Subscribe to The Horn Book

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 […]

Sesame Street app review

Can you tell me how to get to…tons of wonderful educational videos and games for preschoolers? Just like the neighborhood itself, the Sesame Street companion app (Sesame Workshop, 2014; iOS and Android) is the place to be: a free account gives a child access to a large selection of games as well as new and […]

Martha Speaks Word Spinner app review

Based on Susan Meddaugh’s picture book series about a loquacious canine, PBS Kids’s long-running television series Martha Speaks aims to bolster children’s oral vocabulary. The Martha Speaks Word Spinner (PBS Kids/WGBH, 2013; iOS and Android) app, a “family-style party game — but with a distinctly Martha twist,” entertainingly reinforces that goal. One to four players […]

“The Art of Ekua Holmes” exhibit

Last evening was the opening of “The Art of Ekua Holmes” exhibit, featuring original paintings from her books Voice of Freedom and Out of Wonder, at Simmons College’s Trustman Art Gallery. Friend of the Horn Book Megan Dowd Lambert tweeted many photos of the exhibit (including one of the artist in conversation with our Creative […]

Outta this world

In these middle-grade and middle-school science-fiction novels, aliens variously come in peace or seek to destroy humanity — but either way, their existence forces characters to ponder deep philosophical questions and experience life-changing journeys. Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Sputnik’s Guide to Life on Earth begins with narrator Prez Mellows (who is electively mute) opening the front […]