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2021 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.   Stalled The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey     Didn't fly How to Find a Bird by Jennifer Ward; illus. by Diana Sudyka     Missed its... Chance by Uri Shulevitz    ...

Reviews of 2021 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 2021 winners.   The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey; illus. by the authors Preschool, Primary    Norton    40 pp. 1/20   ...

2020 in Pictures and Words

The last time we sat down to put virtual pen to communal paper for our annual “year in review” article (“A Year with Words and Pictures — but No ALA Annual,” July/August 2020 Horn Book), it was spring of 2020. We had been working from home for a few weeks,...

Our Foundation, Our Springboard: The Trailblazing Work of Mildred D. Taylor and Jacqueline Woodson

Because Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and Children's Literature Legacy Award winner Mildred D. Taylor have been so recently profiled in these pages (see the May/June 2019 and July/August 2020 issues), we decided instead to offer this year's Margaret A. Edwards Award winner Kekla Magoon space to...

Profile of 2021 CSK Illustrator Award winner Frank Morrison

When I met Frank in person, the first thing I noticed was his warm smile. But long before we exchanged smiles and hugs for the first time at the Society of Illustrators’ Original Art show several years ago, I had met Frank through his incredible artwork. Many years before, I...

Profile of 2021 Caldecott Medal winner Michaela Goade

In a tiny cabin, surrounded on three sides by ocean, Michaela Goade dipped her brush into a jar of water. She uncapped and squeezed paint — cerulean, cobalt, ultramarine — onto her mixing palette. At last, color combination perfected, Michaela brought brush to paper. Watercolor is a daunting medium for...

Profile of 2021 Newbery Medal winner Tae Keller

Tae Keller holding her "heart story." [Photo courtesy of Tae Keller.] Tae Keller believes in the power of stories. In When You Trap a Tiger, she explores the stories that we tell ourselves — the ones that shape our identities. What are the stories we cling to and what are...

2021 CSK–Virginia Hamilton Award Acceptance by Dorothy L. Guthrie

I am so honored to have my work recognized with this award. I want to thank chair Ida Thompson and the CSK–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award Jury for this honor. Virginia Hamilton has always been one of my favorite authors. I can still remember how I felt when I read...

Editorial: House Party (July/August 2021)

While still all abuzz about our May/June special issue, which celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Pura Belpré Award and Latinx literature for young people, we started working on July/August, our annual ALA Awards special issue. In 2019, we’d marked the fiftieth anniversary of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards...

Table of Contents: July/August 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards

Cover © 2021 by Michaela Goade. Cover illustration art direction by Aram Kim.   Features 2020 in Pictures and Words by Horn Book editors Caldecott Medal Acceptance by Michaela Goade A profile of Michaela Goade by Kirsten Hall Newbery Medal Acceptance by Tae Keller A profile of Tae Keller by...

2021 Children's Literature Legacy Award Acceptance by Mildred D. Taylor

Thank you, American Library Association, for honoring my work with the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. This most prestigious award is bestowed as my career is ending. In 1975, the year my first book was published, my career was just beginning. I had been preparing for my writing career for many...

2021 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance by Frank Morrison

Man, it was hot that day. One of those summer days when you don’t go outside unless you can find a good spot of shade. The days when the ice-cream man doesn’t come out until the sun sets. The days when if you’re fortunate enough to be in the house,...

2021 Caldecott Medal Acceptance by Michaela Goade

Lingít x’éináx yéi xat duwasáakw Sheit.een, Dleit káa x'éináx ku.aa Michaela Goade. Kiks.ádix xat sitee. Shdéen Hít yóo duwasáakw haa naakahídi. Ax éesh hás Kaagwaantaan. Sheet’káa yéi xat yatee. In Tlingit my name is Sheit.een, and in English my name is Michaela Goade. I am of the Kiks.ádi clan. Our clan house is called...

2021 Newbery Medal Acceptance by Tae Keller

Oh my goodness. The Newbery speech. This is a little intimidating. I’ve spent the past months wondering what, exactly, a Newbery speech should contain. I wondered if I should mention that this all feels a little impossible. I wondered if I should talk about how I called my family as...

On the Futurity of the Pura Belpré Award

A reflection on the future of the Pura Belpré Award must begin with a meditation on the past. As Black, Caribbean, Afro-Atlantic, and Afro-Latinx scholars teach us, the future is in the past, and the present is in the future. My contemplation, then, begins with two iconic photographs of Pura...

Lighting the Candle: Thank You, Mr. Baumgartner

Irene (seated, second from left) and Pam (seated, fifth from left) in third grade. (Photo courtesy of Pam Muñoz Ryan.) If I hadn’t been a failed violinist, I might never have become a writer. When I was in fourth grade, the public school I attended had a coveted orchestra program....

HBTV: Pura Belpré Award Videos

Welcome to HBTV, our exciting new (occasional) children's book-related TV show! In the inaugural episode of HBTV, I talk about the Pura Belpré Awards, on the occasion of its 25th anniversary, with Belpré Award winner Meg Medina and award co-founder Sandra Ríos Balderrama.     My Belpré conversation continues in...

Lighting the Candle: Untitled

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. Illustration (c) 2021 by Sara Palacios....

Reviews of the 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction and Poetry Winner A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia High School    Quill Tree/HarperCollins    480 pp.    g 5/21    978-0-06-236729-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-236732-7    $10.99 Williams-Garcia, whose YA titles include the 1995 classic Like Sisters on the Homefront and Jumped (rev. 3/09), offers an unusual angle on the subject...

Reviews of the 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award Winner and Honor Books

Picture Book Winner I Talk like a River by Jordan Scott; illus. by Sydney Smith Primary    Porter/Holiday    40 pp. 9/20    978-0-8234-4559-2    $18.99 In this lyrical and empowering picture book, Canadian poet Scott tells a story based on his own experiences as a boy who stuttered. In simple, evocative language, he...

Reviews of the 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award Winner and Honor Books

Nonfiction Winner From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial That Galvanized the Asian American Movement by Paula Yoo High School    Norton    384 pp.    g 4/21    978-1-324-00287-1    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-324-00288-8    $17.48 Who was Vincent Chin? The brutal 1982 killing of the young...

Presenting the 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners

  On Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at 12 pm EDT, Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton announced the 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners. If you want to relive the excitement, you can watch the archived video here:     2021 BOSTON GLOBE–HORN BOOK AWARD WINNERS ANNOUNCED Prestigious Program...

Lighting the Candle: What Words and Art Can Do

This is a joyful memory, lo prometo, though it’s one connected to suffering as well. I am a writer and walk in this world with gratitude and purpose because of my mother, Isabel María Valdivieso Vexler Brown. In teaching me how to be an artist, she taught me how to...

Lighting the Candle: Dance with Me

Lilliam Rivera (left) with Titi Luz. (Photo courtesy of Lilliam Rivera.) She wore a long, colorful falda and matching blouse, or blusa, with ribboned ruffles, perfectly made for twirling. On a small stage stood my aunt Luz E. Ortiz Vázquez, ready to dance with her partner, who took her by...

Lighting the Candle: Mrs. Miller's Magic

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: The Kindness of Time

A page from one of the author's notebooks. (Photo: John Wiggins.) The kindness of time allows us to elucidate and inhabit memories from our childhoods that have shaped us into becoming who we are. I have always loved words, their sounds and textures. When I was a young girl, my...

Simple and Unassuming: Seeing Myself in the Story of a Bossy Rooster

You never know what it is about a book that an individual reader will connect with. It could be a character’s personality or interests. It could be the setting, a shared home. And sometimes it is something as simple and unassuming as an object. Let’s say, a box. When my...

Lighting the Candle: Blank Page Spark

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: The Sun Always Came Out Tomorrow

Miss Hannigan’s purple dress peeked out from behind the mulberry tree, the breeze pushing it against her calf and slightly above her black heels. She was good at hiding, but we were aware of her presence and that she’d been on our trail for the last twenty minutes and was...

Lighting the Candle: The Moments That Inspired the Journey

Alma Flor Ada at age five, in front of the Quinta Simoni in 1943. Photo courtesy of Alma Flora Ada. Growing up in Cuba at my grandmother’s home, the Quinta Simoni, surrounded by family and nature, was a most magical time. My parents, aunts, and uncles were all still young,...

Preview July/August 2021 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards

Special Issue: ALA Awards. Original cover art by 2021 Caldecott Medal winner Michaela Goade. “2020 in Pictures and Words”: The Horn Book editors discuss the children’s book landscape in an unusual and groundbreaking year. Michaela Goade’s Caldecott Medal acceptance speech. A profile of Michaela Goade by her agent, Kirsten Hall....

Lighting the Candle: Tato's Tales

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: Thinking About the Verb

When I speak to groups of young people, I say, “I’m going to ask you a question. I’ll give you three seconds to think of an answer, and right now, I’m going to tell you that you will be wrong.” The question I ask is: “What do you want to...

Notes from Our Backyard

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The Cinco Puntos Press office in El Paso.   Let us begin by congratulating REFORMA and all the wonderful activist librarians who have made the Pura Belpré Award such a great success. Twenty-five years! They have fought for Latinx culture in its many forms and in doing so have brought...

Lighting the Candle: A Wild Ride

From left: Carmen's father, Carlos Agra; sister, Tersi Agra Bendiburg; Carmen Agra Deedy; and mother, Esther Ponz Agra, several years after arriving in the United States. Photo courtesy of Carmen Agra Deedy. When I was in middle school, my social studies teacher encouraged me to enter a writing contest, sponsored...

Lighting the Candle: Labyrinth

I came to the U.S. when I was a teenager. As I spent more time away from Mexico, where I grew up, I began to feel a little lost. I missed the food, the music, and the traditions. One of my high school teachers noticed this and loaned me a...

Lighting the Candle: The Year I Turned Ten

"Una vez que un objeto ha sido incorporado a una pintura, acepta un nuevo destino." —Georges Braque   The year I turned ten, my father moved us from my island of Puerto Rico to Buenos Aires, Argentina. For him, it was a long-awaited ­sabbatical. One he dreamt of spending in...

Lighting the Candle: Bagazo and El Josco

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: One Story, One Day

Mr. Riley’s room was just past the bathrooms on the left side of the hall across from the lockers (which, for some reason, we were not allowed to use). He stood in the doorway, hands in pockets, and welcomed us into class every day. He was a nice enough guy,...

Un Poquito Complicated: Spanish and the Pura Belpré Award

When the Pura Belpré Award was established in 1996, the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking (REFORMA) made clear that it was intended to recognize Latinx creators “whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work...

Lighting the Candle: Thinking in Pictures

For me, a trip to the grocery store is an adventure. Choosing between red and green peppers involves staving off ravenous zombies who want to snack on my earlobes. Hefting ten pounds of black beans into my cart requires hiding from reptilian-skinned aliens intent on harvesting my toenails. Picking up...

Pura Belpré Award by the Numbers

The Award The Pura Belpré Award (PBA) has been awarded on 20 occasions: every other year from 1996 to 2008, and annually since then. Each year, there is a Medal winner in the categories of Children’s Narrative, Youth Illustration, and (as of 2021) Young Adult Narrative. Honor Books may also...

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...

Lighting the Candle: Unearthing a Writer

Mrs. Arnoldus (top row, third from left) and Donna Barba Higuera (second row from top, far left). Photo courtesy of Donna Barba Higuera. 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...

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...
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