Subscribe to The Horn Book

Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten

Our first book post this Calling Caldecott season is Libba, a picture-book biography of African American folk musician Elizabeth Cotten, written by Laura Veirs and illustrated by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh. The flap copy refers to the book’s artist as a “debut illustrator.” Technically, that’s true—this is Fazlalizadeh’s first picture book—but of course she is also an internationally known artist, acclaimed for such […]

Review of Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground

Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground by T. R. Simon Intermediate, Middle School    Candlewick    261 pp.    g 9/18    978-0-7636-4301-0    $16.99 This second novel featuring a young Zora Neale Hurston and her friend Carrie Brown is once again set in the girls’ hometown of Eatonville, Florida, in 1903, less than forty years after the end of […]

Review of I Really Want to See You, Grandma

I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi; illus. by the author Preschool     Chronicle     40 pp. 4/18     978-1-4521-6158-7     $16.99 Here is a sweet and funny picture book (first published forty years ago in Japan) about missed connections, determination, and intergenerational devotion. “Yumi’s house is on a hill. It has […]

Truth and duty

Reading about difficult circumstances can be cathartic — and may enhance readers’ feelings of empathy. The following YA novels tackle complex subject matter in authentic, thought-provoking ways. In Eric Gansworth’s Give Me Some Truth, set in 1980 on the Tuscarora Indian Nation (the “Rez”), the alternating first-person narratives of two teens — seventeen-year-old Carson Mastick […]

ALA 2018: The CSK Breakfast

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards Breakfast is always a memorable, moving, and transformative experience, the best event at ALA Annual — and this year more than ever (or do I say that every year?). The sold-out event (more on that later) began with a slight glitch — there were no microphones on the podia — […]

Review of The Field

The Field by Baptiste Paul; illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara Primary    NorthSouth    32 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-7358-4312-7    $17.95 The place: a verdant Caribbean islandscape. The day’s activity for the community’s children: a pickup game of futbol (soccer). Does it matter that the futbol field is a converted cow pasture? Does it matter that some of the […]

Review of Pie Is for Sharing

Pie Is for Sharing by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard; 

illus. by Jason Chin Preschool, Primary    Porter/Roaring Brook    32 pp. 5/18    978-1-62672-562-1    $17.99 This idyllic, joyously inclusive picture book takes an ordinary concept — 
sharing — and makes it extraordinary. A boy and his family bike to a lakeside picnic, bearing several homemade pies. Then the text […]

Five questions for Stephanie Parsley Ledyard and Jason Chin

In Pie Is for Sharing, written by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard and illustrated by Jason Chin (Porter/Roaring Brook, 4–8 years), an inclusive community gathers for a lakeside picnic as a contemplative but child-friendly text muses on the nature of sharing. Detailed illustrations capture the day (which is, as we gradually realize, a significant one) with a […]

Editorial: “Get Up from the Chair!”

Welcome to our seriously special issue on the theme of “making a difference.” With a deep sense of history and purpose and interconnection (how many times is Virginia Hamilton cited?), and with some thirty contributors, from Susan Cooper (on Ursula K. Le Guin) to Dhonielle Clayton (on Hamilton’s Willie Bea) to Kevin Henkes (on the […]

Review of Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon

Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon by Annette Bay Pimentel; illus. by Micha Archer Primary    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 2/18    978-1-101-99668-3    $17.99 “Bobbi Gibb must wear a skirt to school because she is a girl. She is not allowed to run on the school’s track team. Because those are the rules — and […]