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Starred reviews, November-December 2020 Horn Book

Illustration by Jillian Tamaki, from Our Little Kitchen.   The following books will receive starred reviews in the November-December 2020 Horn Book Magazine. Oddity or trend?: all the starred books have pictures save one, (and that one is about the Donner Party, so fine).   The Night Before Christmas; by Clement C....

A Girl Like Me

I’ve always loved how Nina Crews’s photocollages juxtapose photographic realism with compositional flights of fancy in ways that indulge children’s frequent interest in seeing other real kids in books, as well as their propensity for imaginative play. Crews’s art for Angela Johnson’s poetic text in A Girl Like Me capitalizes on...

Packs: Strength in Numbers

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Hannah Salyer may not be a name you know, but her book, Packs: Strength in Numbers, is a rarity. It’s a debut picture book by a young and talented illustrator receiving award buzz. She has already been featured in interviews at Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast and Kirkus. With fluid lines created...

Week in Review, September 21st-25th

  This week on hbook.com... John Rocco Talks with Roger about How We Got to the Moon   From the September/October Horn Book Magazine: In Memoriam: Lee Kingman Natti (1919–2020) by Lolly Robinson   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Sep 25, 2020)   Calling Caldecott: The Old Truck by...

Yom Kippur 2020/5781

Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, begins Sunday evening, September 27, at sundown. Following Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, these are times for family, community, and self-reflection. The following books could be useful for sharing with children and/or for generating discussions. All reviews are from the Guide/Reviews Database. For...

Black Is a Rainbow Color

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Caldecott Honoree and Coretta Scott King Book Award winner Ekua Holmes wows readers with her meticulous illustrations in Black Is a Rainbow Color, written by Angela Joy. The story starts with a young African American girl coloring a rainbow and notes that her color, black, is not in the rainbow.  From the...

A Note from Me (Sep 25, 2020)

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Dear friends: I had to dress for work (from the waist up, anyway) three times this week, for Zoom interviews with Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners Kacen Callender, Oge Mora, and Ashley Bryan. They were all great, and I’m only sorry we won’t see them in person at our traditional...

Laptop workstation

Who else's home workstation looks kind of like this -- laptop balanced on thick children's books? Show us your pix!  Photo: Elissa Gershowitz...

COVID-19 is like dental implants...

Edging back from a full shutdown to -- not normal; it’s too soon for that -– something near the outskirts of the suburbs of greater metropolitan normal, is like getting a dental implant. Implants take time. You don’t break a tooth, go to the dentist, and come home with a shiny...

Overground Railroad

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On June 24, 1944, my grandparents boarded a northbound train in Mount Olive, North Carolina, headed for New Haven, Connecticut, where my grandfather’s sister lived. For my grandparents, leaving Mount Olive meant opportunities for jobs other than working on the farm or cleaning someone’s house. It meant leaving behind the...

The Old Truck

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I’m worried. My task here is to review The Old Truck by brothers Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. But the book contains such a breathtaking amount of Caldecott-worthy elements, I’m concerned that I might not give each one its due before my time and space run out. Here goes . ....

Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1933-2020)

Photo: Elissa Gershowitz We know what she would do; she told us in the words she left behind and the way she lived her life. RIP, RBG. Your loss is immeasurable. May we live up to your ideals. Find book recommendations here and at the Guide/Reviews Database* tag Ruth Bader Ginsburg....

Week in Review, September 14th-18th

  This week on hbook.com... Daniel Kraus Talks with Roger about They Threw Us Away   From the September/October Horn Book Magazine: Children's Books and Contradictions by Emma Otheguy   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Sep 18, 2020)   Calling Caldecott: Let's Do This! by Julie Danielson A Conversation...

Rosh Hashanah 2020

Rosh Hashanah begins tonight! The much-maligned 2020 may not be over yet, but at least we’ve nearly made it through 5780. ;-) Whatever 5781 brings, we hope it’s filled with good music, good games, satisfying journeys (real, virtual, or metaphorical), good progress, good relationships, maybe a little magic, safety and...

The Books My Parents Read to Me

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In 2014, Katie Bircher wrote this Out of the Box post about "a cause dear to my dance-lovin' heart: The Dance Happy Project..The project was initiated by eleven-year-old Georgia Bernbaum, who writes on the Dance Happy site that her goal is to "bring dance classes to more children, children who would not...

A Note from Me (Sep 18, 2020)

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Dear friends: What I’m late with this week are my Christmas book reviews, destined for our annual “Holiday High Notes” list to be published in the November/December issue of the Magazine. I believe it was a Winnie Winkle comic that taught me that some industries — fashion, publishing — live...

A Conversation with Kadir Nelson

Kadir Nelson is the author-illustrator of The Undefeated, winner of the 2020 Randolph Caldecott Medal. Julie Danielson interviewed him by email for Calling Caldecott.   Calling Caldecott: What have been some of the highlights of your Caldecott year?  Kadir Nelson: I’ve been blessed with a wonderful year thus far. The news of...

National Hispanic Heritage Latinx Heritage Month 2020

National Hispanic Heritage Latinx Heritage Month is a time for "paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society." It runs from September 15-October 15. For more information and a calendar of events, visit the National Hispanic Heritage Month website. And mark your calendars for...

Let's Do This!

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Hi again! Today, we are sharing the list of books we plan to cover at Calling Caldecott in the months leading up to the big awards announcement. As we noted the other day, please remember that this list is not definitive. Books may fall off the list, and we may...

"Already a Butterfly": Powerful Women Characters -- Today

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I search almost desperately for powerful female characters in whom to find strength. I need them as I need mentors. I want them for my own daughter so she won’t undermine herself and her own power (as I look back and recognize I did for so many years). I thirst...

Week in Review, September 7th-11th

  This week on hbook.com... September Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Qs for Evette Dionne about Lifting as We Climb, nonfiction books for middle school and YA readers about people making a difference tackling important social issues, stories about siblings for middle-grade readers, and books for primary readers starring...

A Note from Me (Sep 11, 2020)

Dear friends: This has happened to all of you. You save up a book for a holiday weekend and it just isn’t working for you. That Denise Mina I told you about, The Less Dead, keeps (I mean, I’ll finish it) testing my willing suspension of disbelief. Maybe I could...

Calling Caldecott 2021

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Hello, dear readers. It’s good to have you back as we kick off this year’s Calling Caldecott season. Ordinarily, I’d write something about how Calling Caldecott is one of many things I like about fall and winter, along with sweater weather and the possibility of snow. But there’s nothing ordinary about...

Week in Review, August 31st-September 4th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the September/October Horn Book Magazine: Table of Contents Editorial: Effin' Jeez by Roger Sutton   Read Roger: A Note from Me (Sep 4, 2020)   Family Reading: Drawing Comfort from Shared Reading by Megan Dowd Lambert Carrots, carrots by Elissa Gershowitz   Reviews...

A Note from Me (Sep 4, 2020)

Dear friends: Oy, I have eighty-seven book reviews to edit, thirty-one Publishers’ Preview questions to write, and a Talks interview tomorrow, and here I am, writing to You People. I hope it’s worth it. Hopefully (hey, let’s see if I can get a singular they in here someplace, too) this...

Carrots, carrots

Is anyone else starting to look like a children's book character? Photo credit to the seven-year-old. See also "Why is it always the redhead? —or— How to use stock photos sparingly." And to read about a real character see Roger Is Reading a Book....

Drawing Comfort from Shared Reading

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I last saw my eldest son Rory (aged twenty-three) in person at Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. It was February, and he was performing in the opening event for the exhibit “Boston’s Apollo: Thomas McKeller and John Singer Sargent.” Rory’s role was to read McKeller’s letters as part of a...

Week in Review, August 24th-28th

  This week on hbook.com... Trudy Ludwig Talks with Roger about The Power of One   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine: Publishers' Previews: Debut Authors - Five Questions for... Kim Johnson | Lynnette Mawhinney | Julie Lee   From the September/October Horn Book Magazine: The Writer's Page: "At the...

A Note from Me (Aug 28, 2020)

Dear friends: You know, ever since I was babbling about prime numbers here and here, I’ve been insisting upon them, whether we crank the TV to volume twenty-three rather than twenty-two or I eat seventeen frozen Spice Drops for my snack rather than fifteen. Numbers are everywhere. I’m glad my...

Five-plus months in...

…and is anyone thriving? If so, what’s your secret?! Back in May, Miriam Steinberg-Egeth wrote this Family Reading post –- “About six weeks in” –- about reading about school: "I found myself rejecting book after book: too much about school, too many friends playing together, too much excitement outside the...

Week in Review, August 17th-21st

  This week on hbook.com...   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine: Publishers' Previews: Debut Authors - Five Questions for... Seamus Kirst | Aiden Thomas | Tessa Allen   Read Roger: A Note from Me (August 21, 2020)   Family Reading: Reading Together, Apart by Margo Bartlett A Case for...

I spy with my Warby Parker glasses...

(Photo: Warby Parker Boston Seaport) ...original art by author/illustrator Maira Kalman! The other weekend I needed to get my Welty (Eastern Bluebird Fade) glasses adjusted and ended up at Warby Parker's Boston Seaport location, only to discover the New Yorker (and Horn Book Guide!) cover artist's original paintings gracing the...

A Note from Me (Aug 21, 2020)

Dear friends: Happy 100th anniversary, Women’s Suffrage! There is a really wonderful opera by Virgil Thomson and his pal Gertrude Stein about Susan B. Anthony, and while I won’t make you sit through the whole thing, go to 1:34:50 to watch Susan B.’s GORGEOUS closing aria. “Do you know because...

A Case for Nonfiction

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Growing up with dyslexia, reading was difficult for me. The condition is genetic, so when my daughter was born, I was afraid she was destined to share my reading problems. I worried. As soon as possible, her mother and I plunged into teaching her to read so that she could...

Suffrage Centennial 1920-2020

Tuesday, August 18, marks the one-hundredth anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment: "The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex..." Three new nonfiction books on women's suffrage...

Reading Together, Apart

Before the pandemic shutdown, I’d never said the words “social” and “distance” together, let alone adapted my life to fit the words. I’d been volunteering in my older grandson’s first-grade class, collecting him and his brother after school once a week to read and play until their parents got home,...

Week in Review, August 10th-14th

  This week on hbook.com... August Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter - Back-to-School Edition: 5Qs for Ryan T. Higgins about We Will Rock Our Classmates, picture books to entertain and enlighten readers learning at school or virtually this fall, school-set stories of middle-graders/middle-schoolers dealing with challenges, and YA stories...

A Note from Me (August 14, 2020)

Dear friends: Do you wonder at the plethora of tactile adult toys (shut up, pervs) being advertised on Facebook and Instagram? The art kits (I enjoy thinking what Himself is saying right now in response to The Sendak Artist Roll), jigsaw puzzles, telescopes…. I’m so old that I remember when...

Veep 2020

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It's possible there have been other vice presidential candidates with picture books by and about them that have preceded their candidacy -- but none springs to mind! Here are three recent and upcoming titles by and about Senator Kamala Harris. (And as far as we know, this is still true.)...

Five Tips to Get Kids Writing

As families prepare for the start of a new school year, academic plans are all over the place, but one constant is the need to lift up kids’ voices through this unsettling time. One of the best ways to do that is by encouraging them to write. Just a few...

Week in Review, August 3rd-7th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: ALA Awards: In Memoriam: Tomie dePaola (1934–2020) by Andrew Medlar   Read Roger: A Note from Me (August 7, 2020)   Family Reading: 2020 Summer Reading Recommendations by Roger Sutton (Now available in a handy PDF!)...

A Note from Me (August 7, 2020)

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Dear friends:  It’s the first week of August, and thus we remember eternal Friend of the Horn Book Natalie Babbitt, not because it is her birthday but for Tuck Everlasting’s enduring opening line, “The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long...

Week in Review, July 27th-31st

  This week on hbook.com...   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: ALA Awards: Happy Anniversary: The People Could Fly by Nicholl Denice Montgomery   Read Roger: September/October Magazine starred reviews   A Note from Me (July 31, 2020)   Family Reading: Margaret Bloy Graham's Harry the Dirty...

A Note from Me (July 31, 2020)

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Dear friends:  Lori-from-New-York was visiting this week and we got to talk about prime numbers! (She’s a math teacher.) When I asked her if all the primes were odd numbers she replied, “We don’t know.” Chills! Prime numbers are my next-favorite thing to talk about after diegetic music. We can...

Margaret Bloy Graham's Harry the Dirty Dog: Still Spot On

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This is the centennial year of illustrator Margaret Bloy Graham’s birth. Graham (1920–2015), who gave children lasting images of a good-natured dog “who liked everything, except…getting a bath,” is almost always associated with her then-husband, Gene Zion, author of Harry the Dirty Dog (1956) and three sequels. After the couple...

Starred reviews, September/October 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine

From You Matter by Christian Robinson. The following books will receive starred reviews in the September/October 2020 Horn Book Magazine:   I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes; illus. by Gordon C. James (Paulsen/Penguin) If You Come to Earth by Sophie Blackall (Chronicle) Sun Flower Lion by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow) Julián at...

Week in Review, July 20th-24th

  This week on hbook.com... Reviews of 2020 Mind the Gap Award winners   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: ALA Awards: 2020 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn't win at ALA   Read Roger: A Note from Me (July 23, 2020)   Family Reading: National...

National Parents' Day

This Sunday, July 26 (the fourth Sunday of July), is National Parents' Day. (Oh, shush up -- it is too a real thing!) Established in 1994, this is a day for “recognizing, uplifting, and supporting the role of parents in bringing up their children.” At Family Reading we extend that...

Baseball's Opening Day 2020

Today is Opening Day for baseball’s shortened season this year – Yankees @ Nationals (2019 World Series champs), with Dr. Anthony Fauci throwing out the first pitch!; Giants @ Dodgers.  You can read with the Nats through their Summer Reading partnership with the Prince George’s County (MD) Memorial Library System. Baseball...

A Note from Me (July 23, 2020)

Dear friends, As I write this I am eating my other lunch, Kashi GO Toasted Berry Crisp with fresh blueberries, dried cranberries, and crystallized ginger in whole milk. It’s a complete sugar bomb. “Mind the Gap” — I do love this slightly obnoxious list the Horn Book allows itself once...

Week in Review, July 13th-17th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: ALA Awards: A Year with Words and Pictures — but No ALA Annual by the Horn Book editors   Read Roger: A Note from Me (July 17, 2020)   Family Reading: Educators, please don't forget books...

July Is National Ice Cream Month

July is National Ice Cream Month, with National Ice Cream Day being this Sunday the 19th (customarily the third Sunday in July). It makes me think longingly of last year's Horn Book Summer Outing to Kimball Farm, complete with ice cream, mini golf, and fried food. And the time when Rashin...

A Note from Me (July 17, 2020)

Dear friends, Back when I was terrified that no ALA might mean no Speeches, and no Speeches meant an enormous hole in our July/August issue, and an enormous hole in the July/August issue — one that we would not know about until we teetered at its precipice (my psychiatrist calls...

Educators, please don’t forget books

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School districts everywhere are scrambling, trying to figure out what school will look like in less than two short months. The considerations and variables are staggering; as always, thank you, educators, for the work that you do. (Isn’t this supposed to be summer vacation?!) Amidst the discussions and decisions, I...

Say Hello to Your Friends, Again: The Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix

I have, you might say, some attachment to Ann M. Martin’s Baby-Sitters Club books. Enough that when a friend suggested a group viewing party of the new Netflix series over Zoom, the answer was, of course. And enough that if the new series had messed up our beloved series, we...

Week in Review, July 6th-10th

  This week on hbook.com... July Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Qs for Monica Brown about Sharuko, nonfiction picture books encouraging outdoor exploration and curiosity, middle-grade novels about kids in summer, and middle school and YA verse novels and poetry   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine Special Issue:...

A Note from Me (July 10, 2020)

Hi friends: That issue of The Horn Book I’ve been telling you about for weeks is just out and available for free, for now, to anyone with access to the internet. I do hope you like it; I think it’s the best ALA awards issue we’ve done in my time,...

Submissions...Tradition!

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Who wants to write, has something to contribute, something they can give you, some insightful take? And who’ll send it in, address it to the house— the story they will let you break? The author! The author! Submissions. The author! The author! Submissions.  Who must know the proper use of...

Week in Review, June 29th-July 3rd

  This week on hbook.com...   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: Cadenza: The Rules That "Jack" Broke by Shoshana Flax   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: ALA Awards: Children's Literature Legacy Award Acceptance by Kevin Henkes A profile of Kevin Henkes...

A Note from Me (July 1, 2020)

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Dear friends:  Have you seen allll the juicy ALA Awards coverage we’ve got for you? Okay, maybe not as juicy as that time when I sat next to a hilarious James Marshall at the Newbery-Caldecott banquet while the waiters flipped the lights off and on in a vain attempt to...

Week in Review, June 22nd-26th

  This week on hbook.com... Candace Fleming Talks with Roger about The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: Happy Anniversary: Black and White and Read All Over Again by Cathryn M. Mercier Rule Breakers: I Simply Cannot Draw...

June Is Audiobook Month

June is Audiobook Month. As it is also summer vacation -- and a strange one at that! -- we've been doing a fair amount of family listening. (Hi, Strange Birds audio, which we started very soon after reading it aloud together!) Check your virtual local library; yes, it's real reading. ...

A Note from Me (June 25, 2020)

Dear friends: Oh, NO, did I just engage on Twitter? I thought I had learned my lesson. Nonfiction, though. The Horn Book editors had a rousing discussion of its protean nature in the May/June “Breaking the Rules” Special Issue of The Horn Book Magazine, but enough about them: I’m discovering...

Week in Review, June 15th-19th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: How Do You Solve a Problem like Nonfiction? by the Horn Book editors Rule Breakers: The World Is My Canvas by Lisa Brown   From the July/August Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: ALA...

A Note from Me (June 19, 2020)

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Dear friends, Beverly Sills famously opined that she wasn’t happy, she was cheerful, a sentiment that could perhaps serve us all well now. (Although if you want to hear Bev being beautifully sad and despairing, try her “Addio del passato” from La Traviata.) We do have some stuff to be...

Celebrate Juneteenth

Today is Juneteenth, a day of celebration for many, who commemorate June 19th, 1865, the date enslaved people in Texas finally learned of their emancipation. To view three recommended books on the subject, click here. For even more discussion of this day, read this Floyd Cooper Talks with Roger and also Robin...

National Caribbean American Heritage Month

June is National Caribbean American Heritage Month, which celebrates “the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States.” There are many ways to participate -- see the calendar of (virtual) events. Don’t miss the November/December 2017 Horn Book Magazine article “Beyond the “Four...

“Two, four, six, eight, don’t assume your kids are straight!”

“Two, four, six, eight, don’t assume your kids are straight!”* Happy Pride Month! And thank you, SCOTUS, for ruling to protect LGBTQIA+ workers’ civil rights! It’s about time we had some good news. Though the pandemic has forced this year’s Pride recognitions to go virtual, it’s still important to continue...

July/August 2020 starred reviews

art by Elisa Chavarri The following books will receive starred reviews in the July/August issue of the Horn Book Magazine. 13 Stories About Harris; written and illustrated by Amy Schwartz (Holiday). The Blue House; written and illustrated by Phoebe Wahl (Knopf). Clap When You Land; by Elizabeth Acevedo (HarperTeen). I Am Here Now; by Barbara...

Week in Review, June 8th-12th

  This week on hbook.com... June Notes from the Horn Book Newsletter: 5Qs for Elizabeth Acevedo, YA Pride fiction, Father's Day picture books, and books for middle-graders about big life changes   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: Revolution Kid Style Now!*: Writing Books (About...

A Note from Me (June 12, 2020)

Dear friends: Yes, everything is still terrible out there, and I am glad that this morning’s psalm (37) had these words: A little longer — and the wicked shall have gone. Look at his place, he is not there. I wonder if those Horn Book readers who cancelled their Magazine...

S-s-s-snake!

We've been trying to get out of the city and into nature most weekends (mask-clad and all). Earlier this month, we went for a hike at the Middlesex Fells. By Long Pond, we saw turtles, ducks, and this...amazing? terrifying? stop, you're both right! creature: The kids were fascinated; the parents...

Week in Review, June 1st-5th

  This week on hbook.com... 2020 BGHB Picture Book Award winners extras 2020 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Award winners extras 2020 BGHB Nonfiction Award winners extras   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: Our Modern Minstrelsy by Kekla Magoon Rule Breakers: Not "Not Your Business"...

“It’s not People of Color's job to 'fix' racism...”

“It’s not People of Color's job to 'fix' racism. It's People of Color's job to heal from racism.’ And it's all of our job to: expose racism, name it, acknowledge it, and ‘explicitly encourage anti-racist values’" (from 2019 Wee the People ABCs of Racism Parent/Educator Workshop).     Watch this Kidlit...

A Note from Me (June 4, 2020)

Dear friends: I know I’ve been sending you some rather lighthearted thoughts in this COVID-era newsletter but I just can’t do it this week. Instead I’ll simply direct you to Kekla Magoon’s contribution to our May/June 2020 Breaking the Rules special issue of the Magazine, “Our Modern Minstrelsy,” in which...

Week in Review, May 25th-29th

  This week on hbook.com... Presenting the 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award winners   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: Publishers' Previews: Diversity Five Ways - Five Questions for... Tae Keller | Kiku Hughes | Gayle E. Pitman | Erin Entrada Kelly | Christian Robinson...

A Note from Me (May 29, 2020)

Hello friends: One big thing this week has been the announcement of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, which took place on Wednesday before the start of SLJ’s virtual Day of Dialog, which was a big success. And our job now is to figure out what October’s BGHB award ceremony is...

What Is Crisanto Wearing?

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Crisanto Guadiz is my brother-in-law of twenty-six years, married to baby brother Rand (whose image you may recall from his stint as a Horn Book poster child). The thing about a visit to Cris and Rand is that everything looks perfectly conventional on the surface, a suburban couple of DINKs (he's a...

2020 Summer Reading Recommendations

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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...

Week in Review, May 18th-22nd

  This week on hbook.com... Obituary for Karen Blumenthal (1959-2020)   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: "Give Me a Decent Bottle of Poison": Writing a Mystery by Marthe Jocelyn Rule Breakers: Rule Number One by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan Rule Breakers: Stepping Off...

What Is Michelle H. Martin wearing?

I wanted Michelle Martin for this series because she's so danged outdoorsy. Why, when I emailed her asking to participate she was on her way out the door and into the rain for a bike ride with a friend through the Richmond Beach hills, which Michelle described as "killer." She wrote...

A Note from Me (May 22, 2020)

I donned a bow tie for the first time since March yesterday to record the announcement of the 2020 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards. It was VERY NERVE-RACKING. Not the tie, although I was happy that I remembered how to tie one, but the PowerPoint/video dance, where I’m announcing the names...

RLH's Coronavirus Booklist

Friend of the Horn Book and Guide reviewer Rebecca Hachmyer (or RLH as she's known by the Guide Goddesses) has compiled a list of timely picture books that address COVID-19. Take a look and let us know what you think. How are you addressing the inevitable COVID-19 Qs with young...

Books beyond buildings: Support your local bookstore and library!

For book lovers everywhere — and particularly parents across the country trying to homeschool their children right now — the services of libraries and bookstores are essential. But this pandemic has left these institutions extremely vulnerable, and they need our support now more than ever. Back in February, when we...

Baseball Fans + Summer Reading (Go, Nats!)

I love our Summer Reading list best of all. But...this partnership between the 2019 World Series champs, the Washington Nationals, and Prince George’s County (MD) Memorial Library System (details in English and Spanish), is pretty cool.I know a baseball-loving ten-year-old who might just dig it, too. Thanks to Friend of...

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, "a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States." Here are some links, resources, and articles by and about Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to help acknowledge, celebrate, and amplify the voices of children's book creators of Asian and Pacific...

Week in Review, May 11th-15th

  This week on hbook.com...   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: Disturbing the Universe: Books That Broke the Rules by Roger Sutton and Betsy Hearne Rule Breakers: The Good Kid by Remy Lai Rule Breakers: Trusting My Instincts by Nina Crews   Read Roger:...

A Note from Me (May 15, 2020)

I’m still here and I guess so are you. Massachusetts remains in a stay-at-home advisory and we are still all working from home.  What, in your mind, is the distinction between working at home and “working at home,” complete with saucy little air quotes? Come on, we’re all friends here. ...

What Is Gene Luen Yang Wearing?

Gene Luen Yang has one of the liveliest minds in children's books, and I was curious to know how he and his family were coping out there in California during the pandemic. He'd been on my mind because I've just read his new book Dragon Hoops, which I was surprised...

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

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  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),...

What Is Paul Faulstich Wearing?

In college, Paul Faulstich and I were in overlapping friends groups, with our joint slice of the diagram being the Food Co-op, which was sort of the Where the Wild Things Are end of one of the dorms. I have one story about retaliatory bacon bits and another about the...

Jewish American Heritage Month 2020

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May is Jewish American Heritage Month -- and Happy Lag Ba'Omer today! The Boston Public Library's list from last year is a good place to start exploring the (varied) Jewish experience in the U.S. Check out The Knish War on Rivington Street for a glimpse into the early-twentieth-century Lower East...

May/June 2020 Horn Book Magazine cover surprise

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Peek-a-boo! It's the complete May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules cover. Art by Jarrett J. Krosoczka, gif by Scholastic. ...

Week in Review, May 4th-8th

  This week on hbook.com... Jessie Sima Talks with Roger about Jules vs. the Ocean   From the May/June Horn Book Magazine Special Issue: Breaking the Rules: Table of Contents Editorial: There Are (Almost) No Rules Rule Breakers: Walk Away by Naomi Shihab Nye Rule Breakers: The Workaround by Gene...
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