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Authors & Illustrators

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

Five questions for Winifred Conkling

In Votes for Women: American Suffragists and the Battle for the Ballot (Algonquin, 12 years and up), Winifred Conkling explores the history of the U.S. suffrage movement, beginning with the Women’s Rights Convention in 1848 and culminating with ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment over seventy years later. She focuses on major figures in the movement […]

A Preponderance of Pink: A Conversation with Kathleen T. Horning

Kathleen T. Horning is director of the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (a research library of the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Education), which has been documenting publishing statistics concerning children’s books by and about people of color since 1985. The newly expanded CCBC database allows for a deeper examination of picture books through a variety […]

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, […]

Five Questions for Derrick Barnes and Gordon C. James

by Martha V. Parravano and Dr. Kim Parker Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut (Millner/Bolden Books/Agate, 4–8 years) was a 2018 ALA Youth Media Awards darling, recipient of four Honor awards: Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King Author, and Coretta Scott King Illustrator. The Crown team — author Derrick Barnes and illustrator Gordon C. James […]

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 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 […]