Related

Last 30 days
Last 6 months
Last 12 months
Last 24 months
Specific Dates
From:

To:
Specific Authors

2020 Summer Reading Recommendations

1
If there’s one book on our 2020 Summer Reading list that speaks best to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s Remy Lai’s Pie in the Sky, about two brothers who find communion in baking, of all things, in order to “adjust to life in an ‘alien’ world.” Sound familiar? Otherwise, my eye...

Review of Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir

Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir by Tyler Feder; illus. by the author High School    Dial    202 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-525-55302-1    $18.99 This moving and candid graphic memoir offers a refreshingly honest portrayal of grief and growing into adulthood “for anyone struggling with loss who just...

Review of Parachutes

Parachutes by Kelly Yang High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    485 pp.    g 5/20    978-0-06-294108-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-294113-8    $10.99 Claire lives in Shanghai with her wealthy, image-obsessed, and unhappy family. When Claire’s parents send her to prep school in America, she boards with a fellow student (who’s on scholarship), Filipina American teen...

Review of In My Anaana's Amautik

In My Anaana’s Amautik by Nadia Sammurtok; illus. by Lenny Lishchenko Preschool    Inhabit Media    24 pp. 4/20    978-1-77227-252-9    $16.95 A baby’s perspective of being held in its anaana’s (mother’s) amautik (“the pouch in the back of a woman’s parka where a baby can be carried”) is explored in lulling, sensory-rich...

Review of On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson

On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson by Jennifer Berne; illus. by Becca Stadtlander Primary, Intermediate    Chronicle    48 pp. 2/20    978-1-4521-4297-5    $18.99 Berne’s picture-book biography is a lyrical appreciation of Dickinson’s skill with words, painting a vivid picture of the poet’s special abilities (“With the power of...

2020 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: High School

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2019–2020 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion....

2020 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Middle School

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2019–2020 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion....

2020 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Intermediate

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2019–2020 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion....

2020 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Easy Readers and Primary Grades

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2019–2020 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion....

2020 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Picture Books

  Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2019–2020 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion....

2020 Summer Reading List

1
  Picture Books Suggested grade level for all entries: PS–2   Summer Song by Kevin Henkes; illus. by Laura Dronzek (Greenwillow) The Camping Trip by Jennifer K. Mann (Candlewick) Johnny’s Pheasant by Cheryl Minnema; illus. by Julie Flett (Minnesota) Goodnight, Veggies by Diana Murray; illus. by Zachariah OHora (Houghton) Hike...

Five questions for Lucy Knisley

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

Review of Stepping Stones

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley; illus. by the author; color by Whitney Cogar Intermediate, Middle School    RH Graphic/Random    223 pp.    g 5/20    978-0-593-12524-3    $20.99 Paper ed.  978-1-9848-9684-1    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-1-9848-9686-5    $9.99 This tender graphic novel by Alex Award winner (for Relish) Knisley illuminates the challenges of finding oneself in...

Review of Lift

Lift by Minh Lê; illus. by Dan Santat Primary    Little, Brown    48 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-368-03692-4    $17.99 Lê and Santat (Drawn Together, rev. 7/18) present another story focused on everyday familial relationships, expressed through concise writing and extraordinary visuals. As young Iris waits for an elevator with her family in...

75th anniversary of WWII's VE Day

May 8, 2020 will be the seventy-fifth anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day. Here are five recent novels about the war for middle school and high school readers; see also our starred review of The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein (Little, Brown) in the upcoming May/June Horn Book Magazine....

Review of Home Base: A Mother-Daughter Story

Home Base: A Mother-Daughter Story by Nikki Tate; illus. by Katie Kath Primary    Holiday    32 pp. 3/20    978-0-8234-3663-7    $18.99 Although our two protagonists spend little of the book together, they are connected throughout by their hard work and achievement. This family of two starts the day in a groggy daze...

Review of My Mama

My Mama by Annemarie van Haeringen; illus. by the author; trans. from Dutch by Bill Nagelkerke Preschool    Gecko    32 pp. 3/20    978-1-776572-67-0    $17.99 Told from the baby’s point of view (“I’ve known my mama for a long time”), this playful offering explores, through two elephant characters, the strong emotional bond...

Review of Mama Baby

Mama Baby by Chris Raschka; illus. by the author Preschool    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 3/20    978-0-7636-9060-1    $14.99 In this artfully composed picture book, Raschka gets to the emotional core of the relationship between a young child and a trusted adult. Mama, on the verso, looks adoringly at her child, a...

Review of Dragon Hoops

Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang; illus. by the author; color by Lark Pien High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    446 pp. 3/20    978-1-62672-079-4    $24.99 “I’m just not a sports kind of guy,” begins Yang in this comics-format offering that brilliantly combines journalism, memoir, and sports history. Yang, who taught math...

Cinco de Mayo 2020

Happy Cinco de Mayo! Celebrate (virtually!) with three new 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...

Review of The Enigma Game

The Enigma Game by Elizabeth Wein Middle School, High School    Little, Brown    426 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-368-01258-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-368-01651-3    $9.99 In this companion novel to Code Name Verity (rev. 5/12) and its prequel The Pearl Thief (rev. 5/17), and featuring characters from both, Wein takes her turn at...

Review of Kent State

Kent State by Deborah Wiles Middle School, High School    Scholastic    132 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-338-35628-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-35630-4    $10.99 On May 4, 1970, four students were killed by the National Guard on the campus of Kent State University during a protest against the Vietnam War and the bombing of...

Review of One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey

One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey by Henry Cole; illus. by the author Primary    Scholastic    48 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-338-35997-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-59929-9    $11.99 This wordless story follows a family and a paper bag through the generations. A tree becomes a log that gets hauled to a paper mill,...

Review of Jules vs. the Ocean

Jules vs. the Ocean by Jessie Sima; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Simon    48 pp. 5/20    978-1-5344-4168-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-4169-9    $10.99 Intent on impressing her older sister at the beach, Jules plans to build a big sandcastle. When the waves foil her plans, she assumes “the Ocean” is...

Review of Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera

1
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 the...

Review of The Blossom and the Firefly

The Blossom and the Firefly by Sherri L. Smith Middle School, High School    Putnam    311 pp.    g 2/20    978-1-5247-3790-0    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-3791-7    $10.99 Almost buried alive in a bombing by Allied forces in 1945 Chiran, Japan, fifteen-year-old Hana feels as though she is already dead, just going through the...

Review of The Cool Bean

The Cool Bean by Jory John; illus. by Pete Oswald Primary    Harper/HarperCollins    40 pp. 12/19    978-0-06-295452-7    $18.99 This third collaboration about an endearing food staple features John’s and Oswald’s trademark humor-wrapped-around-a-message that made The Bad Seed and The Good Egg (rev. 3/19) so entertaining. This time it’s a cool-is-in-the-eye-of-the-beholder tale...

Ramadan 2020

1
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...

Review of Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom

Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford; illus. by Michele Wood Primary, Intermediate    Candlewick    56 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-7636-9156-1    $17.99 “I entered the world a slave…I was a slave because my countrymen had made it lawful, in utter contempt of the declared will of heaven.” Our...

Review of When Stars Are Scattered

When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed; illus. by Victoria Jamieson; color by Iman Geddy Intermediate, Middle School    Dial    264 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-525-55391-5    $20.99 Paper ed.  978-0-525-55390-8    $17.99 This poignant graphic novel about growing up in a Kenyan refugee camp is based on co-author Mohamed’s experiences...

Reading for Holocaust Remembrance Day

1
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 2020 it's April 21). All of the following titles were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and...

Review of ¡Vamos!: Let's Go Eat

¡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), are getting ready...

Review of Nesting

Nesting by Henry Cole; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Tegen/HarperCollins    40 pp. 3/20    978-0-06-288592-0    $17.99 Every spring, across North America, robins mate, build nests, lay eggs, and nurture their young. Cole illustrates this sequence of events with a pair of robins, employing gentle black-and-white crosshatching and one dramatic pop...

Review of Leaving Lymon

Leaving Lymon by Lesa Cline-Ransome Intermediate, Middle School    Holiday    199 pp. 1/20    978-0-8234-4442-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4633-9    $10.99 Lymon Caldwell, a secondary character in Finding Langston (rev. 9/18), tells his story in this companion novel that explores the question, “Are bullies born or are they made?” Lymon lives with his...

Review of The Underhills: A Tooth Fairy Story

The Underhills: A Tooth Fairy Story by Bob Graham; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 10/19    978-1-5362-1112-2    $16.99 Tooth fairy sisters April and Esme (April and Esme, Tooth Fairies, rev. 9/10), along with dog Ariel and new baby brother Vincent, are fluttering in for a sleepover with...

Review of In the Woods

In the Woods by David Elliott; illus. by Rob Dunlavey Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-7636-9783-9    $17.99 Once again Elliott (On the Farm, rev. 3/08; In the Sea, rev. 1/12; and others) captures the essence of a habitat and its creatures in poetry that manages to be both pithy...

Review of Village of Scoundrels: Based on a True Story of Courage During WWII

Village of Scoundrels: Based on a True Story of Courage During WWII by Margi Preus Middle School, High School    Amulet/Abrams    294 pp.    g 2/20    978-1-4197-0897-8    $16.99 In 1940s Vichy France, a remote mountain-plateau village known for sheltering refugees fleeing Nazi persecution houses a unique and innovative high school that draws...

Review of Fing's War

Fing’s War by Benny Lindelauf; trans. from the Dutch by John Nieuwenhuizen Intermediate, Middle School    Enchanted Lion    411 pp. 6/19    978-1-59270-269-5    $16.95 This sequel to Nine Open Arms (rev. 9/14) falls into two parts. In the early chapters we follow the fortunes and adventures of the Boon family, in 1938...

Review of Catherine's War

Catherine’s War by Julia Billet; illus. by Claire Fauvel; trans. from French by Ivanka Hahnenberger Intermediate, Middle School    HarperAlley/HarperCollins    168 pp. 1/20    978-0-06-291560-3    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-0-06-291559-7    $12.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-291561-0    $10.99 This graphic novel (adapted from a novel by Billet and inspired by her mother’s life) follows teenage Rachel...

Review of Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson

Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson by Jen Bryant; illus. by Cannaday Chapman Primary, Intermediate, Middle School    Abrams    48 pp. 11/19    978-1-4197-3653-7    $17.99 Beloved African American playwright August Wilson, known for his ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle and other dramas, is introduced to young readers in this elegant picture-book biography....

Review of What Color Is Night?

What Color Is Night? by Grant Snider; illus. by the author Preschool    Chronicle    48 pp. 11/19    978-1-4521-7992-6    $15.99 “What color is night? / Is it only black… / and white?” So begins an evocative picture book that urges young viewers to “look closer” at the night — to see, for...

Review of I'm Brave! I'm Strong! I'm Five!

I’m Brave! I’m Strong! I’m Five! by Cari Best; illus. by Boris Kulikov Preschool, Primary    Ferguson/Holiday    32 pp. 10/19    978-0-8234-4362-8    $18.99 In this intrepid bedtime story, an independent young girl confronts and overcomes her fear of the dark by reminding herself, “I’m brave! I’m strong! I’m five!” It’s time for...

Review of Brown Baby Lullaby

Brown Baby Lullaby by Tameka Fryer Brown; illus. by AG Ford Preschool    Farrar    32 pp.    g 1/20    978-0-374-30752-3    $16.99 Chronicling the nighttime routine of a family, Brown has penned a bedtime story that is immediately warm and relatable for families with young children. We follow an Afro-Latinx couple as they...

Review of Oil

Oil by Jonah Winter; illus. by Jeanette Winter Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    40 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-5344-3077-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-3078-5    $10.99 When the Exxon Valdez runs aground in 1989 and dumps oil along the Alaskan coast, the damage done is brutal, extensive, and long-lasting. With confidence in his young audience’s...

Books mentioned in the April 2020 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Diana Murray and Zachariah OHora Goodnight, Veggies by Diana Murray, illus. by Zachariah OHora, Houghton. Preschool bedtime books Brown Baby Lullaby by Tameka Fryer Brown, illus. by AG Ford, Farrar. I’m Brave! I’m Strong! I’m Five! by Cari Best, illus. by Boris Kulikov, Ferguson/Holiday. Bedtime for Sweet...

From the Editor - April 2020

I hope you are all healthy and managing at home, with — perhaps? — more time to read what you really want to. Even when your boss calls you into a Zoom meeting: just say your camera’s broken and keep those pages turning. A shoutout, too, to the libraries and...

National Poetry Month 2020

This April, enjoy poetry with middle-graders — and find more for all ages on hbook.com. Up Verses Down: Poems, Paintings, and Serious Nonsense by Calef Brown; illus. by the author Primary, Intermediate    Ottaviano/Holt    80 pp. 6/19    978-0-8050-9929-4    $19.99 Brown (Soup for Breakfast, rev. 3/09; Hypnotize a Tiger, rev. 3/15) presents...

Preschool bedtime books

After saying goodnight to veggies (see Five questions for Diana Murray and Zachariah OHora), listeners can also enjoy these four recent bedtime books. For more, click the tag Bedtime Books. Brown Baby Lullaby by Tameka Fryer Brown; illus. by AG Ford Preschool    Farrar    32 pp.    g 1/20    978-0-374-30752-3    $16.99 Chronicling...

Five questions for Diana Murray and Zachariah OHora

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

Review of Goodnight, Veggies

Goodnight, Veggies by Diana Murray; illus. by Zachariah OHora Preschool    Houghton    32 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-328-86683-7    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-33076-9    $12.99 As the sun sets over a rooftop community garden, it’s time for the garden’s vegetables to get some rest. “Turnips tucked in tightly. / Potatoes closing eyes. / Tuckered-out...

Review of Ways to Make Sunshine

Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson; illus. by Nina Mata Intermediate    Bloomsbury    178 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-5476-0056-4    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0057-1    $11.89 African American fourth grader Ryan Hart approaches challenges in her life with bravery, common sense, and humor. When the house her family rents is sold and her...

Review of Do I Have to Wear a Coat?: A Journey Through the Seasons

Do I Have to Wear a Coat?: A Journey Through the Seasons by Rachel Isadora; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 3/20    978-0-525-51660-6    $17.99 Isadora’s (I Hear a Pickle, rev. 1/16) characteristic ink and watercolor art uses vignettes set against white backgrounds to show children joyfully...

Review of Almost Time

Almost Time by Gary D. Schmidt and Elizabeth Stickney; illus. by G. Brian Karas Preschool, Primary    Clarion    32 pp.    g 1/20    978-0-544-78581-6    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-16693-1    $12.99 Waiting for spring can wear on one’s patience, but readers may find comfort sharing the burden with Ethan and his (apparently single-parent) father,...

Review of Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail

Welcoming Elijah: A Passover Tale with a Tail by Lesléa Newman, illus. by Susan Gal Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 1/20    978-1-58089-882-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-63289-742-8    $9.99 On Passover, inside his warm and cozy house, a boy waits expectantly for his family’s Seder. Outdoors, a kitten waits alone for the moon...

Review of Cast Away: Poems for Our Time

1
Cast Away: Poems for Our Time by Naomi Shihab Nye Middle School, High School    Greenwillow    159 pp. 2/20    978-0-06-290769-1    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-290771-4    $10.99 Current Young People’s Poet ­Laureate Nye finds inspiration in those things we throw away — as well as in the act of throwing things away and...

Review of The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne

The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne by Lesa Cline-Ransome; illus. by John Parra Primary    Wiseman/Simon    48 pp. 1/20    978-1-4814-6289-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-6290-7    $10.99 Ethel L. Payne grew up on the South Side of Chicago surrounded by stories from her parents and from...

Review of Go with the Flow

Go with the Flow by Lily Williams and Karen Schneemann; illus. by Lily Williams Middle School, High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    $14.99 1/20    978-1-250-30572-5    $21.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-14317-4    $14.99 After noticing bloodstains on new-girl Sasha’s white pants, longtime friends Abby, Christine, and Brit swoop in and save the day. It’s...

Review of The Old Truck

The Old Truck by Jarrett Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey; illus. by the authors Preschool, Primary    Norton    40 pp. 1/20    978-1-324-00519-3    $17.95 e-book ed.  978-1-324-00520-9    $12.15 The author-illustrator brothers tell the story of a family farm and the truck that assists with chores. As the hard-working truck ages, so does the...

Review of Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights

Jane Against the World: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Reproductive Rights by Karen Blumenthal High School    Roaring Brook    373 pp.    g 2/20    978-1-62672-165-4    $19.99 Multiple legal, social, religious, and medical strands comprise the history of reproductive rights in America. Blumenthal, in her trademark straightforward journalistic style (Tommy: The Gun That Changed...

Review of The List of Things That Will Not Change

 The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead Intermediate    Lamb/Random    218 pp.    g 4/20    978-1-101-93809-6    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93810-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93811-9    $9.99 From the outside it appears that Bea lives a charmed life. She has loving (albeit divorced) parents; an involved extended family; a kindly, funny teacher; a loyal...

Review of Vow of Thieves

Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson High School    Holt    484 pp. 8/19    978-1-250-16265-6    $19.99 Jase and Kazi (from Dance of Thieves, rev. 11/18) are on their way back to Hell’s Mouth with news that Tor’s Watch is to be recognized as a kingdom and that Jase’s family, the Ballengers,...

Review of The Empire of Dreams

The Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson High School    Greenwillow    442 pp.    g 4/20    978-0-06-269190-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-269192-7    $10.99 Set in the world of The Girl of Fire and Thorns, this engrossing fantasy follows two threads about protagonist Red. In the present, the teenager is devastated when her planned...

Review of The Queen of Nothing

The Queen of Nothing [Folk of the Air] by Holly Black High School    Little, Brown    293 pp.   g 11/19    978-0-316-31042-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-31040-6    $12.99 In a stunning act of betrayal, the High King, Cardan, exiled Jude (secretly his wife and the ostensible Queen of Faerie) to the mortal world...

Review of Kingdom of Souls

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron High School    HarperTeen    490 pp. 9/19    978-0-06-287095-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-287097-1    $8.99 Arrah was born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, though magic has always evaded her. But when children are abducted and omens of death appear in the market streets, Arrah doesn’t need...

Review of Children of Virtue and Vengeance

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi High School    Holt    405 pp. 12/19    978-1-250-17099-6    $19.99 In Orïsha, where magic has recently been restored (Children of Blood and Bone, rev. 5/18), Princess Amari tries to unite the kingdom to prevent it being torn apart by the magic-using rebels called the...

Review of York: The Clockwork Ghost

York: The Clockwork Ghost by Laura Ruby Middle School    Walden Pond/HarperCollins    449 pp. 5/19    978-0-06-230696-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-230698-2    $7.99 Despite the destruction of their beloved apartment building at the end of the previous book (York: The Shadow Cipher, rev. 5/17), codebreaking twins Theo and Tess Biedermann, along with artistic...

Review of The Peacock Detectives

The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent Intermediate, Middle School    Harper/HarperCollins    282 pp. 1/20    978-0-06-289670-4    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-289672-8    $7.99 Cassie is enlisted by her neighbors to find their missing peacocks — again — because of her skill at noticing details. But there are plenty of other things for the Australian...

Review of The Thief Knot: A Greenglass House Story

The Thief Knot: A Greenglass House Story by Kate Milford; illus. by Jaime Zollars Intermediate, Middle School    Clarion    456 pp. 1/20    978-1-328-46689-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-16427-2    $9.99 In the Liberty, a part of Nagspeake (Greenglass House, rev. 9/14, and sequels) where retired rogues and smugglers find sanctuary from the long...

Review of Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer's Historic Boston Marathon

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Chaffee; illus. by Ellen Rooney Primary    Page Street    40 pp. 4/19    978-1-62414-654-1    $17.99 This stirring picture-book biography introduces Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an official race number. “Running was magic” to twelve-year-old Kathrine, but...

Review of A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa

A Life Made by Hand: The Story of Ruth Asawa by Andrea D’Aquino; illus. by the author Primary    Princeton    40 pp. 9/19    978-1-61689-836-6    $17.95 D’Aquino offers young readers “the story of an artist you may have never heard of”: Ruth Asawa (1926–2013), a Japanese American creator of nature-inspired wire sculptures....

Review of Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou by Bethany Hegedus; illus. by Tonya Engel Primary, Intermediate    Lee & Low    48 pp. 8/19    978-1-62014-587-6    $20.95 In propulsive free verse and vibrant illustrations, Hegedus and Engel present the life and legacy of Maya Angelou (1928–2014). The book opens...

Review of My Best Friend

My Best Friend by Julie Fogliano; illus. by Jillian Tamaki Preschool    Atheneum    32 pp. 3/20    978-1-5344-2722-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2723-5    $10.99 What begins on the title spread as a small redheaded girl hesitantly approaching another girl on a tire swing becomes an ode to making friends. Our narrator gleefully shares this discovered joy:...

Review of The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America

The Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America by Kathleen Krull; illus. by Alexandra Bye Primary, Intermediate    Atheneum    48 pp. 2/20    978-1-4814-9151-8    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-9152-5    $10.99 President Roosevelt usually gets credit for the New Deal programs that helped pull America out of the...

Review of Prairie Lotus

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park Middle School   Clarion    260 pp.    g 3/20    978-1-328-78150-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-33083-7    $9.99 In 1880, fourteen-year-old Hanna and her father settle in the (fictional) town of LaForge, in Dakota Territory. Papa is white; Hanna’s late mother immigrated from China and had both Chinese and...

Review of A Girl like Me

A Girl like Me by Angela Johnson; illus. by Nina Crews Preschool, Primary    Millbrook    40 pp.    g 2/20    978-1-5415-5777-2    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5415-7891-3    $18.99 It seems not even the sky’s the limit for the imaginative, adventurous, inventive girls depicted in this inspirational picture book. Johnson’s upbeat text, paired with Crews’s...

Books mentioned in the March 2020 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five Questions for Alice Faye Duncan Just like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan, illus. by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow, Millner/Simon. Women's History Month 2020 picture-book biographies Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou by Bethany Hegedus, illus. by Tonya Engel, Lee & Low. A Life Made...

From the Editor - March 2020

I hope you are all enjoying the March/April issue of the Magazine; here in the office we are busily pulling together the May/June special issue, whose theme is "Breaking the Rules." Jarrett J. Krosoczka is creating the cover; inside the issue fourteen authors and illustrators share stories (and comix) about...

YA magic for March 2020 Notes

These YA fantasy novels star strong and intelligent magic-wielding young women fighting to save their worlds. Read them during #HBWomensHistoryMonth — and every month. Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi High School    Holt    405 pp. 12/19    978-1-250-17099-6    $19.99 In Orïsha, where magic has recently been restored (Children of...

Middle-grade mystery & detective stories for March 2020 Notes

The following books will have middle-grade mystery fans puzzling through clues to determine "Whodunit?" See also Marthe Jocelyn’s upcoming article about Agatha Christie in the May/June Magazine — and what The Horn Book thought of Knives Out. Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn; illus....

Women's History Month 2020 picture-book biographies

During Women’s History Month, and every month, we celebrate the accomplishments of women and female-identifying people in the arts, sciences, athletics, literacy, and more. Here are a few examples of picture-book biographies that do just that. For more follow #HBWomensHistoryMonth. Rise!: From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya...

Review of Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children

Mother Jones and Her Army of Mill Children by Jonah Winter; illus. by Nancy Carpenter Primary, Intermediate    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 2/20    978-0-449-81291-4    $17.99   g Library ed.  978-0-449-81292-1    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-449-81293-8    $10.99 Creating a first-person narration (partly adapted from the labor activist’s letters and speeches, as explained in...

Five questions for Alice Faye Duncan

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

Review of Just like a Mama

Just like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan; illus. by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow Preschool, Primary    Millner/Simon    32 pp. 1/20    978-1-5344-6183-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-6184-0    $10.99 An homage to all the African American women who are mothering children not biologically their own. Carol Olivia Clementine lives with Mama Rose because “Mommy...

Review of Yes No Maybe So

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    440 pp.    g 2/20    978-0-06-293704-9    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-293705-6    $11.99 In alternating chapters, teens Maya (a Muslim girl) and Jamie (a Jewish boy) narrate a story set amidst a longshot Georgia state senate campaign. Pushed...

Review of Johnny's Pheasant

Johnny’s Pheasant by Cheryl Minnema; illus. by Julie Flett Primary    Minnesota    32 pp.    g 11/19    978-1-5179-0501-9    $16.95 Minnema (a member of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) and Flett (of Cree-Métis descent) present an engaging and humorous intergenerational story of patience, hope, and surprise. Johnny spots a motionless pheasant in...

Review of The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard; illus. by Oge Mora Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 1/20    978-1-5247-6828-7    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-6829-4    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-6830-0    $10.99 As an enslaved child on an Alabama plantation, Mary Walker would look up at the...

Review of Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano

Aggie Morton, Mystery Queen: The Body Under the Piano by Marthe Jocelyn; illus. by Isabelle Follath Intermediate    Tundra    325 pp.    g 2/20    978-0-7352-6546-2    $15.99 e-book ed.  978-0-77352-6547-9    $9.99 In 1902 Torquay, England, twelve-year-old Aggie befriends a Belgian refugee, Hector Perot, and investigates a murder roiling the town. When Mrs. Eversham,...

Review of The Summer of the Swans

The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars 142 pp.    Viking    3.95    Library edition 3.77 Illustrated by Ted CoConis. The demand for realism in children’s fiction continues to call forth a spate of problem books, some of them relatively successful, some scarcely more literary than case histories. But seldom are...

Review of Pluto Gets the Call

Pluto Gets the Call by Adam Rex; illus. by Laurie Keller Primary    Beach Lane/Simon    48 pp. 11/19    978-1-5344-1453-2    $17.99 e-book ed.   978-1-5344-1454-9    $10.99 Rex and Keller dramatize Pluto’s demotion to dwarf planet status in this smart and playful offering of informational comedy. Rex’s wry and engaging text is told completely...

Beyond Black History Month

Celebrate Black History Month beyond February with the following recent picture book biographies of inspiring Black figures, recommended for sharing with young readers all year long.   Anderson, Beth Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights 32 pp. | Boyds Mills & Kane/Calkins | January, 2020 |...

Review of Just like Me

1
Just like Me by Vanessa Brantley-Newton; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Knopf    40 pp.    g 1/20    978-0-525-58209-0    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-525-58210-6    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-525-58211-3    $10.99 Each poem in this collection is narrated by a different young girl about some aspect of her identity that she celebrates (“I am...

Review of Not a Bean

Not a Bean by Claudia Guadalupe Martínez; illus. by Laura González Preschool, Primary    Charlesbridge    32 pp. 9/19    978-1-58089-815-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-63289-667-4    $9.99 “Jumping beans” are not in fact beans but moth larvae that have burrowed into the seedpods of the yerba de la flecha shrubs found alongside arroyos in...

Review of There Will Come a Darkness

There Will Come a Darkness [Age of Darkness] by Katy Rose Pool High School    Holt    485 pp. 9/19    978-1-250-21175-0    $19.99 A prophecy foretells that an “age of darkness” will come down upon the land unless a new prophet can prevent it. This time of reckoning throws the story’s diverse cast...

Review of Freedom Bird

Freedom Bird by Jerdine Nolen; illus. by James E. Ransome Primary    Wiseman/Simon    32 pp. 1/20    978-0-689-87167-2    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-0222-4    $10.99 Nolen presents an original story about flight and freedom — the former an enduring motif, the latter a recurrent theme, in African American folklore. Millicent and John worked alongside...

Review of I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage

I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins; illus. by various artists Intermediate    Lee & Low    60 pp.    g 9/19    978-1-62014-311-7    $19.95 Fourteen writers contribute poems that speak to their ethnic heritage. A full-page illustration by a different artist accompanies each piece, with much varie­ty to...

The Birds and the Bees

Birds of a Feather. Helen’s Birds. Johnny’s Pheasant. Strange Birds. The Parrot and the Merchant. Fly! Sometimes, particular subjects take off in children’s books. Lately, bird books are soaring, and the office hivemind has noticed bee books gathering, too. See Nesting by Henry Cole and Honeybee: The Busy Life of...

Review of Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson

Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson by Katherine Johnson Intermediate, Middle School    Atheneum    250 pp. 7/19    978-1-5344-4083-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-4085-2    $10.99 To help her older brother with his math work at school, Katherine Johnson hatched a plan. She joined his class for a day...

Review of The Dark Lord Clementine

The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz Intermediate, Middle School    Algonquin    329 pp.    g 10/19    978-1-61620-894-3    $17.95 Clementine’s father, the Dark Lord Elithor Morcerous, has been cursed by the Whittle Witch and is unable to fulfill his dastardly duties. Clementine takes it upon herself to run Castle Brack, with...

Review of Black Is a Rainbow Color

Black Is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy; illus. by Ekua Holmes Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 1/20    978-1-62672-631-4    $17.99 A young girl sits on her stoop contemplating the colors of the rainbow, then notes, “But my color is black…and there’s no black in rainbows.” There is, however, black in...

Review of Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Doreen Rappaport; illus. by Eric Velasquez Primary, Intermediate    Disney-Hyperion    48 pp. 2/20    978-1-4847-4717-9    $17.99 Velasquez’s riveting jacket portrait of Ginsburg, superimposed on a facsimile of the U.S. Constitution, conveys a woman of purpose; Rappaport’s biography, largely focused on Ginsburg’s work for...
articles

Community matters. Stay up to date on breaking news, trends, reviews, and more.

Get access to reviews of books, ebooks, and more