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Reviews of the 2020 Pura Belpré Author Award winners

Winner Sal & Gabi Break the Universe [Rick Riordan Presents] by Carlos Hernandez Intermediate, Middle School Disney-Hyperion    389 pp. 3/19    978-1-368-02282-8    $16.00 REVIEW TO COME       Honor Books The Other Half of Happy by Rebecca Balcárcel Middle School    Chronicle    332 pp. 8/19    978-1-4521-6998-9    $16.99 REVIEW TO COME...

Reviews of the 2020 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winners

Winner Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle; illus. by Rafael López Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 8/19    978-1-4814-8740-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-8741-2    $10.99  Engle and López (Drum Dream Girl, rev. 5/15) bring us another engaging story about a young, successful, female musician of...

"Why is everything so Spanish in here?"

Anika Aldamuy Denise...to celebrate Día, children! El día de los niños / El día de los libros is a nationwide celebration that “emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds.” For the second year in a row, I visited the Connolly Branch of the Boston Public...

Extras on the 2019 Youth Media Award winners

To accompany our 2019 ALA-themed Horn Book Herald e-newsletter (sign up!), here are some extra goodies about this year's Youth Media Award winners.Horn Book reviews of the Newbery, Caldecott, Belpré, CSK, Geisel, Printz, and Sibert Award winnersNewbery Medal winner and honor books 5Q for Newbery Medalist Meg Medina Review of...

ALA Awards 2019: Horn Book reviews of the winners

The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Meg Medina for Merci Suárez Changes Gears and Sophie Blackall for Hello Lighthouse on January 28, 2019, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Seattle. Also announced at the gathering were the winners of...

Reviews of the 2019 Belpré Illustrator Award winners

Winner Dreamersby Yuyi Morales; illus. by the authorPrimary Porter/Holiday 40 pp.9/18 978-0-8234-4055-9 $18.99e-book ed. 978-0-8234-4125-9 $18.99Spanish ed. 978-0-8234-4258-4 $18.99Two pairs of eyes shine from the cover of Morales’s book — the infant’s eyes brilliant with curiosity, his mother’s gaze pensive. These two “migrantes” arrive on “the other side, / thirsty,...

Reviews of the 2019 Belpré Author Award winners

Winner The Poet Xby Elizabeth AcevedoHigh School     HarperTeen     361 pp.     g3/18     978-0-06-266280-4     $17.99e-book ed. 978-0-06-266282-8     $9.99Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, whose name means “one who is ready for war,” has been fighting her whole life. The self-described “brown and big and angry” Dominican girl from Harlem furiously confronts catcalling...

ALA Awards 2018: Horn Book reviews of the winners

The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Erin Entrada Kelly for Hello, Universe and Matthew Cordell for Wolf in the Snow on February 12th, 2018, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Denver. Also announced at the gathering were the winners...

Reviews of the 2018 Belpré Illustrator Award winners

Winner La Princesa and the Peaby Susan Middleton Elya; illus. by Juana Martinez-NealPreschool, Primary     Putnam     32 pp.9/17     978-0-399-25156-6     $16.99This rhymed retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale incorporates a plethora of Spanish words and phrases; the illustrations--created with acrylics, colored pencils, and graphite on handmade paper--set the story in...

Reviews of the 2018 Belpré Author Award winners

WinnerLucky Broken Girlby Ruth BeharIntermediate    Paulsen/Penguin    237 pp.    g4/17    978-0-399-54644-0    $16.99In this novel based on the author’s childhood, Ruthie is just ten years old in 1966 when she arrives in Queens from Cuba with her little brother and parents. Because she only speaks Spanish, she is placed in the fifth-grade...

Raúl the Third, 2017 Pura Belpré Illustrator winner, at Cport School

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Raúl the Third and Liz the LibrarianOn Monday, Raúl the Third (a.k.a. Raúl Gonzalez) was announced as winner of the 2017 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award for his middle-grade graphic novel Lowriders to the Center of the Earth, written by Cathy Camper. Some people go to Disney World. This guy went...

ALA Awards 2017: Horn Book reviews of the winners

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The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Kelly Barnhill for The Girl Who Drank the Moon and Javaka Steptoe for Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat on January 23rd, 2017, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Atlanta....

Reviews of the 2017 Belpré Author Award winners

Winner: Juana & Lucasby Juana Medina; illus. by the authorPrimary, Intermediate    Candlewick    90 pp.9/16    978-0-7636-7208-9    $14.99This brisk, episodic (in the best way) chapter book introduces Juana, a young girl living in Bogotá, Colombia, who loves many things: her city, her family, reading, Brussels sprouts, and her dog, Lucas. She does...

Reviews of the 2017 Belpré Illustrator Award winners

Winner:Lowriders to the Center of the Earth [Lowriders]by Cathy Camper; illus. by Raúl the ThirdIntermediate     Chronicle     128 pp.7/16     978-1-4521-2343-1     $22.99To win a competition, animal friends Lupe Impala, Elirio Malaria, and Flapjack Octopus build a rocket-powered lowrider out of space materials collected as they drive through the galaxy. The unique ballpoint-pen...

Reviews of the 2016 Belpré Illustrator Award winners

Winner:Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage 
Changed Musicby Margarita Engle; 
illus. by Rafael LópezPrimary    Houghton    40 pp.3/15    978-0-544-10229-3    $16.99A young girl dreams of becoming a drummer. Though she lives “on an island of music / in a city of drumbeats,” hers is an impossible dream: only boys play drums....

Reviews of the 2016 Belpré Author Award winners

Winner:Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings: A Memoirby Margarita EngleMiddle School   Atheneum   195 pp.8/15   978-1-4814-3522-2   $17.99   ge-book ed. 978-1-4814-3524-6   $10.99Well known for her portrayals of historic Cubans in verse novels such as The Surrender Tree (rev. 7/08) and The Poet Slave of Cuba (rev. 7/06), Engle explores her own past...

Reviews of the 2015 Belpré Author Award winners

Winner:I Lived on Butterfly Hillby Marjorie Agosín; illus. by Lee White; trans. by E. M. O'ConnorIntermediate     Atheneum     455 pp.3/14    978-1-4169-5344-9    $16.99Eleven-year-old Chilean girl Celeste faces upheaval when a brutal dictator rises to power, her parents go into hiding, and she is shipped off to Maine. Threads of mysticism lend an...

Reviews of the 2015 Belpré Illustrator Award winners

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Winner:Viva Fridaby Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author with photos by Tim O’MearaPrimary, Intermediate  Porter/Roaring Brook  40 pp.9/14   978-1-59643-603-9   $17.99   gThere have been several books for young readers about Frida Kahlo, but none has come close to the emotional aesthetic Morales brings to her subject, as a Mexican artist herself...

Reviews of the 2014 Belpré Author Award winners

Winner: Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina(Candlewick)A move to a new neighborhood in Queens means a new high school for almost-
sixteen-year-old Piddy (short for Piedad) Sanchez. Instead of a welcoming committee, she gets word that someone she doesn’t even know has it in for her. Yaqui...

Reviews of the 2014 Belpré Illustrator Award winners

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Winner: Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales; illus. by the author(Porter/Roaring Brook)Pint-sized Niño, fearless luchador, Popsicle enthusiast, and reluctantly attentive big brother, dons his red mask (he’s already wearing his orange and yellow sneakers and blue-waistbanded tighty-whities), ready to take on all comers. He battles a series of formidable...

ALA Awards 2014: Horn Book reviews of the winners

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     The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Kate DiCamillo and Brian Floca on January 27, 2014, at the American Library Association’s midwinter meeting in Philadelphia. Also announced at the gathering were the winners of the Coretta Scott King, Pura Belpré,...

Reviews of the 2012 Belpre Illustrator Award winners

Winner: Duncan Tonatiuh for Diego Rivera: His World and Ours (Abrams)Review in The Horn Book Guide, fall 2011The first half of the book provides background on Rivera's life and the inspiration behind his work. Readers are then asked to imagine how he might paint subjects from life today: "Maybe Diego...

Reviews of the 2012 Belpre Author Award winners

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Winner: Guadalupe Garcia McCall for Under the Mesquite (Lee & Low Books)Review in The Horn Book Guide, spring 2012Eldest Lupita leads her seven younger siblings through the uncertainty of their mother's cancer. Lupita endeavors to keep her Mexican American family together while attempting to reach her own goals for college...
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