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Authors & Illustrators

Biographical information about writers and illustrators of books for young people.

Five questions for Ilyasah Shabazz with Renée Watson

Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz presented a fictionalized account of her father’s young-adulthood in 2015’s X: A Novel (Candlewick, 14 years and up; written with Kekla Magoon). Her new book, Betty Before X (Farrar, 11–14 years), written with 2018 CSK Author Award winner Renée Watson, and with a younger audience in mind, explores the life […]

Recap: Angie Thomas at First Parish Church in Cambridge, MA

I was lucky enough to be part of the sold-out audience at First Parish Church in Cambridge, MA, Tuesday night to hear her discuss The Hate U Give (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray) with Here & Now radio host Robin Young, sponsored by Harvard Book Store and WBUR. It was the day after #AngieThomasAppreciationDay, and those present […]

BGHB at 50: Amber and Essie and Vera and Me

In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, established in 1967, we will be publishing a series of appreciations of BGHB winners and honorees from the past. This is the sixth in the series to be published in The Horn Book Magazine (see Gregory Maguire’s article on Jill Paton Walsh’s Unleaving; […]

Refugee: 2018 Sydney Taylor Book Award Blog Tour

The Sydney Taylor Book Award 2018 Blog Tour features interviews with gold and silver medalists. Visit jewishlibraries.org for the full schedule of blog tour stops (including Shoshana’s interview with Tammar Stein!) and follow the Association of Jewish Library’s blog. Refugee by Alan Gratz is a timely, emotion-filled, and pulse-pounding story that intertwines the narratives of […]

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 […]

Re-imagining the Possibilities

I am about to make a broad and sweeping generalization, but I believe it to be true: The failure of modern living is the failure of the imagination. The root meaning of the word imagine is “to picture to oneself.” In other words, when we imagine, we create an inner picture of something not visible […]

Julius Lester (1939-2018)

We were terribly saddened to hear of the death yesterday of Julius Lester at age seventy-eight, author of such touchstone books as To Be a Slave (illustrated by Tom Feelings), a Newbery Honor winner; Long Journey Home: Stories from Black History; When the Beginning Began: Stories About God, the Creatures, and Us (illustrated by Emily Lisker); […]