an old fingerplay about Mr. Wiggle and Mr. Waggle to share some truth about friendship and...

Five questions for Alice Faye Duncan

Alice Faye Duncan’s picture book Just like a Mama (Millner/Simon, 3–7 years), illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, explores the special bond between a young girl and her “right now” caretaker Mama Rose, who is “just like a mama to me.” The story was inspired by Duncan’s own family and is...

The Writer's Page: Compassion, as Well as Correctness

As a writer who is identifiable as “diverse” (I’m a South Asian Indian woman) and who has fought for diversity in our industry for over a decade, I’m often asked to offer an opinion about whether a specific book got a diversity-related issue “right.” While it’s easy for me to...

Betsy Byars (1928-2020)

We were sad to hear from her daughter about the death last week of author Betsy Byars. Byars's many awards and recognitions includes the 1971 Newbery Medal for The Summer of the Swans; the 1981 National Book Award for The Night Swimmers; and an Edgar Award in 1992 for Wanted...Mud...

Letter from England: Arrows -- All Pointing Upward

One of your authors who crosses the Atlantic with great success is Betsy Byars. I confess myself among her most ardent fans. The Cartoonist (Viking) has just arrived here; along with The Pinballs (Harper) it seems to me to show subtle but interesting changes going on in Mrs. Byars's work,...

Leo Edwards and the Secret and Mysterious Order of the Freckled Goldfish

In 1935, at age seven, I sent off two two-cent stamps to Leo Edwards in order to become a member of the Secret and Mysterious Order of the Freckled Goldfish. The club took its name from Edwards's book Poppy Ott and the Freckled Goldfish. For my two stamps I was...

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...

Katherine Johnson (1918-2020)

We were sad to hear of the death today of Katherine Johnson at age 101. In recent years there have been several books for young people about this remarkable "hidden figure," including her 2019 autobiography Reaching for the Moon and the titles below. As we near the end of Black...

Sara Pennypacker Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Packed off each day to a recreational program for the summer, Ware, star of Sara Pennypacker’s Here in the Real World, instead sneaks out to find a most unlikely...

Five questions for A.S. King about Dig.

A.S. King’s Dig. (Dutton, 14 years and up) was the winner of the 2020 Printz Award. The story focuses on five teens with a startling connection that is only gradually revealed. Constantly shifting perspectives — between the unforgettable teens themselves, along with an outsized cast — keep readers off-balance and...

Oge Mora at Frugal Books

On Friday afternoon, several of us from the office went over to Frugal Bookstore (where I’d never been before. If you’re in the Boston area, go!) and got to hear Oge Mora read from The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read (Schwartz & Wade/Random), written by Rita Lorraine...

Eoin Colfer at Porter Square Books

Last Sunday my almost-ten-year-old and I went to Porter Square Books to see Eoin Colfer. Though he was on tour for his adult book Highfire, the gregarious author did not disappoint his Artemis Fowl fans and other kids'-book devotees. After a musical performance by Colfer superfan band Captain Sunbeam, the...

Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey Talk with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Norton Young Readers   Brothers Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey collaborated on a picture book text back when they were teenagers (see below); their sophomore effort, The Old Truck, finds them...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books: Five Questions for Evan Turk

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Opulent pastel drawings...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books: Five Questions for Gwendolyn Hooks & Simone Agoussoye

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In Ona Judge...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books: Five Questions for Minh Lê

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Minh Lê and...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books: Five Questions for Angela Joy

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by “Black is a...

Five questions for Kacen Callender

In King and the Dragonflies (Scholastic, 10–14 years), our grieving twelve-year-old protagonist is convinced that his recently deceased older brother has transformed into a dragonfly. He is also, reluctantly, keeping secrets for his sort-of friend, Sandy, who is gay and has run away from an abusive home. Via dreamlike imagery,...

Uneasy Reading: On Keeping Company with Very Sad Books

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Third grade was the worst year ever. No, really. My parents split up that year, and my dad moved out. I know that every divorce is different, and I’m told that not all of them are as painful as ours was. I’m glad for that. Ours was brutal. My dad...

Jerry Craft Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by   Jerry Craft is not a new kid; his syndicated comic strip Mama’s Boyz debuted nearly twenty-five years ago. But in the graphic novel New Kid, he remembers what’s it’s like to be...

Fanfare 2019 Annotations

Welcome to Fanfare, our choices of the best books of 2019. I believe we first published this list in 1939, recommending the best of 1938. Many of the titles are now mostly forgotten (or notorious: see The Five Chinese Brothers), but look: there is Andy and the Lion, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and The Hobbit....

Andrew Clements (1949-2019)

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Photo: George Clements. We were sad to learn that Andrew Clements passed away late last month. Perhaps best known as the author of Frindle, Clements wrote over eighty books, many of them school stories. Recent titles include The Friendship War and The Losers Club; read Roger Sutton's Five Questions interview...

Why Do Comics Matter? — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

Why do comics matter? At the risk of sounding completely self-absorbed, I’m going to answer this question by talking about me.  I am an Asian American cartoonist. I’m going to tell you how I became these two things: an Asian American and a cartoonist. Then I’m going to tell you...

Pat Mora Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Magination Press, Books for Kids from the American Psychological Association On the occasion of the publication of her first picture book with Magination Press, My Singing Nana, Pat Mora and...

Fanfare 2019 Booklist

Below is Fanfare, a list of the books that the Horn Book editors and reviewers have selected as the best of 2019. The annotated list will be published in the December issue of Notes from the Horn Book (sign up!) and in the January/February 2020 issue of the Horn Book Magazine...

Five Questions for Susan Cooper

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"The Shortest Day, " Susan Cooper's 1974 poem honoring the winter solstice, is performed annually at The Christmas Revels. Now, Carson Ellis's gouache illustrations grace a picture-book version, The Shortest Day (Candlewick, 5–8 years), which imagines people "down the centuries of the snow-white world" as they greet the season. See...

Elisha Cooper Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by I always think of Elisha Cooper as an artist who does a lot with a little (see Big Cat, Little Cat), but in River he does a lot with a...
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