Related

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

To:
Specific Authors

Week in Review, January 13th-17th

  This week on hbook.com... Publishers' Preview: Picture Books - Five Questions for... Angela Joy | Minh Le | Gwendolyn Hooks & Simone Agoussoye | Evan Turk   Read Roger: The 2020 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction   Calling Caldecott: 2020 CaldeNotts by Nithya Sivashankar A Big Bed for...

Books for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Perhaps now more than ever, Martin Luther King Jr. Day provides an opportunity to reflect not only on the life of the great civil rights leader, but also on how far we've come — and how very far we still have to go. Read this Boston Globe Magazine article by...

¡Vamos!

¡Vamos!: Let's Go to the Market by Raúl the Third with color by Elaine Bay was on the Horn Book’s 2019 Fanfare list and received a starred review in the Magazine. Sometimes these decisions involve debate and discussion. Other times — like this one — consensus is clear: Yes! Beginning with the...

Second Book Syndrome: In Defense of Second Books

Second book syndrome. As readers, we’ve all heard of it and even diagnosed some books we’ve read with it. After loving an author's first book, we might not find that their second book lives up to our expectations (or the hype). I’ve found this is especially true with series. Book...

The 2020 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction

from O'Dell Award Committee Chair Deborah Stevenson: Champaign, IL (January 15, 2020)—The 2020 Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction goes to Butterfly Yellow, by Thanhhà Lại, published by HarperCollins. It’s 1981, and eighteen-year-old Hằng has arrived in Texas determined to find her younger brother, who’d been babylifted out of Vietnam...

A Big Bed for Little Snow

On the paper jacket for Grace Lin's A Big Bed for Little Snow, a companion to her 2019 Caldecott Honor book A Big Mooncake for Little Star, we see a grinning boy atop a blue-gray, cloudlike bed. The boy's grin exudes mischief, and feathers float in the air. Has he been jumping on the...

2020 CaldeNotts

As an international academic and educator who has lived in the United States for a little over four years, I have often wondered about the following statements under the “Terms, Definitions, and Criteria” section of the Caldecott awards: “The award is restricted to artists who are citizens or residents of...

Week in Review, January 6th-10th

  This week on hbook.com... Publishers' Preview: Picture Books - Five Questions for... Angela Joy | Minh Le | Gwendolyn Hooks & Simone Agoussoye | Evan Turk January Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Q for Kacen Callender on King and the Dragonflies, more sense of place middle grade, intergenerational...

Home in the Woods

1
Home in the Woods is a story of loss and love, hope, hard work, and healing. It is a book of green and gentleness, softness and loyalty, perseverance and hardship, love and courage. In fact, I find myself so smitten by the art and artistry that I thought for a long...

2019 in review

Happy New Year! We hope your year is full of great reads and good friends. As we kick off 2020, it's also a good time to take a stroll down memory lane at 2019. We had a very busy year, including our two newly revamped websites hbook.com and hornbookguide.com --...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books: Five Questions for Evan Turk

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books, 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 Opulent pastel drawings...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books: Five Questions for Gwendolyn Hooks & Simone Agoussoye

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books, 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 Ona Judge...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books: Five Questions for Minh Lê

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books, 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 Minh Lê and...

Publishers' Preview: Picture Books: Five Questions for Angela Joy

This interview originally appeared in the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Picture Books, 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 “Black is a...

Five Questions for Kacen Callender

In King and the Dragonflies (Scholastic, 10–14 years), our grieving twelve-year-old protagonist is convinced that his recently deceased older brother has transformed into a dragonfly. He is also, reluctantly, keeping secrets for his sort-of friend, Sandy, who is gay and has run away from an abusive home. Via dreamlike imagery,...

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

Five questions for Kacen Callender King and the Dragonflies by Kacen Callender, Scholastic, 10–14 years. Sense of place Some Places More than Others by Renée Watson, Bloomsbury, 9–12 years. All the Ways Home by Elsie Chapman, Feiwel, 9–12 years.    Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks by...

What We Wish We Had Time For

The ALA Youth Media Awards are nigh, but we here at Calling Caldecott still have some book coverage planned for this week and next. We have a few more guest posters to come who will share their thoughts on eligible 2019 titles. Even so, we know that we won’t have...

Little Women movie

1
Greta Gerwig's film adaptation of Louisa May Alcott's 1868 classic is by far the most inventive (constructed out of chronological order, with constant flashbacks and flash forwards); the most meta (with Jo March herself cast as the author of Little Women, and with an audacious twist at the end regarding Professor Bhaer); the most political...

From the Editor - January 2020

Happy New Year, everybody, and I hope you all found some time for reading — by which I mean reading for the fun of it — over the December holidays. (Mine was divided between The Turn of the Key, Ruth Ware’s recent homage to The Turn of the Screw, and...

Fascinating figures from twentieth-century history

The lives of these fascinating figures should engage young adult readers while providing unique entry points into twentieth-century history. In Torpedoed: The True Story of the WWII Sinking of "The Children's Ship," Deborah Heiligman tells the riveting tale of the SS City of Benares. Carrying two hundred passengers, half of...

Intergenerational warmth and wisdom

These recent picture books center the warmth, wisdom, and love of family members across generations. In Love and the Rocking Chair, the final collaboration between Diane and Leo Dillon (much of the book had been finished before Leo's death in 2012), a rocking chair bought in anticipation of a baby's...

Sense of place

As in King and the Dragonflies, setting is a key part of these recent intermediate and middle-school realistic stories. In Some Places More than Others, Amara's twelfth birthday trip with her dad becomes a whirlwind of highs and lows as she's introduced to the rich history of African Americans in...

Table of Contents: January/February 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Cover © 2020 by Van Thanh Rudd.   Features Horn Book Fanfare by Horn Book Editors Our choices for the best books of 2019. Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards BGHB Awards Gallery 2019 Celebrating the year’s winners and honorees.  Picture Book Fiction and Poetry Nonfiction MAGICIAN by Henry Lyman A poem...

Editorial: Bordering on the Absurd (January/February 2020)

1
This past November we put out a call on the Calling Caldecott blog for mock “nominations,” asking readers to name a few 2019 books they considered top contenders for the Caldecott Medal. Horn Book Editor in Chief Roger Sutton cheekily touted Small in the City — knowing full well that...

Finding a Safe Space (Or, One Family’s Search for Middle Grade LGBTQIA+ Books)

2
Last fall, at age twelve, our seventh grader told my husband and me that she’s gay. Our first and only priority at the time was to tell her with words, and show her with actions, how much we love her — first, last, and always. So, we found a middle...

Daniel's Good Day

2
How many times a week do you hear or speak the phrase “Have a good day!”? It’s what Daniel hears from his friendly neighbors. One sunny day, he sets out on a walk to Grandma’s house and decides to ask his good day–wishing neighbors, “What makes a good day for you?” Their answers...

#SpreadLight

Recently, and particularly this Hanukkah, we’ve seen a rash of incidents indicating the unfortunate prevalence of antisemitism. As this Association of Jewish Libraries statement says, “We will not allow our communities to accept antisemitic terrorism or any other form of hate crime as ‘the new normal.’ We will spread knowledge...

Harry for the holidays

Shoshana Flax: Old Potter fans never die, they just sit down at the Yule Ball.  Cindy and I spent the evening of Sunday, December 15th at the Middle East nightclub in Cambridge for the Boston edition of Harry and the Potters’ Yule Ball. (The Black Cat in Washington, DC, and...

And her husband’s famous, too

1
Over the break, my husband and I had an entertaining celebrity sighting – Josh Charles (this guy) from Sports Night, The Good Wife, and Dead Poets Society (among many others) who was out with his family. My hubs is a huge Sports Night fan and was able to express his...

"Nominations," Part Two

10
Yes, it's time for the second round of Caldecott "nominations"! As you may recall, in November we put out a call for a first round, asking readers to name their top four choices (so far). Now we are back, asking for THREE more titles. Each member of the Real Committee must nominate...

Board Book Roundup: Board Books Build Brains

They rarely win awards. Few make it to the annual “best of” lists. They get stepped on, chewed, drooled on, and thrown. Their core audiences may not remember a word of them in a few scant years. Their pages are frequently viewed out of order. But board books are some...

Board Books for Holiday Travel

It's that time of year when families with children board planes, trains, and automobiles for holiday travel — and sometimes lugging their favorite full-size picture books can be a strain. That's when board book editions of those picture books come in handy. In Rachel G. Payne’s excellent board book round up in...

Week in Review, December 16th-20th

  This week on hbook.com... The 2019-2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award judges have been announced! More on submission info here.   From the Nov/Dec 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Happy Anniversary: When Sophie Gets Angry — Really, Really Angry... by Martha V. Parravano Board Book Roundup: Board Books Build Brains by...

Happy Anniversary: When Sophie Gets Angry—Really, Really Angry...

When Sophie Gets Angry — Really, Really Angry… by Molly Bang was published by Blue Sky in 1999. It celebrates its twentieth anniversary in 2019.   Before 1999, we had picture books about hurt feelings, friendship rifts, disappointment and sadness and sulkiness; about terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad days. We...

The Shortest Day

1
Soon after I was assigned The Shortest Day for Calling Caldecott, I heard author Susan Cooper and illustrator Carson Ellis speak about their collaboration at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. Scrawled in my notes from that day is the sentence, “This isn’t a poem about merry feudal...

Preview January/February 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Original cover art by Van Thanh Rudd. Horn Book Fanfare: Our choices for the best books of 2019.  Coverage of the 2019 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards: judges’ remarks, speeches, photos.  Books in the Home: Dean Schneider on the joys of cooking.  Poet Henry Lyman pays tribute to “Magician” Mordicai Gerstein...

Holiday Outing 2019

When you have a good cruise director, you get good ocean views. At least, we did on our holiday outing Monday in Boston’s Seaport District, planned by Cruise Director Cindy Ritter. We had a delicious lunch at Legal Sea Foods Harborside. And then it was off to the movies, in...

A Place to Land

2
A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation is an exemplary nonfiction picture book — as in, it represents the best of its kind. The story it tells — of the crafting of MLK's "I Have a Dream" speech at the 1963 March on Washington — is absolutely riveting; and the visual...

The Yes/No Game

Before bedtime every night, my younger son asks me if we can play the Yes/No Game to determine what books I will be reading him. This “game” consists entirely of him yelling “yes” or “no” from his top bunk while I read out various titles from his bookshelf. He doesn’t...

Draw Away with Hervé Tullet!

The Horn Book interns have the pleasure of receiving, opening, and occasionally playing with the incoming mail. I got to open a box from Chronicle Books in which I discovered Hervé Tullet’s Ready, Set, Draw!: A Game of Creativity and Imagination. This non-competitive game is meant for groups of 2-6...

Week in Review, December 9th-13th

  This week on hbook.com... December Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book newsletter: Language and Literature; War and Peacemakers; U.S. Landmarks; and Poetry and Poetry Collections   From the Nov/Dec 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Holiday High Notes 2019   Calling Caldecott: Double Bass Blues by Nicholl Montgomery Saturday by Brian...

Holiday High Notes 2019

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Grab a candy confection and read our selection of books filled with cheer — new or just reissued from yesteryear.* *with apologies to lyricist Edward Pola   My Baby Loves Christmas by Jabari Asim; illus. by Tara Nicole Whitaker Preschool    HarperFestival    20 pp. 9/19    978-0-06-288462-6    $7.99 In this cozy board book, Asim (Preaching to the Chickens, rev....

Saturday

1
In a December 2018 interview at the site Art of the Picture Book, Oge Mora mentions that a quote from her favorite painter Jacob Lawrence — "when the subject is complex, simplicity is the only way to treat it" — inspires her. She praises Lawrence's playful style, as well as the way he created...

Uneasy Reading: On Keeping Company with Very Sad Books

5
Third grade was the worst year ever. No, really. My parents split up that year, and my dad moved out. I know that every divorce is different, and I’m told that not all of them are as painful as ours was. I’m glad for that. Ours was brutal. My dad...

Field Trip to the Rhyming Dictionary

Any Brits here who could check something for me? I see that the U.K. edition of Field Trip to the Moon has added an author, Jeanne Willis, who herself has added what seems to be rhyming text to this natively wordless picture book, one much lauded by reviewers and on...

Books mentioned in the December 2019 Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

Language and Literature Fact Finders: Why Do We Say That? series. Berne, Emma Carlson  What Is an Idiom When It's at Home? Gr. 4–6    32 pp.    Capstone    2017 Library binding ISBN 978-1-5157-6388-8 Paper ISBN 978-1-5157-6393-2 Ebook ISBN 978-1-5157-6405-2 Stefoff, Rebecca  Me, Myself, and I: The More Grammar Changes, the More...

Language and Literature

Berne, Emma Carlson  What Is an Idiom When It's at Home? Gr. 4–6    32 pp.    Capstone    2017 Stefoff, Rebecca  Me, Myself, and I: The More Grammar Changes, the More It Remains the Same Gr. 4–6    32 pp.    Capstone    2017 Fact Finders: Why Do We Say That? series. Beginning with a...

War and Peacemakers

Goldsmith, Connie  Women in the Military: From Drill Sergeants to Fighter Pilots Middle school, high school    120 pp.    Twenty-First Century    2019 This in-depth and refreshingly inclusive text looks at the history and current state of women in the military. Illuminating first-person accounts and biographical profiles are interspersed with descriptions of...

U.S. Landmarks

Brown, Carron  Wonders of the USA: A Shine-a-Light Book Gr. K–3    40 pp.    Kane/Miller    2017 Illustrated by Bee Johnson. "Shine a flashlight behind the page...to reveal the amazing sights in and around our country. Discover a land of great surprises." This Shine-a-Light installment presents a very broad tour of American...

Poetry and Poetry Collections

Ink Knows No Borders: Poems of the Immigrant and Refugee Experience Middle school, high school    183 pp.    Seven/Triangle    2019 Edited by Patrice Vecchione and Alyssa Raymond. This piercing poetry collection's sixty-four pieces (many previously published) in a variety of forms mourn loss, celebrate survival, and explore breaking and remaking self...

Double Bass Blues

1
As I read Double Bass Blues, I can see and feel the double meaning of the title. Nic is a young Black boy who plays the double bass at his suburban school. Unlike his friends, to get home he must travel across town — and with a double bass on his back....

Starred reviews, January/February 2020 Horn Book Magazine

Art from Black Is a Rainbow Color   The following books will receive starred reviews in the January/February 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Black Is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy; illus. by Ekua Holmes (Roaring Brook) Johnny’s Pheasant by Cheryl Minnema; illus. by Julie Flett (Minnesota) Pluto...

Week in Review, December 2nd-6th

  This week on hbook.com... Fanfare 2019, the Horn Book's "Best Books" List - newly annotated! Jerry Craft Talks with Roger about New Kid Obituary: Andrew Clements (1949-2019)   From the Nov/Dec 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Why Do Comics Matter? — The Zena Sutherland Lecture by Gene Luen Yang  ...

We want to know your Mock Caldecott plans (and results!)

8
One of the things I miss most about school librarianship is doing mock Caldecott units with students. There is a lot they can learn about picture books from a close examination of them — they learn about art and design and writing and how both art and design can extend a text...

Jerry Craft 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   Jerry Craft is not a new kid; his syndicated comic strip Mama’s Boyz debuted nearly twenty-five years ago. But in the graphic novel New Kid, he remembers what’s it’s like to be...

Fanfare 2019 Annotations

Welcome to Fanfare, our choices of the best books of 2019. I believe we first published this list in 1939, recommending the best of 1938. Many of the titles are now mostly forgotten (or notorious: see The Five Chinese Brothers), but look: there is Andy and the Lion, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, and The Hobbit....

Fanfare 2019 -- more on!

Read more by and about some of our Fanfare 2019 authors and illustrators below. Find our at-a-glance Fanfare 2019 booklist here and our newly annotated list here.   Picture Books Calling Caldecott: The Little Guys Five Questions for Vera Brosgol about Leave Me Alone  Family Reading: Happy Camping! Summer Camp...

Andrew Clements (1949-2019)

1
Photo: George Clements. We were sad to learn that Andrew Clements passed away late last month. Perhaps best known as the author of Frindle, Clements wrote over eighty books, many of them school stories. Recent titles include The Friendship War and The Loser's Club; read Roger Sutton's Five Questions interview...

Fry Bread

1
Fry Bread disappeared from my elementary-school library desk before I had the chance to process it with plastic and barcode stickers. When I then crossed paths with the eager student who had borrowed it, she looked up at me with a smile matching that of the baby on the book’s...

Why Do Comics Matter? — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

Why do comics matter? At the risk of sounding completely self-absorbed, I’m going to answer this question by talking about me.  I am an Asian American cartoonist. I’m going to tell you how I became these two things: an Asian American and a cartoonist. Then I’m going to tell you...

Nine Months

Jason Chin, author and illustrator of such excellent science books as Grand Canyon (2017), Island (2012), Coral Reefs (2011), and Redwoods (2009) has a talent for combining story and nonfiction content. The narratives, illustrations, and nonfiction elements always work together, so much so that his books make great read-alouds and the information, woven into the stories,...

A Stone Sat Still

Recently at his blog 100 Scope Notes, Travis Jonker set about calculating the likelihood that a Caldecott winner may repeat his or her win in the future. He’d crunched similar numbers for the Newbery already, but even so, the results surprised him. He wrote: “I didn’t expect the number of repeat winners...

Puppet Showplace Theater

On Saturday my family and I went to a preview performance of a work-in-progress show at the Puppet Showplace Theater in Brookline. The show was put on by Wee the People cofounder Tanya Nixon-Silberg and based on the book My Night in the Planetarium by Innosanto Nagara (author/illustrator of A...

A Brief Pause for "Nominations"

27
Hello, everyone! As you may be aware, the Real Committee has been busy all year with its regimented system of (informal) suggestions and (formal) nominations. Jules and I thought we would pause in our coverage of 2019 Caldecott-eligible titles to solicit your input. What books are your current top favorites? Just to briefly...

A young fan

From Friend of the Horn Book Deborah Furchtgott: "This is a picture of my daughter Alice at the Brookline Booksmith. She and I were visiting there right after our copy of the Horn Book Magazine had arrived on our doorstep. Well, apparently Alice read it because she pointed out the...

Family Reading Fanfare for 2019

The Horn Book's Fanfare list was announced earlier this week -- hurray! Some of the faves at my house (so far) have included The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol; Saturday by Oge Mora; My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, illus. by Zeke Peña; ¡Vamos!: Let’s Go to the...

Week in Review, November 18th-22nd

  This week on hbook.com...   Fanfare 2019, the Horn Book's "Best Books" List Pat Mora Talks with Roger about My Singing Nana   Calling Caldecott: A Brief Pause for 'Nominations' Why the Hell Hasn't a Book Won the Newbery AND the Caldecott? by Elisa Gall and Jonathan Hunt River...

Pat Mora 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 Magination Press, Books for Kids from the American Psychological Association On the occasion of the publication of her first picture book with Magination Press, My Singing Nana, Pat Mora and...

Let's Laugh at Nazis

2
We saw Jojo Rabbit this weekend and I think you all should see it too. It’s an anti-BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS, still a fable but blackly hilarious and not relying on a viewpoint only masquerading as childlike.   Along with transitive verbs used intransitively, my biggest bête noire in...

Transgender Awareness Week

Transgender Awareness Week is November 13-19, leading to Transgender Day of Remembrance / Trans Day of Resilience on November 20th, today. We join our trans, gender nonconforming, and nonbinary family members, friends, and neighbors near and far in celebrating the lives of trans people, remembering those lost to transphobic hate...

River

2
Elisha Cooper’s River is the story of a woman who travels the length of the Hudson River by canoe. She starts one morning at a mountain lake (the book’s backmatter tells us it’s New York’s Henderson Lake), waves goodbye to her family, and heads downstream: “Three hundred miles stretch in front of her....

Fanfare 2019 Booklist

Below is Fanfare, a list of the books that the Horn Book editors and reviewers have selected as the best of 2019. The annotated list will be published in the December issue of Notes from the Horn Book (sign up!) and in the January/February 2020 issue of the Horn Book Magazine...

Why the Hell Hasn’t a Book Won the Newbery AND the Caldecott?

1
ELISA GALL: The Newbery and Caldecott committees used to be one and the same. Before they were divided into two separate committees (this happened in the late 1970s), a book was either considered for one of the awards or the other: never both. Now a book can win both the Newbery...

Week in Review, November 11th-15th

  This week on hbook.com...   November Notes from the Horn Book newsletter: 5Q for Susan Cooper on The Shortest Day, more contemplative seasonal picture books, YA audiobooks, and intermediate/middle school historical fiction   Calling Caldecott: When Aidan Became a Brother by Hillary Saxton Vroom! by Martha V. Parravano You...

You Are Home

I was always a library-dwelling indoor kid by nature, but some of my fondest childhood memories are from summer day trips in the Smoky Mountains — just a quick, early-morning drive to stake out a swimming hole before the tourists got there. It all comes back in sense memories of...

We never learn

2
Dear Sarah Dessen: I must confess that when I first read about the student who joined her school's one-college-one-book committee expressly to prevent a Sarah Dessen novel from being chosen, I laughed. Not at you or your books (or your genre or gender) but because I know that kind of student. I...

Five Questions for Susan Cooper

1
"The Shortest Day, " Susan Cooper's 1974 poem honoring the winter solstice, is performed annually at The Christmas Revels. Now, Carson Ellis's gouache illustrations grace a picture-book version, The Shortest Day (Candlewick, 5–8 years), which imagines people "down the centuries of the snow-white world" as they greet the season. See...

Vroom!

2
Barbara McClintock's Vroom! is one of my favorite picture books of 2019 for very young children — and I'm a perennial cheerleader for great books for the youngest, though they rarely if ever garner Caldecott recognition. Still! They are worth speaking up for.  In recognition of its audience, Vroom! wastes no...

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

Five questions for Susan Cooper The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illus. by Carson Ellis, Candlewick, 5–8 years. Contemplative seasonal picture books Small in the City by Sydney Smith, Holiday/Porter, 3–6 years. A Big Bed for Little Snow by Grace Lin, Little, Brown, 3–6 years.    A Stone Sat Still...

From the Editor - November 2019

While as far as I’m concerned it’s never too early for peppermint-stick ice cream, I always feel discombobulated reading holiday books before Halloween, but that’s how we get you news of the good new ones in a timely fashion (although as I recall, Christmas books get heavy circulation throughout the...

Books in the Home: Reading with Sophie: Finding Books for a Teen with Special Needs

How do you choose a book for a child who doesn’t have the capacity to choose one for herself? As the mother of a nonverbal teenager with autism and developmental delays, it is a question I ask myself all the time. When Sophie was first diagnosed in preschool, we were...

Reviewing the book that's in front of your face

3
One of the cardinal sins of book reviewing is evaluating a book for what it is not. Perhaps it is not the book the reviewer would like to be reading, or is not about a subject the reviewer finds of value or interest, or does not take an approach to...

Veterans Day 2019

Today, Veterans Day, is a good day to share books about veterans, their experiences and sacrifices, and their supportive families and communities on the homefront. These titles, both fiction and nonfiction for a range of reader ages, were recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide at...

When Aidan Became a Brother

Could it be? A book with a trans character whose queer identity is not the sole storyline? Well, almost. But still, here it is — and a possible contender for the Caldecott Medal to boot. When Aidan Became a Brother is the story of a soon-to-be older sibling and his anxieties...

Intermediate/middle school historical fiction

These works of historical fiction provide snapshots of time and place — and blood- and chosen families — for middle-graders and middle-schoolers. In Indian No More, it’s 1954 and eight-year-old Regina Petit and her family — members of the Umpqua tribe in northern Oregon — are forced by the U.S....

YA audiobooks

These audiobooks for young adults speak to important topics in engaging ways. This is a gripping audio version of A.S. King's Dig., a YA novel with so many characters that each chapter begins with a cast list. Three of the characters get their own readers — Mike Chamberlain, Kirby Heyborne,...

Contemplative seasonal picture books

The following picture books explore the warmth of relationships in seasonal settings. In Sydney Smith's Small in the City, an intrepid child on the move in the big, wintry city speaks directly to an unknown someone, dispensing advice and encouragement. With full-bleed spreads juxtaposed with ones featuring small vignettes, Smith...

Week in Review, November 4th-8th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the September/October 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Borderlands: Reading as Theater by Dean Schneider   Calling Caldecott: The 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Books list by Julie Danielson The Undefeated by Monique Harris My Papi Has a Motorcycle by...

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

1
Isabel Quintero and I have at least one thing in common. My Papi Has a Motorcycle, too, and although we used to ride on Sunday mornings instead of in the evenings, Quintero and I both know the bond-forming experience of a father sharing the road with his daughter. Quintero once again collaborates with...

Borderlands: Reading as Theater

In the introduction to Worlds of Childhood: The Art and Craft of Writing for Children (1990), William Zinsser wrote, “This gift — to get good language into the ear of children at a very early age — is what children’s literature has in its power to bestow…to write well it...

Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Heritage Month, a celebration of the many varied Native American cultures. Check out the official website for more information and lots of resources. Here are some additional articles and links from The Horn Book's archives and beyond. Horn Book resources about Native writers and their work...

The Undefeated

“This is for the unforgettable / The swift and sweet ones / who hurdled history / and opened a world / of possible.” From the opening lines of Kwame Alexander’s poem, readers are invited on a journey. It is a journey through a people’s story — through the sorrows, triumphs, and resilience...

Chucky the Child's Friend

1
I recently fielded a letter of complaint from someone bothered by our recommendation, in Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book, of several books in Abdo’s Hollywood Monsters series, among them Chucky and Freddy Krueger. (I haven’t seen any of their movies; have I missed anything?) The letter-writer was bothered that we would recommend books...

Election Day 2019

Today is Election Day -- I voted before work. My town's ballot was for City Council (twenty-two people running for nine spots!) and School Committee (eleven people running for six spots, with some great-seeming newcomers). Local elections are so important -- and I was happy and encouraged to see a...

The 2019 New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children’s Books list

It's November, which means the annual announcement of the New York Times/New York Public Library Best Illustrated Children's Books list. At the end of October/beginning of November every year, I wake up each morning, wondering if today will be the day they make the announcement. (I know, I know. But if...

Week in Review, October 28th-November 1st

  This week on hbook.com... From the September/October 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Horn Boo! Halloween Book Recommendations From the November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine: Table of Contents Editorial: Little Jackie Paper by Roger Sutton Elisha Cooper Talks with Roger about River   Calling Caldecott: The Fisherman and the Whale by...

Bear Came Along

1
In her illustrator's note for the rollicking Bear Came Along, LeUyen Pham writes, "This book is truly special to me. It was one of those rare stories that, the moment I read it, I knew exactly how it would look." Her vibrant illustrations, done in watercolor, ink, and gouache, reflect...

A Spooky Surprise

1
Happy Halloween! To help myself get into the festive holiday spirit on a recent trip to New York's picturesque Hudson Valley for a friend's wedding, I embraced the local literary love for a certain spooky tale: Washington Irving's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow." The scene was set listening to the...

Editorial: RIP Little Jackie Paper (November/December 2019)

Over on a great Facebook group called Jewish Kidlit Mavens, the members have been discussing their childhood reading (or not) of C. S. Lewis’s Narnia series and how each maven variously dealt with its Christian themes and allegorical elements. The reactions in the group have run from childhood delight to adult reservations, but...

Table of Contents: November/December 2019 Horn Book Magazine

Cover art from The Shortest Day. Illustration © 2019 by Carson Ellis. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Candlewick Press, Somerville, MA. Features  "Why Do Comics Matter?" by Gene Luen Yang The 2019 Zena Sutherland Lecture.    "Uneasy Reading" by Laurel Snyder On keeping company with very sad books.    Columns  Editorial  "RIP Little Jackie...
articles

Stay Connected. Join our devoted community of librarians, educators, and parents in the world of children’s and young adult literature.