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Reviews of the 2018 Newbery Award winners

Winner Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly Intermediate, Middle School    Greenwillow    314 pp. 3/17    978-0-06-241415-1    $16.99    g e-book ed.  978-0-06-241417-5    $9.99 Virgil Salinas is shy and bullied at school. Since he doesn’t know his multiplication tables, his nasty classmate Chet Bullens, a.k.a. “the Bull” (your standard-issue middle-school bully), repeatedly […]

Reviews of the 2018 Caldecott Award winners

Winner: Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell; illus. by the author Primary    Feiwel    48 pp. 1/17    978-1-250-07636-6    $17.99    g A series of illustrations before the title page sets the scene: a prairie landscape in winter, home to both humans and wolves. Setting off alone toward home from school as a blizzard descends, a bundled-up […]

Picture books about Jewish women

Glaser, Linda Emma’s Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty 32 pp. Houghton 2010. ISBN 978-0-547-17184-5 Illustrated by Claire A. Nivola. Glaser’s account of how Emma Lazarus came to write her iconic poem is brief, yet telling — especially when complemented by Nivola’s eloquent illustrations. Her rectilinear compositions and poses; generalized figures; and bright, […]

From The Guide: Family Matters

Julie Roach’s “BGHB at 50” column, “Amber and Essie and Vera and Me” (January/February 2018 Magazine) looks back at Vera B. Williams’s classic Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart, about “two sisters who take care of each other while missing their incarcerated father and overworked mother.” Williams offers readers an “intimate look at sisterhood,” as […]

Preview March/April 2018 Horn Book Magazine

Leonard S. Marcus interviews Viking Children’s Books editor-at-large Regina Hayes about her five-decade-long career. New for New Readers: “An Easy Reader Renaissance.” The Horn Book editors begin a series of articles that will highlight books for emerging readers, with recommendations drawn from both the Magazine and the Guide. Martha V. Parravano and Kathleen T. Horning, […]

Black History Month 2018

To commemorate Black History Month, we will send around a series of articles, speeches, and reviews from The Horn Book archive that are by and/or about African American authors, illustrators, and luminaries in the field — one a day through the month of February, with a roundup on Fridays. It’s a tradition we began in […]

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018)

Author Ursula K. Le Guin, who challenged the male-dominated fantasy and science fiction fields starting in the 1960s, died January 22, 2018, in Portland, Oregon. She was eighty-eight. Her YA novel A Wizard of Earthsea (which explored the struggle of good versus evil as an internal struggle, not an external one) won the 1969 Boston […]

High Fantasy: A Wizard of Earthsea

by Eleanor Cameron A Wizard of Earthsea (Parnassus) by Ursula K. LeGuin received the 1969 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award, given at the New England Round Table of Children’s Librarians, October, 1969.  It is never important to pigeonhole works of fiction nor insist that a certain book should belong, in a child’s estimation, in this category […]

Reviews of select books by Ursula K. Le Guin

Earthsea Ursula K. Le Guin  A Wizard of Earthsea [winner of the 1969 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award] 205 pp.     Parnassus Illustrated by Ruth Robbins. Maps by the artist show the islands and seas that make up Earthsea. Sparrowhawk, the son of a bronze-smith, was born on Gont, famous for wizards who had gone forth to […]

Ursula K. Le Guin’s April 1973 Letter to the Editor

Eleanor Cameron’s remarks on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the Horn Book may draw some fire upon her; it’s always perilous to do anything to a bestseller but adulate it. My response to her October article is one of relief and hearty thanks. It is good to have an accurate diagnosis of one’s vague […]