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Cynthia K. Ritter

About Cynthia K. Ritter

Cynthia K. Ritter is associate editor of The Horn Book Guide. She earned a master's degree in children's literature from Simmons College.

Summer adventures

These four entertaining, summertime-set novels (including one graphic novel) will have readers channeling their inner sleuths to find buried treasure, getting an insider’s look at an (un)orthodox summer camp, revisiting a beloved family one last time, and gaining a deeper appreciation for the little things that can make a family trip so memorable. Author Jeanne […]

May the 4th, 2018

For a Star Wars fan, it’s a great time to work in children’s book reviewing. Look at this recent wealth of riches in the office! Now if only Rey would send us the sacred Jedi texts… Over at the Horn Book Guide, we just finished our Spring 2018 issue (available in pdf hologram near you […]

Opening Day 2018

Batter up! Hear that call! The time has come for one and all To play ball. —Official victory song of the All-American Girls Baseball League, co-written by Lavonne “Pepper” Paire Davis and Nalda “Bird” Phillips It’s Opening Day at Fenway Park! (We can once again hear the helicopters from the Horn Book office.) Our Boston […]

Cuteness overload

Aww! Who doesn’t love a hilarious or heartwarming story of human-animal (or interspecies) friendship? These new books for preschoolers starring unalike best buds fit the bill. A classic friendship story plays out in Amy Hest’s Buster and the Baby as a crawling baby and the family dog play a game of indoor hide-and-seek. Polly Dunbar’s […]

Review of Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen and Brave Jane Austen

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen: The Story of Six Novels, Three Notebooks, a Writing Box, and One Clever Girl by Deborah Hopkinson; illus. by Qin Leng Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp.    g 1/18    978-0-06-237330-4    $17.99 Brave Jane Austen: Reader, Writer, Author, Rebel by Lisa Pliscou; illus. by Jen Corace Primary    Ottaviano/Holt    48 pp.    g 1/18    […]

Updated Olympics booklist

It’s officially time for the 23rd Olympic Winter Games, which run from February 8–25th in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Who else is excited?! In preparation, I brushed up on my knowledge of South Korea. Did you know that while home to more than fifty million people, the country is seventy percent mountains? The biggest mountain range […]

Review of Louis Undercover

Louis Undercover by Fanny Britt; illus. by Isabelle Arsenault; trans. from the French by Christelle Morelli and Susan Ouriou Middle School    Groundwood    160 pp. 10/17    978-1-55498-859-4    $19.95 e-book ed.  978-1-55498-860-0    $16.95 The collaborators behind Jane, the Fox & Me (rev. 1/14) have crafted another poignant picture book–sized graphic novel, this time about alcoholism, family separation, […]

#25DaysofHolidayBooks

‘Tis the season for holiday reading! Every day is like Christmas at the Horn Book, and in the fall, our sleigh’s worth of packages always includes plenty of holiday books. We review our new favorites for a range of ages in “Holiday High Notes,” a special feature in each November/December issue of The Horn Book […]

Graphic-novel friendships and family

These realistic graphic novels (and one graphic memoir) offer a reminder to upper-elementary and middle-school readers that they are not alone when it comes to dealing with school and/or family drama. In her graphic memoir Real Friends, author Shannon Hale recounts her elementary-school years, focusing on the theme of childhood friendships. Young Shannon feels a […]

The great unknown

Adventure awaits not only those intrepid real-life explorers who brave the great unknown…but also the readers of these captivating historical narratives about the exploration of space, the Amazon rainforest, the high seas, and the Arctic. Exploring Space: From Galileo to the Mars Rover and Beyond is a thoughtful, informative guide to the history of space […]