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Review of Crossing On Time

Crossing On Time: Steam Engines, Fast Ships, 
and a Journey to the New World by David Macaulay; illus. by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Roaring Brook    128 pp. 5/19    978-1-59643-477-6    $24.99 Macaulay chronicles his own mid-twentieth-century immigration story in full color and a wide trim size—along with plenty of diagrams...

Review of Butterfly Yellow

Butterfly Yellow by Thanhhà Lai Middle School, High School    Harper/HarperCollins    296 pp.    g 9/19    978-0-06-222921-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-222923-6    $9.99 During the 1975 fall of Saigon, twelve-year-old Hang determines that she and her younger brother, Linh, should escape to America. They attempt to impersonate orphans to join Operation Babylift, but...

Review of Double Bass Blues

Double Bass Blues by Andrea J. Loney; illus. by Rudy Gutierrez Primary    Knopf    32 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-5247-1852-7    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1853-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1854-1    $10.99 Told entirely through dialogue and sound effects, the story follows double-bass player Nic as he performs an “epic solo” at band practice at...

Horn BOO! 2019

Welcome to our annual roundup of (not-always) scary seasonal stories, where you'll find, mostly, more pumpkins and puns than poltergeists. Happy Halloween! Mr. Pumpkin’s Tea Party by Erin Barker; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Blue Manatee   32 pp.    g 9/19    978-1-936669-77-6    $17.99  Handsome china dishes and raised pinkies accentuate a fancy...

Review of Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir

Ordinary Hazards: A Memoir by Nikki Grimes High School    Wordsong/Boyds Mills    325 pp. 10/19    978-1-62979-881-3    $19.99 As poetically written as Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming (rev. 9/14) with a story as hard-hitting as Sapphire’s Push. In her author’s note, poet Grimes (winner of the 2017 Children’s Literature Legacy Award) says that...

Review of Pumpkinheads

Pumpkinheads  by Rainbow Rowell; illus. by Faith Erin Hicks; 
color by Sarah Stern  High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    222 pp.  8/19    978-1-250-31285-3    $24.99      Paper ed.  978-1-62672-162-3    $17.99  Graduating high-school seniors Josiah and Deja have worked together at DeKnock’s World Famous Pumpkin Patch & Autumn Jamboree every fall for the past...

Review of Saturday

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

Review of Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship”

Torpedoed: The True Story of the World War II Sinking of “The Children’s Ship” by Deborah Heiligman Intermediate, Middle School    Godwin/Holt    291 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-62779-554-8    $19.99 Nonfiction maestro Heiligman (Charles and Emma, rev. 1/09; Vincent and Theo, rev. 3/17) here tells a riveting wartime survival story. As World War...

Review of It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories

It’s a Whole Spiel: Love, Latkes, and Other Jewish Stories edited by Katherine Locke and Laura Silverman High School    Knopf    311 pp.    g 9/19    978-0-525-64616-7    $17.99    Library ed.  978-0-525-64617-4    $20.99    e-book ed.  978-0-525-64618-1    $10.99 In this anthology of fourteen short stories by Jewish authors and about Jewish teens, youth trips,...

Review of A Big Bed for Little Snow

 A Big Bed for Little Snow  by Grace Lin; illus. by the author  Preschool, Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp.    g  10/19    978-0-316-47836-6    $17.99  e-book ed.  978-0-316-47838-0    $9.99  Lin takes readers to the sky once again in this follow-up to Caldecott Honor Book A Big Mooncake for Little Star (rev. 7/18). Whereas a black night sky dominated Mooncake’s palette...

Review of Watch Out for Clever Women! / ¡Cuidado con las mujeres astutas!

Watch Out for Clever Women! / ¡Cuidado con las mujeres astutas! by Joe Hayes; illus. by Vicki Trego Hill Intermediate, Middle School    Cinco Puntos    135 pp. 1/19    978-1-947627-00-0    $19.95 Paper ed.  978-1-947627-01-7    $12.95 American Southwest storyteller Hayes retells ten folktales, five new and five from the 1994 original edition, with...

Review of What Miss Mitchell Saw

What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley Barrett; illus. by Diana Sudyka Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 9/19    918-1-4814-8759-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-8760-3    $10.99 Born in the early part of the nineteenth century “on the fog-wrapped island of Nantucket,” Maria Mitchell was a learner, expanding her educational horizons from her family...

Back to School Picture Books from the HB Guide

These new recommended picture books should ease the jitters of young kids returning to—or newly starting—school. For more back-to-school content, see the August 2019 Horn Book Herald. ...

Review of More to the Story

More to the Story by Hena Khan Intermediate, Middle School    Salaam/Simon    262 pp.    g 9/19    978-1-4814-9209-6    $17.99    e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9211-9    $10.99 In a novel inspired by Little Women, thirteen-year-old Pakistani American Jameela Mirza, second oldest of four sisters and an aspiring journalist, lives with her family in Atlanta. This Eid...

Review of Sweep

Sweep  by Louise Greig; illus. by Júlia Sardà  Preschool, Primary    Simon    32 pp.  9/19    978-1-5344-3908-5    $17.99  e-book ed.  978-1-5344-3910-8    $10.99  In this story about emotions and self-control, a boy named Ed’s bad mood escalates from a tiny whirlwind into something sentient that “swept over him in a raging storm and stuck.” The...

Review of The Bridge Home audiobook

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman; read by the author Intermediate, Middle School    Listening Library    Rev. 1/19    4 CDs    4.55 hrs.    978-1-9848-4509-2    $38.00 Venkatraman’s memorable middle-grade and middle-school novel follows homeless children trying to survive on the streets of Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu, India. In this excellent audio...

Review of Born to Fly: The First Women’s Air Race Across America

Born to Fly: The First Women’s Air Race Across America by Steve Sheinkin; illus. by Bijou Karman Middle School    Roaring Brook    264 pp.    g 9/19    978-1-62672-130-2    $19.99 “There were about nine thousand licensed pilots in the United States in 1929. Fewer than one hundred of them were women. Of those,...

Review of Becoming Beatriz

Becoming Beatriz by Tami Charles High School    Charlesbridge Teen    262 pp.    g 9/19    978-1-58089-778-5    $17.99 Charles (Like Vanessa, rev. 3/18) presents the story of an Afro–Puerto Rican teen, Beatriz Mendez, who is torn between her own desire to be a dancer and the expectations of her blood and chosen families...

Review of People Share with People

People Share with People by Lisa Wheeler; illus. by Molly Idle Preschool    Atheneum    40 pp. 9/19    978-1-5344-2559-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2560-6    $10.99 The team behind People Don’t Bite People (rev. 3/18) presents another useful and engaging toddler-skills picture-book primer in rhyme, with child-friendly examples and Idle’s dynamic, appealing illustrations to...

Review of Blood Water Paint audiobook

Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough; read by Xe Sands High School    Listening Library 3 CDs    3.87 hrs.    978-1-9848-2899-6    $15.00 In her youth, Artemisia Gentileschi, the renowned Italian Baroque painter, assisted her painter father, Orazio Gentileschi, while struggling to achieve her own artistic vision. Artemisia’s mother told her the biblical...

Review of Guts

Guts by Raina Telgemeier; illus. by the author; color by Braden Lamb Intermediate    Graphix/Scholastic    215 pp.    g 9/19    978-0-545-85251-7    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-0-545-85250-0    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-85253-1    $7.99 In this graphic memoir chronicling her fourth-grade year, Telgemeier (Smile; Sisters, rev. 11/14) shares her childhood experiences with anxiety. A bout with...

Review of Beverly, Right Here

 Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    243 pp.    g 9/19    978-0-7636-9464-7    $16.99 In this companion volume to DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale (rev. 3/16) and Louisiana’s Way Home (rev. 9/18) — together the books make up a trilogy in which DiCamillo introduces three girls, each meeting individual challenges...

Review of At the Mountain’s Base

At the Mountain’s Base by Traci Sorell; illus. by Weshoyot Alvitre Preschool, Primary    Kokila/Penguin    32 pp.    g 9/19    978-0-7352-3060-6    $17.99 In a cabin at the base of a mountain, multiple generations of Cherokee women await the return of their daughter/sister/mother/granddaughter, who is piloting a plane during wartime somewhere far away....

Review of The Parrot and the Merchant: A Tale by Rumi

The Parrot and the Merchant: A Tale by Rumi retold by Marjan Vafaeian; illus. by the author; 
trans. from the Persian by Azita Rassi Primary    Tiny Owl    32 pp. 5/19    978-1-910328-03-3    $16.99 Mah Jahan, a wealthy Persian merchant, collects birds during her travels, keeping them “in cages or chains so...

Review of The Miracle & Tragedy 
of the Dionne Quintuplets

The Miracle & Tragedy 
of the Dionne Quintuplets by Sarah Miller Middle School, High School    
Schwartz & Wade/Random    309 pp.    8/19    978-1-5247-1381-2    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1382-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1383-6    $10.99 The “miracle” referred to in the title was of course the birth of the five identical Dionne sisters in...

Review of The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined

The Language of Fire: Joan of Arc Reimagined by Stephanie Hemphill High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    495 pp. 6/19    978-0-06-249011-7    $17.99 In this engrossing first-person, present-tense verse novel, Hemphill (Your Own, Sylvia, rev. 3/07; Hideous Love, rev. 9/13) reimagines the fifteenth-century life of French martyr Joan of Arc. Readers follow...

Review of The King of Kindergarten

The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes; illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 7/19    978-1-5247-4074-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-4075-7    $10.99 In a series of vignettes, Barnes (Crown, rev. 11/17) follows a boy on his first day of big-kid school. Dubbed the “King of Kindergarten” by his mother,...

Review of Lovely War audiobook

Lovely War by Julie Berry; read by Jayne Entwistle, Allan Corduner, and various artists High School    Listening Library    Rev. 3/19 11 CDs    12.95 hrs.    978-1-9848-3826-1    $70.00 In a frame story, the goddess Aphrodite recounts a tale of true romance, expertly voiced by Entwistle, humanizing the tragedy of WWI and conveying...

Review of The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney

The Girl Who Named Pluto: The Story of Venetia Burney by Alice B. McGinty; illus. by Elizabeth Haidle Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 5/19    978-1-5247-6831-7    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-6832-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-6833-1    $10.99 Making smart use of the liberty that a picture-book biography can choose to take by...

Review of My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich

My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich by Ibi Zoboi; illus. by Anthony Piper Intermediate, Middle School    Dutton    252 pp.    g 8/19    978-0-3991-8735-3    $16.99 In the summer before seventh grade, in 1984, Ebony-Grace Norfleet Freeman — also known as E-Grace Starfleet, space cadet, in the comics she imagines — is...

Review of Ultrabot's First Playdate

Ultrabot’s First Playdate by Josh Schneider; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Clarion    32 pp.    g 7/19    978-1-328-49013-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-06358-2    $12.99 At first glance, this doesn’t look like a what-to-expect-when-hosting-a-playdate story. The first-timer here is a massive red robot that “lived with its professor in a little top-secret...

Review of Pay Attention, Carter Jones audiobook

Pay Attention, Carter Jones by Gary Schmidt; read by Christopher Gebauer Middle School    Recorded Books    Rev. 1/19 5 CDs    5.18 hrs.    978-1-9800-1047-0    $15.99 Having been bequeathed to sixth-grader Carter’s household by his deceased grandfather, English butler and “gentleman’s gentleman” Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick appears at the door on the first day of...

Review of Hummingbird

Hummingbird by Nicola Davies; illus. by Jane Ray Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-5362-0538-1    $16.99 Weighing less than three-quarters of an ounce (or, in Davies’s spot-on comparison for young readers, “less than a nickel”), the ruby-throated hummingbird migrates annually between Central and North America, approximately two thousand miles each...

Review of Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Pérez Intermediate, Middle School    Kokila/Penguin    367 pp.    g 9/19    978-0-425-29043-9    $16.99 In alternating chapters, readers meet lonely, artistic Lane DiSanti; bird-lover Cat Garcia; cooking whiz Aster Douglas; and aspiring journalist Ofelia Castillo. Spending an enforced summer vacation in sleepy...

Review of Cyril and Pat

Cyril and Pat by Emily Gravett; illus. by the author Preschool    Simon    32 pp. 5/19    978-1-5344-3950-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-3951-1    $10.99 Rhyming text and animated pencil, acrylic ink, and watercolor illustrations set the stage for a blossoming friendship between Cyril, the only squirrel in Lake Park, and Pat. Pat looks...

Review of The Dark Fantastic

The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to The Hunger Games [Postmillennial Pop] by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas New York University Press    215 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-4798-0065-0    $28.00 Thomas explores the entrenched concept (and construct) of the “Dark Fantastic” (“my term for the role that racial difference plays...

Review of They Called Us Enemy

They Called Us Enemy by George Takei, Justin Eisinger, and Steven Scott; illus. by Harmony Becker Middle School, High School    Top Shelf    208 pp. 9/19    Paper ed. 978-1-60309-450-4    $19.99   From the publisher of the March trilogy (March, rev. 1/14, and sequels), co-written by civil rights leader and U.S....

Review of The Hero Next Door

The Hero Next Door edited by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich Intermediate, Middle School    Crown    266 pp.    g 7/19    978-0-525-64630-3    $16.99    Library ed.  978-0-525-64631-0    $19.99    e-book ed.  978-0-525-64632-7    $9.99 Rhuday-Perkovich, in partnership with We Need Diverse Books, has compiled thirteen short stories (by fourteen authors) about “everyday heroes in our midst.” The entries...

Review of Spot & Dot

Spot & Dot by Henry Cole; illus. by the author Primary    Little Simon    32 pp. 8/19    978-1-5344-2555-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2556-9    $10.99 We first met cat Spot and Spot’s boy owner in Spot, the Cat (rev. 3/16). Here Cole adds two new characters: dog Dot (like Spot, white with one...

Review of Front Desk audiobook

Front Desk by Kelly Yang; read by Sunny Lu Intermediate    Listening Library    Rev. 7/18 6 CDs    6.5 hrs.    978-1-9848-4609-9    $50.00 Yang’s vivacious protagonist, ten-year-old Chinese immigrant Mia Tang, is winningly voiced by narrator Lu. Mia’s trials and tribulations, at school and at the California motel where she lives and works...

Review of A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II

A Thousand Sisters: The Heroic Airwomen of the Soviet Union in World War II by Elizabeth Wein Middle School, High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    388 pp. 1/19    978-0-06-245301-3    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-245304-4    $8.99 Wein has established herself as a consummate writer of historical fiction (Code Name Verity, rev. 5/12; Rose...

Review of Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits

Love Sugar Magic: A Sprinkle of Spirits by Anna Meriano Intermediate    Walden Pond/HarperCollins    320 pp. 2/19    978-0-06-249849-6    $16.99   Following her discovery in Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble (rev. 3/18) that she (like all the females in her family) is a bruja, Leonora Logroño is busy learning about...

Review of Daniel's Good Day

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Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer; illus. by the author Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 5/19    978-0-399-54672-3    $16.99 “What makes a good day for you?” As young Daniel (of Daniel Finds a Poem) walks through his busy city neighborhood (where he “knows many people”) to spend the day with his...

Review of The Phantom Tollbooth audiobook

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster; read by Rainn Wilson Intermediate    Listening Library 4 CDs    4.68 hrs.    978-1-9848-8703-0    $20.00 Juster’s classic tale about a bored boy named Milo who finds adventure and fodder for the mind in the Lands Beyond gets new attention in this audio production read by actor...

Happy Camping! Summer Camp Books

It's just about mid-summer for my kiddos, and I'm thankful for the Guide Goddesses' *new* summer-camp-themed booklists of chapter books, middle grade, and YA. A huge family favorite last year was Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol, and the Horn Book Guide lists promise some solid readalikes. We're also still working...

Review of Children of the First People: Fresh Voices of Alaska's Native Kids

Children of the First People: Fresh Voices of Alaska’s Native Kids by Tricia Brown; photos by Roy Corral Intermediate, Middle School    Alaska Northwest    48 pp.    g 4/19    Paper ed.  978-1-5132-6197-3    $13.99 Twenty years after Children of the Midnight Sun (rev. 7/98), Brown and Corral present ten additional portraits of contemporary...

Review of The Lost Coast

The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta High School    Candlewick    342 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-5362-0096-6    $17.99 High schooler Danny and her mom arrive in Tempest, California, under mysterious circumstances (Danny: “I was the one who had begged for a new life, my tears salted with guilt”). There, where the redwoods...

Review of Puppy Truck

Puppy Truck by Brian Pinkney; illus. by the author Preschool    Atheneum    40 pp. 6/19    978-1-5344-2687-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2688-7    $10.99 What’s a kid to do when he wants a puppy but receives a toy truck instead? Carter cheerfully and enterprisingly makes the best of it by pretending (or is he?)...

Review of Predator and Prey: A Conversation in Verse

Predator and Prey: A Conversation in Verse by Susannah Buhrman-Deever; illus. by Bert Kitchen Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick Studio    32 pp.    g 4/19    978-0-7636-9533-0    $18.99 Buhrman-Deever imagines the relationships between predators and prey as poetic standoffs. Animal antagonists express their behaviors and needs in a variety of creative poetic formats, sometimes...

Reviews added to the (new!) HB Guide Online July 2019

We’re excited to announce our first batch of new reviews since the launch of the new Horn Book Guide Online! Among the newly uploaded reviews in the database are excerpted Horn Book Magazine reviews, more titles from the Horn Book’s summer reading list, and the remaining 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book...

Review of Skulls!

Skulls! by Blair Thornburgh; illus. by Scott Campbell Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 7/19    978-1-5344-1400-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1401-3    $10.99 “You probably don’t think much about skulls,” the book begins, as readers meet a round-faced girl with puffball pigtails. A page-turn places the girl, who’s contentedly chomping on an apple, amid...

Reviews of 2019 Mind the Gap Award winners

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

Review of Let Me Hear a Rhyme

Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson; with lyrics by Malik “Malik-16” Sharif High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    380 pp. 5/19    978-0-06-284032-5    $17.99    e-book ed.  978-0-06-284034-9    $9.99 It’s 1998, and hip-hop reigns supreme on the music charts and in the streets of Brooklyn. Unfortunately, the violence plaguing the community claims...

Review of What Kind of Car Does a T. Rex Drive?

What Kind of Car Does a T. Rex Drive? by Mark Lee; illus. by Brian Biggs Preschool, Primary    Putnam    40 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-5247-4123-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-4124-2    $10.99 Used-car salesman Uncle Otto, desperate to make a sale, vows to “sell a car to anyone — or anything — that...

Review of Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me

Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me by Eloise Greenfield; illus. by Ehsan Abdollahi Primary    Sourcebooks Jabberwocky    40 pp.    g 4/19    978-1-4926-7724-6    $15.99 Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award recipient Greenfield (Honey, I Love and Other Love Poems; Nathaniel Talking, rev. 9/90; The Great Migration, rev. 1/11) here presents a series of...

Review of A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon

A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon by Suzanne Slade; illus. by Veronica Miller Jamison Primary    Little, Brown    40 pp. 3/19    978-0-316-43517-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-51131-5    $9.99 Math genius Katherine Johnson (née Coleman) was a star student, twice skipping a grade before her family...

Celebrating America's Moon Landing

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the launch of NASA’s Apollo 11, the first space mission to land on the moon. (This Saturday, July 20th will be the anniversary of the actual moon landing and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin's moon walk.) CBS, which broadcast the historic event live in...

Review of Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas

Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas by Juana Medina; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    89 pp. 5/19    978-1-5362-0131-4    $14.99 This sequel to Juana & Lucas (rev. 11/16) offers welcome narrative continuity for fans of Bogotá–dwelling protagonist Juana Medina Rosas and her beloved pet dog Lucas, while skillfully balancing changes...

Review of If I Was the Sunshine

If I Was the Sunshine by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Loren Long Preschool    Atheneum    48 pp. 5/19    978-1-4814-7243-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7244-9    $10.99 Fogliano and Long present a big, handsome picture book with a poetic text and lush full-bleed acrylic illustrations, highlighting the natural world and relationships within it. The...

Review of Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience

Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience edited by Patrice Vecchione and Alyssa Raymond Middle School, High School    Triangle Square/Seven Stories    183 pp. 3/19    Paper ed.  978-1-60980-907-2    $15.95    ebook ed. 978-1-60980-908-9    $13.99   Poems as piercing and reflective as the shards of a shattered mirror offer stunning...

Review of The Lost Forest

The Lost Forest by Phyllis Root; illus. by Betsy Bowen Primary    University of Minnesota    40 pp. 4/19    978-0-8166-9796-0    $17.95 In 1882, a survey team mapping out the wilderness areas of Minnesota made a mistake. As the land was being divided into townships, one of the surveying crew came to Township...

Review of Pie in the Sky

Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai; illus. by the author Intermediate    Holt    380 pp. 5/19    978-1-250-31409-3    $21.99    Paper ed.  978-1-250-31410-9    $12.99 It’s been almost two years since Jingwen lost his father in a tragic accident; he now finds himself starting over in a new country. The novel begins with...

Review of One Dark Bird

One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon; illus. by Frann Preston-Gannon Preschool    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp. 7/19    978-1-5344-0443-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0444-1    $10.99 A small paragraph on the title page defines a murmuration (“a single-seeming mass [of birds] that performs coordinated acrobatic dances in the sky”) before using a counting-book...

Fourth of July Picture Books

Fireworks! Flags! Freedom! Get kids jazzed for the Fourth with these celebratory and patriotic picture books.  To view the recommended books on the subject, click here....

Review of Our Flag Was Still There: The True Story of Mary Pickersgill and the Star-Spangled Banner

Our Flag Was Still There: The True Story of Mary Pickersgill and the Star-Spangled Banner by Jessie Hartland; illus. by the author Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 5/19    978-1-5344-0233-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0234-8    $10.99 Today the original star-spangled banner is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in...

Review of Other Words for Home

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga Intermediate, Middle School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    342 pp. 5/19    978-0-06-274780-8    $16.99    e-book ed.  978-0-06-274782-2    $8.99 Warga’s (My Heart and Other Black Holes, rev. 1/15) latest book is a middle-grade and middle-school novel written in free verse and narrated by a Syrian girl named...

Review of When Aidan Became a Brother

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff; illus. by Kaylani Juanita Preschool, Primary    Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 5/19    978-1-62014-837-2    $18.95 This story about anticipating the arrival of a new baby is, at its heart, about the unconditional love all children deserve. The fact that big-brother-to-be Aidan is...

Celebrate Juneteenth

Today is Juneteenth, a day of celebration for many African Americans, who commemorate June 19th, 1865, the date slaves in Texas finally learned of their emancipation.  To view the three recommended books on the subject - click here For even more discussion of this day - click here...

Picture Books for World Refugee Day

Help young children honor World Refugee Day with these Guide-recommended picture books.  For more discussion on the topic, visit the Horn Book website....

Summer Reading 2019

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are some of our top books for different age ranges, all ideal for the season. For the complete list, download our printable PDF. To read the complete article - click here...

"WE ARE HERE": queer books beyond subtext

Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, an event that laid the groundwork for the first Gay Pride parade and celebrations that have evolved into a month-long recognition of LGBTQ+ identities and communities.During my 1990s childhood in a pervasively conservative, Christian, Southern environment, I...

Review of The Iliad

The Iliadadapted by Gareth Hinds; illus. by the adapterMiddle School, High School    Candlewick    264 pp.3/19    978-0-7636-8113-5    $27.99Paper ed.  978-0-7636-9663-4    $16.99As with his treatment of The Odyssey (rev. 11/10), Hinds offers an ambitious and compelling comics adaptation of a Homerian epic. This complex, winding tale picks up in the tenth year...

Review of To Night Owl from Dogfish

To Night Owl from Dogfishby Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg WolitzerIntermediate, Middle School    Dial/Dutton    311 pp.    g2/19    978-0-5255-5323-6    $17.99At the start of this epistolary (via email) novel, twelve-year-olds Bett Devlin, an adventure-loving California girl of African American and Brazilian descent, and Avery Bloom, a tightly wound New Yorker whose single...

Review of Hello

Helloby Fiona Woodcock; illus. by the authorPreschool    Greenwillow    40 pp.5/19    978-0-06-264456-6    $17.99In Look (rev. 7/18), Woodcock strung together a series of words with double os, more or less one per page, to tell a story of a brother and sister visiting the zoo. In this companion, double ls get the...

Review of Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Work

Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life & Workby Victoria OrtizMiddle School, High School    Clarion    184 pp.    g6/19    978-0-544-97364-0    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-328-63990-5    $9.99Since her appointment to the Supreme Court in 1993, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has become a hero to many Americans for her progressive positions on cases involving free...

Review of Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Meby Mariko Tamaki; illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’ConnellHigh School    First Second/Roaring Brook    298 pp.5/19    978-1-250-31284-6    $24.99Paper ed.  978-1-62672-259-0    $17.99This relatable, heart-wrenching, and often funny graphic novel opens with seventeen-year-old Frederica (“Freddy”) Riley’s email to advice columnist Anna Vice. “For almost the past year I’ve been...

Review of Ogilvy

Ogilvyby Deborah Underwood; illus. by T. L. McBethPreschool, Primary    Godwin/Holt    40 pp.5/19    978-1-250-15176-6    $17.99Ogilvy, a wide-eyed, line-drawn bunny, is excited to make friends in a new town. But upon arrival, the rabbit’s sartorial choices are challenged; Ogilvy, clad in a knit article of clothing, is asked: “Is it a sweater...

2019 BGHB Nonfiction Award winners extras

Roger Sutton, editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., announced the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners on May 29th, 2019, at School Library Journal's Day of Dialog in New York City. You can watch the announcement video here and read the press release here.Read reviews of all of the...

2019 BGHB Fiction & Poetry Award winners extras

Roger Sutton, editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., announced the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners on May 29th, 2019, at School Library Journal's Day of Dialog in New York City. You can watch the announcement video here and read the press release here.Read reviews of all of the...

2019 BGHB Picture Book Award winners extras

Roger Sutton, editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc., announced the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners on May 29th, 2019, at School Library Journal's Day of Dialog in New York City. You can watch the announcement video here and read the press release here. Read reviews of all of...

Imaginative Spaces and Connecting Lines: SFF and the CSK

According to Nichelle Nichols, the first Black woman cast as a main character on a major television show, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a Trekkie. In fact, she stated that it was his support that prompted her to continue her role as Lieutenant Uhura on Star Trek even though...

Review of Moth: An Evolution Story

Moth: An Evolution Storyby Isabel Thomas; illus. by Daniel EgnéusPrimary    Bloomsbury    48 pp.    g6/19    978-1-5476-0020-5    $18.99e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0024-3    $13.29“This is a story of light and dark. Of change and adaptation, of survival and hope.” In a shadowy (pre-industrial) wood, a peppered moth — its “speckled, freckled” wing patterns wonderfully detailed...

BFFs back for more

Like Frog & Toad, Elephant & Piggie, and Ling & Ting, best friendship stories & easy readers are a perfect pair. These latest entries in noteworthy easy-reader series offer readers a chance to visit with some beloved sets of besties. For more recommended easy readers and articles about the format,...

Picture Books for Father's Day 2019

Father's Day is this Sunday, and if you are celebrating, here are some picture books to make Dad's or Granddad's day. Also be sure not to miss one of our faves of the year, My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña, and their Five Questions...

Middle grade and YA for Pride Month 2019

These novels — some upper-middle grade and some young adult — reflect a range of experiences among LGBTQIA+ young people. Happy Pride! Find more recommendations for Pride Month reading in these featured lists of picture books, middle grade, and YA on the shiny and new Horn Book Guide Online.In The...

Books mentioned in the June 2019 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Mariko TamakiSkim by Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Jillian Tamaki, Groundwood, 14 years and up.This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Jillian Tamaki, Roaring Brook/First Second, 10–13 years.Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me by Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Rosemary Valero-O’Connell, Roaring Brook/First Second, 14 years and...

Review of The Runaways

The Runawaysby Ulf Stark; illus. by Kitty Crowther; trans. from the Swedish by Julia MarshallPrimary, Intermediate    Gecko    134 pp.4/19    978-1-77652-33-5    $17.99Paper ed.  978-1-776572-34-2    $11.88The portrait of old age and infirmity in this Swedish import is considerably more unvarnished than we’re used to in books for children. Grandpa is no lovable...

Review of The Fisherman & the Whale

The Fisherman & the Whaleby Jessica Lanan; illus. by the authorPrimary    Simon    48 pp.5/19    978-1-5344-1574-4    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-5344-1575-1    $10.99In this dramatic wordless tale, a commercial fisherman and what appears to be his son collect fish in the large net thrown from their boat. They sail on — that is, until...

Review of Viral: The Fight Against AIDS in America

Viral: The Fight Against AIDS in Americaby Ann BausumMiddle School, High School    Viking    166 pp.    g6/19    978-0-425-28720-0    $17.99“The first to die left behind little more than their names and brief stories of chaotic, terrifying deaths. Individual by individual, they went from being seemingly well to perplexingly ill in a matter...

Review of D-Day: The World War II Invasion That Changed History

D-Day: The World War II Invasion That Changed Historyby Deborah HopkinsonIntermediate, Middle SchoolScholastic Focus/Scholastic    376 pp.    g8/18    978-0-545-68248-0 $16.99e-book ed.    978-0-545-68249-7 $16.99D-Day marked the beginning of the end for Hitler’s stranglehold on Europe. A massive, coordinated attack that was months in the planning, Operation Overlord saw Allied forces land on...

Happy Anniversary: Stevie

Stevie by John Steptoe (1950–1989) was published by Life magazine and then by Harper & Row in 1969. It celebrates its fiftieth anniversary in 2019.I locate the beginning of what I’ve come to call #blackboylit — literature for children and young adults that centers the experiences of boys of African...

Review of The Music of What Happens

The Music of What Happensby Bill KonigsbergHigh School    Levine/Scholastic    346 pp.1/19    978-1-338-21550-2    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-338-21552-6    $10.99In order to help his unstable mother make delinquent mortgage payments, Jordan tries his hand at the food truck business, using his late father’s old truck, Coq Au Vinny. Things don’t go too well until...

Review of Bear Came Along

Bear Came Alongby Richard T. Morris; illus. by LeUyen PhamPreschool    Little, Brown    40 pp.6/19    978-0-316-46447-5    $17.99e-book ed.  978-0-316-46445-1    $9.99This boisterous adventure is a story about discovery, the twists and turns a day can take, and the ways in which friendships can be forged when least expected — all in the...

Horn Book Magazine starred reviews, July/August 2019

illustration from Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai. The following books will receive starred reviews in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine. Each year our July/August issue celebrates the ALA Youth Media Awards; this time around you can look forward to original cover art by (second-time!) Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall,...

The 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners...for families!

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Yesterday Roger announced the 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners, and they are GREAT! My youngest, age six, will be most drawn to the picture books, some of which he's already seen, some he hasn't. Picture Book Award winner The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illustrated by Van Thanh...

Review of We Are Here to Stay: Voices of Undocumented Young Adults

We Are Here to Stay: Voices of Undocumented Young Adultsby Susan Kuklin; photos by the authorMiddle School, High School    Candlewick    182 pp.1/19    978-0-7636-7884-5    $19.99The Trump administration’s 2017 repeal of DACA put photojournalist Kuklin (Beyond Magenta, rev. 3/14) and her work-in-progress, about undocumented immigrants, in an awkward place: would she be...

Reviews of 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award Winner and Honor Books

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Picture Book Winner The Patchwork Bikeby Maxine Beneba Clarke; illus. by Van Thanh RuddPrimary    Candlewick    40 pp.9/18    978-1-5362-0031-7    $15.99A child in an unnamed “village where we live inside our mud-for-walls home” describes the diversions of daily life: “whooping and shrieking and laughing” on the sand hill, exploring the desert, and...

Presenting the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners

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On Wednesday, May 29, 2019, at SLJ's Day of Dialog, Horn Book editor in chief Roger Sutton announced the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award winners. If you missed the Facebook Live stream (or if you just want to relive the excitement!), you can watch the archived video here:    ...

Reviews of the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction and Poetry Winner The Season of Styx Maloneby Kekla MagoonIntermediate, Middle School    Lamb/Random    298 pp.    g10/18    978-1-5247-1595-3    $16.99Library ed.  978-1-5247-1596-0    $19.99e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1597-7    $10.99It’s summertime, and the living is easy. At least it was before narrator Caleb and his older brother Bobby Gene make a bad deal with their...

Reviews of the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award Winner and Honor Books

Nonfiction WinnerThis Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equalityby Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie LevyIntermediate, Middle School    Bloomsbury    311 pp.    g1/19    978-1-68119-852-1    $17.99e-book ed.  978-1-68119-853-8    $12.59 In 1956 in the small town of Clinton, Tennessee, twelve African American students integrated the all-white high school. Jo Ann...
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