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Lighting the Candle: Boom Box

I used to drive my mother dizzy with my never-ending stories. There was always something to share. A short TV cartoon I’d seen could turn into three hours of retelling. On my mother’s heels, from room to room, I would spin the smallest of daily events into an epic narrative...

Lighting the Candle: ¡Bórralo!

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: Pages of Pleasure

El Paso, Texas, a city on the U.S.–Mexico border, the city where Mom, my three siblings, my three children, and I were born. I grew up in a loving, bilingual home, English and Spanish — the second-most spoken language in the United States. Neither of Mom’s parents spoke English, though...

Titi Pura: A Conversation with Cristina Maduro and Lisa Fenstermacher

Anika Aldamuy Denise received a 2020 Pura Belpré narrative honor award for the picture-book biography Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré (art from which, by Paola Escobar, graces this issue’s cover). Anika spoke with Belpré’s great-nieces, sisters Cristina and Lisa, who share their personal recollections of...

Week in Review, May 10th-14th

  This week on hbook.com... Lisa Fipps Talks with Roger about Starfish   From the May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25: What the Pura Belpré Award Means to Me by Meg Medina Lighting the Candle: Inherited Exile by Margarita Engle Lighting the Candle:...

Read a book (with pictures!)

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Parental conversations often drift toward what our kids have (and haven’t) been reading. Friends recently told my wife and me that they were banning their kids from reading any “books with pictures,” specifically graphic novels and comic books. Their motivations were sensible: they wanted their kids to develop a love of text-only reading.   I...

A Note from Me (May 14, 2021)

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Dear friends: Jason Reynolds’s Zena Sutherland Lecture was a smashing success last Friday. As far as I could see, he spoke without a text or even notes, moving brilliantly and seamlessly from stories about his recently deceased father to just what those stories meant in terms of bringing him and...

Lisa Fipps 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   Ellie, the protagonist of Lisa Fipps’s first novel, Starfish, has a very difficult relationship with her mother, who is constantly badgering Ellie about her weight. How much of Ellie’s...

2021 Summer Reading List

  Picture Books Suggested grade level for all entries: PS–2   I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes; illus. by Gordon C. James (Paulsen/Penguin) Cave Paintings by Jairo Buitrago; illus. by Rafael ­Yockteng; trans. from Spanish by Elisa Amado (Groundwood) You’re Invited to a Moth Ball: A Nighttime Insect...

2021 Summer Reading: High School

  Need suggestions for summer reading? This year we've super-sized our lists, with a baker's dozen recommendations for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.  ...

2021 Summer Reading: Middle School

  Need suggestions for summer reading? This year we've super-sized our lists, with a baker's dozen recommendations for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.  ...

2021 Summer Reading: Intermediate

  Need suggestions for summer reading? This year we've super-sized our lists, with a baker's dozen recommendations for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.  ...

2021 Summer Reading: Easy Readers and Primary Grades

  Need suggestions for summer reading? This year we've super-sized our lists, with a baker's dozen recommendations for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.  ...

2021 Summer Reading: Picture Books

  Need suggestions for summer reading? This year we've super-sized our lists, with a baker's dozen recommendations for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry — all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.  ...

Five questions for Angeline Boulley

In Angeline Boulley’s YA debut, Firekeeper’s Daughter (Holt, 14 years and up), eighteen-year-old Daunis is dragged into an investigation of the meth infiltrating her family members’ Sugar Island Ojibwe tribe — and the tragic murder of her best friend. It’s a gripping thriller, a nuanced contemporary Native story, a twisty...

2021 Summer Reading Recommendations

Horn Book Summer Reading fans may notice something special about 2021’s list: it’s super-sized! Instead of recommending our usual top ten books for different age ranges (including fiction, nonfiction, folklore, and poetry), all published 2020–2021 and ideal for the season, we’re providing thirteen of each. With COVID-19 having upended summer...

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....

Giving up...or giving over?  

I just revisited Audrey Hinsdale’s post from 2016, My own discretion advised. Audrey was thirteen when she wrote that post; she’s almost eighteen now and headed to Bryn Mawr in September, so her own discretion (and hard work and talent) seems to have served her well.  Reading her post in 2021, after a year plus of remote learning and near constant screen time for my kids, is giving me perspective. Rather...

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...

Week in Review, May 3rd-7th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25: Table of Contents: May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25 Editorial: (Re)Claiming Our Literature (May/June 2021) by Sujei Lugo A Letter to Readers:...

Mother's Day 2021

Mother’s Day 2021 (this Sunday, May 9, people) is, of course, the second one to fall during the pandemic. Boston Public Garden’s Duckling Day is virtual yet again, which means you don’t need to be local to be a part of the celebration. (Read more by and about the Ducklings' papa, Robert McCloskey, here.)  Here are some recommended books, articles, and blog...

A Note from Me (May 7, 2021)

Dear friends: Normally on this first Friday in May I’d be winging my way to Chicago for the Zena Sutherland Lecture tonight, but this year I’ll be watching from home along with everybody else as ZS lecturer Jason Reynolds does his inimitable thing. I’m looking forward to it — I...

Cinco de Mayo 2021

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate (virtually!) with three updated booklists from the Guide/Reviews Database starring the holiday itself, Mexican and Mexican American protagonists, and the Spanish language. We've got recommended fiction and nonfiction titles for primary, intermediate, and older readers. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real...

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...

Star Wars Day 2021

Nothing says "Happy Star Wars Day!" like a Baby Origami Yoda, folded last week by Horn Book executive editor Elissa's eight-year-old Jedi-in-training (a.k.a padawan) during the annual Margret & H. A. Rey Curious George Lecture, presented by the Cambridge Public Library, the Curious George Fund, and the Cambridge Public Library Foundation....

Teacher Appreciation 2021

This week marks Teacher Appreciation Week, with Tuesday, May 4, being National Teacher Day. If ever there was a year to celebrate educators, 2021 is that year. Please, #ThankaTeacher (including teacher librarians, if your district is lucky enough to have them).   Teachers, did you ever imagine the depths of resilience you would have...

May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine cover surprise

Peek-a-boo! It's the complete May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: The Pura Belpré Award at 25 cover. Art by Paola Escobar, gif by Horn Book designer Mark Tuchman.   Single copies of this special issue are available for $15.00 including postage and may be ordered from: Kristy South Administrative Coordinator,...

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...

May Day 2021

In commemoration of International Workers' Day, or May Day, here are some book reviews and links to amplify the fight of workers and their efforts to secure better working conditions for all. This has special resonance in 2021 as we remember the struggle for protections that essential workers — grocery and...

Week in Review, April 26th-30th

  This week on hbook.com... Cynthia Levinson and Evan Turk Talk with Roger about The People's Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art   From the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Publishers' Previews: Spring 2021 - Five Questions for... Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé | Graci Kim | Carole Boston Weatherford...

Día 2021

Today is El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), a "celebration of children, families, and reading...that emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds." This year marks the twenty-fifth anniversary of Día -- read about its history here and find resources for...

A Note from Me (Apr 30, 2021)

Dear friends: OMG did you hear about Kamala Harris making the government buy copies of her children’s book Superheroes Are Everywhere to put into the hands of every young terrorist at the border? April fool! We didn’t review the book, but SLJ gave it a so-so review if you’re thinking...

International Dance Day

Today is International Dance Day, a day to "to celebrate dance, revel in the universality of this art form, cross all political, cultural and ethnic barriers, and bring people together with a common language — dance." We hope you are movin' and groovin' in celebration, but when you need a...

International Jazz Day

Cover of the January/February 2017 Horn Book Magazine by Francis Vallejo.   Today is International Jazz Day. Over on the Guide/Reviews Database, search Music--Jazz for lots of great book recommendations, and below are some links and resources from The Horn Book about America's art form. Click the tag jazz for...

Cynthia Levinson and Evan Turk 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   Author Cynthia Levinson (The Youngest Marcher; Fault Lines in the Constitution) and illustrator Evan Turk (Grandfather Gandhi; A Thousand Glass Flowers) bring to the picture book page a man...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2021: Five Questions for Carole Boston Weatherford

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2021, 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 Unspeakable indeed was...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2021: Five Questions for Graci Kim

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2021, 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 The Last Fallen...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2021: Five Questions for Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2021, 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 Ace of...

Week in Review, April 19th-23rd

  This week on hbook.com...   From the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Publishers' Previews: Spring 2021 - Five Questions for... Karen Cushman | Justina Ireland   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Apr 23, 2021) R.I.P. dear Henrietta   Family Reading: Patriots' Day and School Vacation Week by Elissa...

R.I.P. dear Henrietta

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Everyone at the Horn Book was sad to learn this morning that Dr. Henrietta M. Smith, Professor Emerita at the University of South Florida's School of Information, died on Wednesday at the age of ninety-eight. I first met Henrietta back in the 1980s at the summer program in children's literature sponsored...

A Note from Me (Apr 23, 2021)

Dear friends: It’s been school vacation week here, and with a school directly across the street from our house, we definitely notice. Brownie is happy: there are no school buses lined up BLINKING THEIR INFERNAL LIGHTS with the sole intent of terrorizing him out of his morning walk; he’ll see...

Earth Day 2021: Restore Our Earth

Today, April 22, is Earth Day, with the focus being "Restore Our Earth." Last year was the momentous fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, and Cindy's round-up post includes lots of book recommendations, articles, and links. See also April's Notes from the Horn Book list "For Earth Day: Protecting animals"; today's Poetry Review of the...

Enriching the "image libraries"

In his 2013 Horn Book article "Young Dreamers," Christopher Myers wrote:  "Images matter. They linger in our hearts, vast 'image libraries' that color our actions and ideas, even if we don’t recognize them on a conscious level. The plethora of threatening images of young black people has real-life effects. But if...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2021: Five Questions for Justina Ireland

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2021, 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 The first ghost...

Publishers' Preview: Spring 2021: Five Questions for Karen Cushman

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This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Spring 2021, 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 War and...

Patriots' Day and School Vacation Week

Today is Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, a state and regional holiday that commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the beginnings of the Revolutionary War. It's the day the Boston Marathon is traditionally run (this year postponed until October), and the start of Spring Break for the public schools.  To...

Week in Review, April 12th-16th

  This week on hbook.com... April Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Qs for Linda Sue Park about The One Thing You'd Save; 7 new middle-grade titles for National Poetry Month; celebrate Earth Day next week with nonfiction picture books about protecting and appreciating animals; 6 new YA titles centering...

A Note from Me (Apr 16, 2021)

Dear friends: The stars are out! That is, we’ve announced which books are getting starred reviews in the upcoming May/June special issue of the Magazine, which itself is going to be a distinguished edition indeed. Make sure you’re subscribed, niños, because I’m afraid we’re going to run out of copies...

Five questions for Linda Sue Park

The One Thing You’d Save (Clarion, 9–13 years) written by Linda Sue Park begins with a teacher’s question: “Imagine that your home is on fire. You’re allowed to save one thing. Your family and pets are safe, so don’t worry about them. Your Most Important Thing. Any size. A grand...

Books mentioned in the April 2021 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Linda Sue Park The One Thing You'd Save by Linda Sue Park, illus. by Robert Sae-Heng; Clarion. New for National Poetry Month 2021 Niños: Poems for the Lost Children of Chile by María José Ferrada, illus. by María Elena Valdez, trans. from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel; Eerdmans....

From the Editor - April 2021

It is National Poetry Month, and the books selected by our editors for this issue of Notes remind me of how pliable our definition of poetry has had to become: it can be poetry-poetry, as in the collections by Naomi Shihab Nye, Jack Prelutsky, and Nikki Grimes reviewed above; but...

AAPI stories and voices

The following six YA titles center Asian American and Pacific Islander stories and voices, both in fiction and nonfiction — especially vital in a climate of rising violence. May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, and we’ll be posting more links and booklists throughout the month. See also this year’s...

For Earth Day: Protecting animals

With Earth Day just around the corner (April 22), look to these engaging and accessible nonfiction picture books to demonstrate the importance of appreciating animal species. See also our 50th anniversary celebration of Earth Day, from last year, and look for more from us on the day itself. Crossings: Extraordinary...

New for National Poetry Month 2021

April is National Poetry Month, and the following seven titles, for middle-grade and up, represent the variety — and appeal — of the form. See also our Five Questions interview with Linda Sue Park about her new illustrated verse novel The One Thing You’d Save; along with Jacqueline Woodson’s 2021...

The 2021 Zena Sutherland Lecture

The 2021 Zena Sutherland Lecture will take place on Friday, May 7th at 7:30PM, and our Lecturer this year is Jason Reynolds. You can all attend because it is via Zoom! Register (free) at chipublib.org/Sutherland. See you there!      ...

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...

Ramadan

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The Islamic month of Ramadan is a solemn holiday of fasting, charity, and additional prayer, culminating in the joyous feasting of Eid al-Fitr. Ramadan mubarak to those observing, and Happy Eid! We’d like to call your attention to reading suggestions from our friends at KitaabWorld, who review and recommend children’s...

May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine starred reviews

Illustration by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien, from The Floating Field. The following books will receive starred reviews in the May/June 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Yes & No; written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper (Roaring Brook). The Night Walk; written and illustrated by Marie Dorléans; trans. from French by Polly Lawson...

Week in Review, April 5th-9th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine: The Writer's Page: Hello Again by Kimberly Willis Holt   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Apr 9, 2021)   Family Reading National Library Week by Elissa Gershowitz National Siblings Day by Elissa Gershowitz   Out of...

National Siblings Day

April 10 is National Siblings Day (here is mine; and the picture above is Roger's brother with his bloopah). Here are some booklists and articles that highlight "siblings doing what siblings do best." Find more at Horn Book Family Reading blog; at Siblings tag; and lots and lots more at the Guide/Reviews Database...

A Note from Me (Apr 9, 2021)

Dear friends:  Let me confess here at the start that we made it through about forty-five minutes of The Greatest Story Ever Told before Lori and I decided (Richard having already fallen asleep) to switch over to Last Tango in Halifax, “you slapper” having become my favorite term of insult/endearment after just the first season. The Greatest Story it...

Reading for Holocaust Remembrance Day

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day (established by the United Nations General Assembly) is January 27 and Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, the United States, and other countries) is in April or May (in 2021 it's April 8). All of the following titles were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and...

The Writer's Page: Hello Again

Writing sequels or companion books to my novels has never been tempting to me, probably because I like to think each book accomplished all I’d intended to say. After completing When Zachary ­Beaver Came to Town (1999), I felt satisfied that I’d finished the story of Toby, Cal, and Zachary....

Week in Review, March 29th-April 2nd

  This week on hbook.com... Beverly Clearly 1916-2021   From the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Field Notes: "But Are They Level O?": Leveled Reading and Antiracism by Maeve Visser Knoth   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Apr 2, 2021)   Family Reading: Transgender Day of Visibility by Kitty...

A Note from Me (Apr 2, 2021)

Dear friends: Awww, Beverly Cleary. Tributes are everywhere (including the front page of the Times, featuring yours truly) and we’ve rounded up several from among the many that have appeared in the Horn Book over the years. And I have a new “I’m so old…”: “I’m so old I remember...

Pop! Goes the E-book

Photo: wjenningsphotography/Getty Images. All montaged elements: Getty Images (various artists). Since we began working remotely, e-books have become a major part of our lives. They’re convenient in some ways, and necessary to our current situation, but there’s nothing like the “real” thing, especially when a book has tactile elements like...

Transgender Day of Visibility

For Transgender Day of Visibility, here are some recently published books — for primary, intermediate, and older readers — from the Guide/Reviews Database that celebrate identities beyond the binary. See also: “Two, four, six, eight, don’t assume your kids are straight!" by Kitty Flynn "Rule Breakers: Never a Rule to Begin With" and BGHB...

Women's History Month 2021, Week 5

March is Women's History Month. To celebrate the accomplishments of women and female-identifying people, we will be highlighting recent recommended nonfiction titles "devoted to the achievements of a diverse ­gallery of women, heroes every one." Look for the social media tag #HBWomensHistoryMonth on Facebook.com/TheHornBook and @HornBook as we share posts...

Field Notes: "But Are They Level O?": Leveled Reading and Antiracism

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Knoth reading to a kindergarten class in her school library. My search began with the most ordinary of questions. All school librarians will recognize the request: a teacher sent a weekend email needing book suggestions for her fourth graders — books that were well written, accessible, and of course, engaging....

Beverly Cleary 1916-2021

Beloved children's author Beverly Cleary has passed away, at the age of 104. To celebrate the occasion of her centennial, on April 12, 2016, The Horn Book Magazine's March/April issue devoted a series of articles to "Beverly Cleary at 100." "The Real Ramona" by David Reuther, longtime Cleary editor and publisher Nonfiction author...

Week in Review, March 22nd-26th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Why Read Books from the Past? by Mitali Perkins   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Mar 26, 2021)   Family Reading: Passover 2021 by Elissa Gershowitz   Out of the Box: Women's History Month 2021, Week...

Women's History Month 2021, Week 4

March is Women's History Month. To celebrate the accomplishments of women and female-identifying people, we will be highlighting recent recommended nonfiction titles "devoted to the achievements of a diverse ­gallery of women, heroes every one." Look for the social media tag #HBWomensHistoryMonth on Facebook.com/TheHornBook and @HornBook as we share posts...

Passover 2021

Passover begins Saturday night at sundown. Last year Shoshana wrote eloquently about how "this night" was extra different for many, and this year may be similarly different or otherwise in transition. Two recent picture books, both by Friends of the Horn Book, could nicely supplement the Haggadah. The Passover Guest by Susan Kusel...

A Note from Me (Mar 26, 2021)

Dear friends: For those readers who have caviled at the “liberal agenda” supposedly being promulgated in this weekly letter, let’s get this out of the way right at the top: this country needs more effective gun control now. Whatever mental illness, whatever racism, whatever evil drives a person to kill,...

Why Read Books from the Past?

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Mitali Perkins's nonfiction book for adults Steeped in Stories: Timeless Children's Novels to Refresh Our Tired Souls (Broadleaf Books) will be published in August. In it Perkins examines seven classic children's novels — Anne of Green Gables, Heidi, Emily of Deep Valley, The Hobbit, Little Women, A Little Princess, and...

Week in Review, March 15th-19th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine: More Than a Footnote: Challenges for BIPOC Nonfiction Authors by Carole Boston Weatherford   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Mar 19, 2021)   Family Reading: Lady Danbury reads by Elissa Gershowitz   Out of the Box:...

Women's History Month 2021, Week 3

March is Women's History Month. To celebrate the accomplishments of women and female-identifying people, we will be highlighting recent recommended nonfiction titles "devoted to the achievements of a diverse ­gallery of women, heroes every one." Look for the social media tag #HBWomensHistoryMonth on Facebook.com/TheHornBook and @HornBook as we share posts...

A Note from Me (Mar 19, 2021)

Dear friends: Happy anniversary? This week marks a year now that the Horn Book has been working from home, and I remain grateful and amazed that we’ve done it at all, much less as well as we have, thanks to our determined editors, Our Al, and our coworkers from the...

Nonfiction Windows So White

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Every reader of this magazine knows that Rudine Sims Bishop’s “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” framework has become a central part of our vocabulary as we evaluate books for children and teenagers. Indeed it is a kind of organizing metaphor in the industry-wide push for a more representative literature...

Lady Danbury reads

Last week in virtual school, Adjoa Andoh, a.k.a. Lady Danbury, read Sleep Well Siba & Saba by Nansubuga Nagadya Isdhal, a local-born author, to my second grader and me, as part of Tàta Storytime. Remote school can be fun! What are some other Family Reading/remote schooling wins? ...

Céad míle fáilte!

Céad míle fáilte to all those celebrating St. Patrick's Day today. We've compiled three new Guide/Reviews Database booklists recommending books for primary, intermediate, and older readers on all things Irish. Sláinte!...

More Than a Footnote: Challenges for BIPOC Nonfiction Authors

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For as long as I can remember, I have had three loves: jazz, poetry, and history. Those passions merged in my 2000 nonfiction title The Sound That Jazz Makes — a manuscript that was rejected more than a dozen times. The book’s first review was so negative that I cried....

Week in Review, March 8th-12th

  This week on hbook.com... R.I.P. Norton Juster by Shoshana Flax March Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Qs for Lesa Cline-Ransome and Andrea Davis Pinkney about their She Persisted chapter book series entries Claudette Colvin and Harriet Tubman; 7 picture-book biographies about persistent women; 6 novels about resilient girls;...

Women's History Month 2021, Week 2

March is Women's History Month. To celebrate the accomplishments of women and female-identifying people, we will be highlighting recent recommended nonfiction titles "devoted to the achievements of a diverse ­gallery of women, heroes every one." Look for the social media tag #HBWomensHistoryMonth on Facebook.com/TheHornBook and @HornBook as we share posts...

Pi Day 2021

Pi Day (3.14) is this Sunday. Last year we recommended Remy Lai's Pie in the Sky (Holt) (and before that Pie Is for Sharing and Pies from Nowhere) and this year we've got another recent book about pie that we bet Jingwen would enjoy: Matt James's Nice Try, Charlie! (Groundwood). Or you can...

A Note from Me (Mar 12, 2021)

Dear friends: Cindy urges us all to keep an eye out for virtual bookstore events happening in our neighborhoods, which, given the nature of virtual events, is EVERYWHERE. How to choose? I see that Cindy’s neighborhood bookstore, Jeff Kinney’s An Unlikely Story, just had an event with adult historical fiction...

Norton Passes Go

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A poem by Jane Yolen in remembrance of her friend Norton Juster (1929-2021): So, the unexpected, which he always expected, happened when he had lost the ability to expect anything at all. At the same time he became a phantom, he became a father to us all. If there is...

Books mentioned in the March 2021 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Lesa Cline-Ransome and Andrea Davis Pinkney Claudette Colvin by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by Gillian Flint, and Harriet Tubman by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illus. by Gillian Flint; Philomel. Persistent women The Fearless Flights of Hazel Ying Lee by Julie Leung, illus. by Julie Kwon; Little, Brown. The Water...

From the Editor - March 2021

Welcome to Women’s History Month, which we are celebrating at the Horn Book through March. Really, given the influence Bertha Mahony Miller and her Horn Book sistren still hold upon this company, it’s always Women’s History Month for us, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. I may joke...

YA mythology and folktales

From ancient Greece and Brittany to the Americas and Vietnam, traditional storytelling provides rich inspiration for these YA re-visionings. The Daughters of Ys by M. T. Anderson; illus. by Jo Rioux Middle School    First Second/Roaring Brook    208 pp.    g 8/20    978-1-62672-878-3    $24.99 e-book ed.  978-1-25079-036-1    $11.99 In graphic novel form,...

Resilient girls

The young female protagonists of the following six historical fiction novels demonstrate strength and resilience when faced with family challenges, societal limitations, and dramatic world events. March is Women’s History Month. For more, click the tag Women’s History Month and follow #HBWomensHistoryMonth on Twitter and Facebook. Letters from Cuba by...

Persistent women

For young readers not quite ready for illustrated chapter-book biographies such as Claudette Colvin and Harriet Tubman, which are discussed in our Five Questions interview with authors Lesa Cline-Ransome and Andrea Davis Pinkney, here are picture-book biographies about seven tenacious, inspiring, and diverse women. March is Women’s History Month. For...

Five questions for Lesa Cline-Ransome and Andrea Davis Pinkney

The new chapter book series She Persisted (Philomel, 6-9 years) is spun off from the picture books of the same name written by Chelsea Clinton and illustrated by Alexandra Boiger. Each entry explores the life of a strong and courageous woman who has helped change the world, with the first...

R.I.P. Norton Juster

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I was lucky enough to hear Norton Juster (1929–2021) speak at the Boston Public Library a few years ago, and brought a copy of The Phantom Tollbooth that had been passed down from my mother to me. I half-apologized for its well-loved appearance. “It’s either well-loved or well-hated,” he said. “Well-loved,” I repeated....

Virtual bookstore events

Has anyone else attended virtual events at a local bookstore this past year during COVID-19? I’ve got to say, I’m a fan. I’ve been to a few recently for friends’ new books (here’s looking at you, Jimmy Matejek-Morris and Amy Cherrix!) and then last Thursday evening I gathered my family...

International Women's Day

Today is International Women's Day. On hornbookguide.com, we've updated two booklists of recent biographies, one for younger and one for older readers, to honor the extraordinary lives of women, girls, and female-identifying people throughout history from around the world. And every day throughout the month of March we'll be celebrating...

Week in Review, March 1st-5th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the March/April 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Table of Contents Editorial: A Book of One's Own by Roger Sutton   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Mar 5, 2021)   Family Reading: Yiddish Book Center: "Geographies of the Soul" with Marjorie Agosín and Ruth...
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