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April 2018 Horn Book Herald: Spring News: Five questions for Margarita Engle

Poet Margarita Engle is the author of poetry collections (Bravo!: Poems About Amazing Hispanics), picture-book biographies (Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music; The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Manzano), memoir (Enchanted Air: Two Cultures, Two Wings), and works of historical fiction (Lion Island, Silver People, Hurricane Dancers, The […]

Nic Stone in Parents Magazine

Though I don’t go out of my way to read parenting magazines (and I will likely never have it together enough to “Pack a Super-Fun Lunch!”), if I do see one, I’ll give it a browse. I was so glad to discover Nic Stone‘s article “My Boy and the Bus” in the February 2018 issue […]

Five questions for Tomi Adeyemi

Tomi Adeyemi‘s high-octane fantasy Children of Blood and Bone (Holt, 14 years and up) begins with a bang (and, like much classic fantasy, with a map) and ends with a cliffhanger. In between, readers follow three narrators with shifting loyalties and motivations as they attempt to save, resurrect, harness, and/or obliterate the magic that once […]

Preschoolers’ life lessons

The ways of the world can be mysterious for preschoolers; it always helps to have a laugh. The following picture books teach age-appropriate life lessons without losing their sense of humor. In People Don’t Bite People, Lisa Wheeler enumerates (in subversively lilting rhymed verse) the reasons “people don’t bite people” and suggests alternatives: “It’s good […]

Past, Present & Future of Libraries: A Conversation

A mind-expanding conversation about libraries, past, present, and future — complete with snacks and mojitos — makes for a great start to the workweek. Last night, Libraries Without Borders held a panel discussion fundraiser on the topic “Past, Present & Future of Libraries.” Special guest Matthew Battles, author of Library: An Unquiet History, talked about […]

Review of The Parker Inheritance

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson Intermediate, Middle School    Levine/Scholastic    344 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-545-94617-9    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-95279-8    $10.99 In 2007 Abigail Caldwell, the first female and African American city manager for 
the town of Lambert, South Carolina, was forced to resign after covertly digging 
up the municipal tennis courts, looking for buried treasure. […]

Review of The Little Red Fort

The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier; 
illus. by Sonia Sánchez Primary    Scholastic    40 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-545-85919-6    $17.99 Young Ruby (whose “mind was always full of ideas”) decides to build a fort in her yard. She asks her brothers for help, but in true “Little Red Hen” fashion, no one agrees: “Oscar Lee pretended […]

March extracurriculars: Library Legislation and Literacy as Liberation

Last week I took two field trips away from the office (three, counting A Wrinkle in Time). Tuesday, March 6th, was Library Legislative Day at the Massachusetts State House in downtown Boston (across from the old, old Horn Book office on Beacon Hill; and look at it this week during the #NationalSchoolWalkout protest!). I went to […]

“Disturbed girls” save themselves (and one another)

The protagonists of these feminist YA novels do not let their “imperfections” stand in the way of taking action as they work to save themselves and, oftentimes, other young women. Lita Judge’s verse novel Mary’s Monster: Love, Madness, and How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein provides insight into the complex author of the gothic horror classic. […]

Women’s History Month 2018

March is Women’s History Month, and that gave author-illustrator-supermom-friend-of-the-Horn-Book Grace Lin [edited to add, per Comment below] and colleagues including Karen Blumenthal, Meg Medina, Christine Taylor-Butler, and Jeanette Bradley, plus others a radical idea: let’s celebrate and amplify the work and voices of women in the children’s book industry. (Remember how last year we said, […]