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Nikki Grimes Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Boyds Mills & Kane As detailed below, Nikki Grimes started this verse memoir thirty-nine years ago. Why it took so long is just one of the questions Nikki and I...

Boston Book Festival 2019

Cindy Ritter: I started off the morning setting up our booth. Two moments of pride: figuring out how to hang up our banner using some zip-tie chain-link magic; and discussing with passersby the 2019 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award–winning books we had on display, which I’d chosen this year with committee...

ABCs of Racism Parent/Educator Workshop with Wee The People

Wee The People, a Boston-based arts and social justice project, recently brought their “ABCs of Racism” workshop to the Watertown (MA) Free Public Library. (Hi, children’s librarian Kazia Berkley-Cramer, former Horn book intern!) I’ve been to several Wee The People events, with my kids, but this was something different: a...

Five questions for Rainbow Rowell

Photo: Augusten Burroughs. Rainbow Rowell's graphic-novel debut Pumpkinheads (Roaring Brook/First Second, 14 years and up) takes place in a theme park–like pumpkin patch (petting zoo, pumpkin slingshot, haunted graveyard, s'mores pit), where over the course of their last day at work, college-bound employees and BFFs Deja and Josiah search for...

Richard Jackson (1935-2019)

We were sad to hear of the death last week of "legendary children's book publisher" Richard Jackson. Jackson chronicled his long and distinguished career in publishing in a 1992 interview with Anita Silvey, "WE." In 2016, he revisited the topic in the Horn Book's pages with an amusing and informative...

Interview with Self

Richard Jackson: Thank you for doing this.   My pleasure. What’s the old adage? Say something, see something...  RJ: After some fifty years of working as an editor and publisher, you began writing picture books in...?  2013. In April of that year, I accompanied Brian Floca, as his editor, to an...

Deborah Heiligman Talks with Roger

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Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by After two biographies about two people each (Charles and Emma [Darwin], Vincent and Theo [van Gogh]), Deborah Heiligman now writes about a cast of one hundred — the precise number...

Kimberly Jones and Gilly Segal Talk with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Photo of Kimberly Jones (L) by Vania Stoyonova. Photo of Gilly Segal by Uchechi Anusiem. This novel of two teenage girls telling what happened to them one dangerous night is...

Fall 2019 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Julie Dillemuth

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Fall 2019 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Camilla, Cartographer has...

Fall 2019 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Jen Wang

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Fall 2019 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In the graphic...

Fall 2019 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Morgan Parker

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Fall 2019 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by A “five-foot-nothing seventeen-year-old...

Fall 2019 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Paul Fleischman

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Fall 2019 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In No Map,...

Fall 2019 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Sofiya Pasternack

This interview originally appeared in the September/October 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Fall 2019 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Anya and the...

Duncan Tonatiuh Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here.   Sponsored by ABRAMS You can spot a picture book by Duncan Tonatiuh from quite a distance, but it's not just his pictures that stand out. Take a look at his unusual...

Mordicai Gerstein: A Tribute

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We here at Calling Caldecott are sad to have read the news about the death of Mordicai Gerstein, who wrote and illustrated children’s books for nearly five decades. I first heard about his death on Tuesday when Richard Michelson of R. Michelson Galleries in Northampton, Massachusetts, shared the news of his...

Sharon Robinson Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Scholastic After several books for young readers about her father, the barrier-busting baseball player Jackie Robinson, Sharon Robinson has now written a memoir of her own thirteenth year. 1963 would...

Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli Talk with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli hope you are happy to make the acquaintance of their new easy-reader antihero Jack and his friends/foils Rex (a dog) and the Lady (a lady)....

Five questions for Raina Telgemeier

Guts is the latest graphic memoir from Raina Telgemeier, whose previous titles — Smile and Sisters (all Scholastic/Graphix, 9–12 years) — blazed a path for middle-grade confessional nonfiction in comics form. This story, which takes place during her fifth-grade year, focuses on childhood anxiety and chronicles young Raina's difficulties with...

Christopher Myers Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by If you did not hear or read Christopher Myers's Legacy Award acceptance speech on behalf of his late father Walter Dean Myers, please do that...

Five questions for Celia C. Pérez

In Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers (Kokila/Penguin, 9–12 years), author Celia C. Pérez's follow-up to her 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book honoree The First Rule of Punk (Viking, 9–12 years), four oddball friends band together to fight injustice and solve a historical mystery. It's like Stand by Me...

Five questions for George Takei

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He's gone to the stars and back via the starship Enterprise as Hikaru Sulu on the classic television show Star Trek. With an influential social media presence, he's a passionate advocate and activist for social justice and LGBTQ rights. He's the author of several books for adults. Now George Takei...

R.I.P. Lee Bennett Hopkins

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I was sorry to hear about the death this morning of Lee Bennett Hopkins. With his own work, his anthologies, and his nurturing of new poets, is there anyone who has done more for American children's poetry than Lee? A fuller appreciation of Lee's achievements will follow, but today I...

Toni Morrison (1931-2019)

Toni Morrison (1931-2019) passed away this week at the age of eighty-eight. A superlative writer for adults, Morrison also co-wrote several children's books with her son, the late Slade Morrison. Her time as an editor came up earlier this year while we were working on the CSK Book Awards special...

Lift Every Voice: Side B

When I was eight years old — you might say octave age — in 1971, I was a DJ playing a record, a single 45, in my bedroom. The song on vinyl I would play was side B of Michael Jackson’s “Got to Be There” — “Maria (You Were the...

Conference Report: 2019 Children's Literature Summer Institute at Simmons University: "Make Way"

This past weekend, Martha Parravano, Cynthia K. Ritter, and Shoshana Flax took turns attending “Make Way,” the 2019 Summer Children’s Literature Institute at Simmons University. Here are our (chronological) combined impressions from this weekend. Cindy: On Thursday night, Shoshana and I caught up over dinner with some of our Simmons...

Lift Every Voice: Thank You, Gusty

Funny thing is, I have never before shared this experience with anyone. It is most likely the event that had the most impact on the direction of my life. When I was young, my imagination was voracious. In the corner of one of the three rooms of our house (the...

Publishers’ Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Dan Haring & MarcyKate Connolly

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In The Star...

Publishers’ Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Kevin Noble Maillard

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Recipes, including delicious...

Publishers’ Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Gillian McDunn

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Cat’s mother was...

Publishers’ Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Christine Day

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by In the middle-grade...

Publishers’ Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Nicole Valentine

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by A Time-Traveler’s Theory...

Publishers’ Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by I’m Not Dying...

Publishers’ Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Rory Power

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Wilder Girls might...

Publishers’ Preview: Debut Authors: Five Questions for Kathryn Gonzales

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Trans+: Love, Sex,...

Kevin Henkes Talks with Roger

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Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here. Sponsored by It's spring break, 1999, and twelve-year-olds Amelia and Casey, heretofore unknown to each other, find themselves thrown together for the week. Now, this is Kevin...

Make Way for Ashley! A Birthday Tribute

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A poem written on the occasion of Ashley Bryan's 96th birthday.   What a Morning! Sing to the Sun!  Walk Together Children! Uh-Huh! Uh-Huh!  Dancing Granny’s movin’ her feet.  It’s Ashley’s day! Flying-High sweet!    It’s been said that The Night Has Ears.  Now the story’s told — his birthday’s...

Five questions for Kyle Lukoff

School librarian Kyle Lukoff's heartfelt picture book When Aidan Became a Brother (illustrated by Kaylani Juanita; Lee & Low, 4–7 years) begins, "When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl" — perfectly encapsulating the disconnect many very young transgender/gender-creative kids feel. As his family prepares to welcome a...

Lift Every Voice: In the Presence of Royalty

My heart was racing like Secretariat, even though I had practiced my acceptance speech, as I nervously approached the podium. They had called my name to receive the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award for my work on The Origin of Life on Earth: An African Creation Myth. The CSK Breakfast...

Lift Every Voice: History Comes Alive

It was an adult book — The Chaneysville Incident by David Bradley — that inspired me to try my hand at writing historical fiction for children. I’ll never forget the author’s harrowing description of one of the characters fleeing a pack of slave hunters. I have always been a history...

2019 CSK Illustrator Award Acceptance by Ekua Holmes

Ekua Holmes. Photo courtesy of Ekua Holmes.Congratulations to all of the 2019 awardees on the podium today. Along with you, I am deeply honored to receive this award, on its fiftieth anniversary, given in the name of Coretta Scott King — a woman whom I deeply admire for her work...

Profile of 2019 CSK Illustrator Award winner Ekua Holmes

Ekua Holmes is love. I am but one grateful member of an immense and inspired community that cherishes, and is beloved by, Ekua. At its heart, this community is local, centered on the place of Ekua’s birth — Roxbury, Massachusetts — via Arkansas and the U.S. American South, via Africa....

2019 CSK Author Award Acceptance by Claire Hartfield

When I was a young girl, growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was lucky enough to have weekly visits with my grandmother, Thelma Shepherd Rone, whom the adults called Dearest or Day but whom I always knew as Grammie. I was a quiet little girl, but I...

Profile of 2019 CSK Author Award winner Claire Hartfield

Claire Hartfield is a storyteller. It might be fair to say that she is a born storyteller, just-right words flowing through her pen with ease, creating images that allow her readers to see, to hear, even to breathe just as Claire did while writing. This gift might have come to...

2019 Caldecott Medal Acceptance by Sophie Blackall

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Hello, hello, hello!Members of the 2019 Caldecott committee, my agents, my family, fellow authors and illustrators, publishers, librarians, beacons of the community—As the 2019 Caldecott committee gathered around a phone, early on a cold January morning in Seattle, I was having dinner in sweltering Myanmar, trying not to picture them....

Hello Studio: A Profile of 2019 Caldecott Medal winner Sophie Blackall

On the highest floor of an old factory at the edge of Brooklyn, overlooking the water, is a skylit artists’ studio. This profile is drawn from interviews with the seven children’s book creators who, over the years, have shared that studio with Sophie Blackall.“Drawn in Brooklyn,” 2010 Photo: Matt Carr.Sergio...

2019 Newbery Medal Acceptance by Meg Medina

Photo: Petite Shards Productions.Good evening. Muy buenas noches.I’m so happy to be with all of you here tonight, and to share this incredible moment on stage with Sophie [Blackall] and to help honor the enormous legacy of Walter Dean Myers. My deepest congratulations to all the winners and honorees of...

Profile of 2019 Newbery Medal winner Meg Medina

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Meg Medina and R. J. Palacio at Niagara Falls, circa 1979. Photo: Marco Jaramillo.Imagine a girl, wavy brown hair, big smile, bright eyes, on the tall side, long legs and arms, in constant motion. (If she were a baby animal, she’d be a colt.) Imagine this girl is your best...

2019 Children’s Literature Legacy Award Acceptance by Christopher Myers on behalf of Walter Dean Myers

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Hey Pop,It’s been a minute since I’ve written you a proper letter, mostly because I don’t know your address or even if they have email wherever you are.When you were around, we’d write each other lots of letters, even if we knew we’d be meeting up for breakfast the next...

Lift Every Voice: Seeing Stars

I’ve been marinating in childhood memories this past year as I worked to complete my upcoming memoir, Ordinary Hazards. Among the memories there were, as you might imagine, many moments that marked my path as a writer: my first poetry reading at Countee Cullen Library in Harlem, receiving my first...

Publishers’ Preview: Diverse Voices Redux: Five Questions for Aminah Mae Safi

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diverse Voices Redux, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byIn Tell Me How...

Publishers’ Preview: Diverse Voices Redux: Five Questions for Jerry Pinkney

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diverse Voices Redux, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byHow do you depict...

Publishers’ Preview: Diverse Voices Redux: Five Questions for Sarah & Ian Hoffman

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diverse Voices Redux, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byJacob is a boy,...

Publishers’ Preview: Diverse Voices Redux: Five Questions for Cynthia Kadohata

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diverse Voices Redux, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byAfter Hanako’s family is...

Publishers’ Preview: Diverse Voices Redux: Five Questions for Tiffany D. Jackson

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diverse Voices Redux, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byThree Brooklyn teens are...

Publishers’ Preview: Diverse Voices Redux: Five Questions for April Harrison

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diverse Voices Redux, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byFine artist April Harrison...

Publishers’ Preview: Diverse Voices Redux: Five Questions for Kelly Starling Lyons

This interview originally appeared in the May/June 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Diverse Voices Redux, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byWhere did “Lift Every...

Lift Every Voice: On My Fire Escape

The path leading to Ray Charles began on the fire escape of a rent-controlled apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant. It was here that I discovered Paul Laurence Dunbar’s Little Brown Baby, Shakespeare’s “Et tu, Brute?” and Willard Motley’s Knock on Any Door; scurried down a rabbit hole; and walked on Gwendolyn Brooks’s...

Lift Every Voice: "You Are the Author!"

Photo: Bill McGuinnessI can’t remember a time when I have not been drawing and painting!As a child I loved picture books and memorized Mother Goose poems. I attended public elementary school in the Bronx, New York. In kindergarten, the teacher taught us the alphabet. She asked the students to draw a picture...

Fresh Ginger and Garlic: A Conversation with Nikki Giovanni

Kwame and Nikki. Photo: Beatrice Saba.Over the past twenty years, I’ve been a vegan, a vegetarian, and a pescatarian. There have been only three periods in my adult life when I’ve indulged in the pleasures of meat. One was right after winning the Newbery, when I found myself craving cheeseburgers....

Five questions for 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award winners Maxine Beneba Clarke and Van Thanh Rudd

A talented pair from Down Under, author Maxine Beneba Clarke and illustrator Van Thanh Rudd are the co-creators of this year’s Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award winner The Patchwork Bike (Candlewick, 5–8 years). Rudd’s playful, tactile illustrations (done on scrap cardboard) perfectly complement the childlike sensibility of Clarke’s spare,...

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...

Lift Every Voice: Dreams Never Realized

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My mom and dad truly laid the foundation for my writing life by reading to me and my siblings every night — giving me a heart for stories. And there were many moments that followed that inspired my literary journey. Here is one.In February of 1991, my father showed me...

Five questions for Mariko Tamaki

Photo: Shawnee Custalow.Charismatic, too-cool Laura Dean is many things — but a good girlfriend is not one of them. Mariko Tamaki (author of Skim and This One Summer, both illustrated by Jillian Tamaki) and Rosemary Valero-O'Connell's relatable, warm, and witty graphic novel Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me (Roaring...

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...

Black Creators for Children

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The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are part of a profoundly rich history of African American children’s literature. It is a history that stretches back into the nineteenth century through the early-twentieth century Brownies’ Book magazine and the mid-twentieth-century Ebony Jr! publication.It is a history that encompasses the bibliographies of...

Lift Every Voice: Necessary Foundations

The sound of her voice. The comfort of her lap. The colors and words on the pages of the books tucked around us. My mother read to me from the time I was born. I vaguely remember a poem called “The Rock-a-By Lady.” I found out later it was by...

Lift Every Voice: “Four Women” and Me

Photo: Jati LindsayWhen I was fourteen, my mother caught me lumbering down the hallway toward my room cradling a turntable. The turntable was hers and had been in the family for decades, stored in the basement of our house. I’d never heard any sound come from it. Not at the...

A Vision for the CSK: Past, Present, and Future

My first novel came out ten years ago, and one year later, in 2010, it was honored with the John Steptoe Award for New Talent by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Jury. I was surprised and delighted on a number of levels when I got the call that January...

An Interview with George and Bernette Ford

George and Bernette Ford are two icons of African American children’s literature. George is the winner of the first Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award, in 1974, for Ray Charles (written by Sharon Bell Mathis) and a past president of the Council on Interracial Books for Children. He and Bernette were...

Judith Kerr (1923-2019)

Author/illustrator Judith Kerr has passed away at the age of ninety-five. Kerr's first book was the picture-book classic The Tiger Who Came to Tea. She is also the creator of a long-running series about Mog, the Forgetful Cat; and more recently Mister Cleghorn's Seal, The Crocodile Under the Bed, One...

Lift Every Voice: My Own Origin Story

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Growing up, I always loved magic. It was exciting, because I was a curious kid who devoted a good deal of brainpower to figuring out the whys of the world. This love of magic eventually manifested in a love of science — and with it science fiction — which permeated...

Lift Every Voice: Words and Music

Because I was running away from anything that required being in the public eye, I am sure that any early motivation to be a writer was deeply buried in my subconscious and lay there, unrecognized, for many years. Writing this article has sent me back to pull those memories together...

Summer Reading 2019: Five Questions for Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña

Author Isabel Quintero and illustrator Zeke Peña previously collaborated on 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award–winning graphic novel Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide (Getty, 12 years and up). Now, in the summer-perfect picture book My Papi Has a Motorcycle (Kokila/Penguin, 5–8 years; concurrently published in Spanish as Mi papi...

Lift Every Voice: Walking My Own Path

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Courtesy NCAAP.I was used to getting red-ink marks in the margins of my school essays until I met my high school English teacher, Linda Christensen. For our final projects, Ms. Christensen would write two-page letters with praise and feedback about revisions. I had never had a teacher be so thoughtful...

Lift Every Voice: The Greatest Review I'll Ever Get

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Memory is a very inexact and unreliable process, and it’s tricky to try to point to one event in our past and say it was somehow life-changing. That said, if the question is: what set me on the road to becoming an author? I have a memory that is as...

"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...

Lift Every Voice: A Matter of Choice

Though many things in life are set to autopilot, we thrive when we are choosing. I made the choice to be an artist when I was around seven and realized I could copy Fred Flintstone pretty accurately. It was a spark of magic that I wanted more of.As an only...

What’s So Funny, Mr. Scieszka? — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

The voice flew across the room and nailed me to the back of my seat.“What’s so funny, Mr. Scieszka?”The voice belonged to Sister Margaret Ann. And it had just flown across our fifth-grade religion class at St. Luke’s Elementary School to find me in what I had thought was the...

Lift Every Voice: From One Book to Many

When I was in sixth grade, my elementary school hired a new librarian. I don’t remember her name. I only know that she was young, white, and had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa. This new librarian taught us African songs and dances, and would then put on music...

Writer vs. Author — The Zena Sutherland Lecture by Linda Sue Park

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Photo by Sonya Sones“Writer vs. Author.” This dichotomy is one I deal with on a daily basis, sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis. I grew up in the age before social networking, so typing out words on a keyboard has long been a private activity for me. Even if the finished...

Andrea Beaty Talks with Roger

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Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here.Sponsored byBuilding on the success of their picture books, Questioneers Iggy Peck, Ada Twist, and Rosie Revere (to be joined this fall by Sofia Valdez), are moving into...

Spring 2019 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Vaunda Micheaux Nelson

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Spring 2019 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byThe once-renowned African American bronco-buster...

Spring 2019 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Eloise Greenfield

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This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Spring 2019 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byA boy and his dog...

Spring 2019 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Jasmine Warga

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This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Spring 2019 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byIn Other Words for Home,...

Spring 2019 Publishers’ Preview: Five Questions for Remy Lai

This interview originally appeared in the March/April 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Spring 2019 Publishers’ Previews, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions.Sponsored byIn the illustrated middle-grade novel...

David Elliott Talks with Roger

Talks with Roger is a sponsored supplement to our free monthly e-newsletter, Notes from the Horn Book. To receive Notes, sign up here.Sponsored byIn 2017's Bull, poet David Elliott reimagined the ancient Greek story of the Minotaur. For Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc, he makes verse drama...

Five questions for Raúl the Third

There's so much to see in Raúl the Third's comics-influenced picture book ¡Vamos!: Let's Go to the Market! (Versify/Houghton, 5–8 years). The story takes place in and around the bustling Mercado Cuauhtémoc as Little Lobo and his dog Bernabé make their way through the marketplace. ¡Vamos! is part of the...

Five questions for Christian Robinson

Photo: John Kwiatkowski.Another (Atheneum, 3–7 years) is the debut of acclaimed illustrator Christian Robinson working as both author and illustrator…in a wordless, sci-fi picture book about cats, wormholes (or maybe parallel universes?), friendship, and play. Filled with color and joy, the book alters perceptions and stretches imaginations.1. Another is your first solo...

Versify at Harvard Book Store

Last night, we snagged press passes (thank you Spencer at Harvard Book Store!) for an event at First Church in Cambridge, MA, celebrating the launch of Versify, Kwame Alexander’s new imprint with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Alexander — along with Versify authors Lamar Giles, Raúl the Third, and Kip Wilson —...

Five questions for Laurie Halse Anderson

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Photo: Randy Fontanilla.This year marks the twentieth anniversary of Laurie Halse Anderson’s landmark novel Speak (Farrar, 12–16 years), about Melinda, a teenage rape victim who reclaims her voice. Now in SHOUT (Viking, 14 years and up), the author presents a “poetry memoir” that explores frequently painful events in her own...

My Characters Don’t Wear Shoes in the House

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Photo courtesy of Sayantani DasGupta.This article is not meant as a judgment upon people who wear shoes in the house. Some of my closest friends wear shoes in the house. I fully support the rights of people to have different shoe-wearing practices in their own houses.That said, I don’t wear...

In Memoriam: Jane Langton

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I first met Jane in the spring of 1975. Invited for lunch, I showed up at her beautiful home in Lincoln determined to make a lasting impression. At Harvard Square I had bought the cheapest flowers I could find — daffodils — and I arrived in her kitchen with twelve...

"A Conversation with Ellen Oh" event at Simmons University

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Photo: Elissa Gershowitz.Earlier this week, Cindy and I attended a talk at Simmons University by author and anthologist Ellen Oh, cofounder, president, and CEO of We Need Diverse Books. She started her presentation with some of the reasons why We Need Diverse Books, both broad (statistics about POC representation and...

Stand Up! with Anastasia Higginbotham at CPL

On Saturday, February 23, author Anastasia Higginbotham was the special guest at the Cambridge Public Library's Stand Up! Storytime for Social Justice event organized by children's librarian and Friend of the Horn Book Hillary Saxton. Higginbotham is the author of the Ordinary Terrible Things picture book series, including Death Is...

Five questions for Claire Hartfield

Photo: Brian McConkey.With painstaking historical detail, Claire Hartfield’s nonfiction book  A Few Red Drops: The Chicago Race Riot of 1919 (Clarion, 12–16 years) recounts the week of violence in 1919 Chicago that left thirty-eight people dead and 537 wounded (two-thirds of the casualties were black; one-third, white) and the underlying...

Wit's End: The Art of Tomi Ungerer

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Tomi Ungerer was born between worlds, and his picture books show it. Ungerer was raised amid the Sturm und Drang of the Second World War in Alsace, a multilingual border region to which Germany and France have repeatedly laid claim over the centuries. Although the worst aspects of the war...

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah: Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour

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Welcome to the first stop on the 2019 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour! Author Emily Jenkins and illustrator Paul O. Zelinsky were kind enough to answer my questions about All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah (Schwartz & Wade/Random), this year’s Gold Medal winner in the Younger Readers category. All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah is...

Five questions for Newbery Medalist Meg Medina

Photo: Petite Shards Productions.Meg Medina is the winner of the 2019 Newbery Medal for Merci Suárez Changes Gears (read The Horn Book Magazine's starred review here). For our February issue of The Horn Book Herald: ALA Youth Media Awards Edition e-newsletter, Medina answered Five Questions posed by Horn Book reviewer,...
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