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Welcome to the Horn Book's Family Reading blog, a place devoted to offering children's book recommendations and advice about the whats and whens and whos and hows of sharing books in the home. Find us on Twitter @HornBook and on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheHornBook


Race in fairy tales

I grew up in the 1970s, when the lens on fairy tales turned academic and feminist. It was a time when fairy tales were being examined and critiqued for remaining wedded to their their antiquated gender roles–the recurring ideals of strength and adventure belonged to the realm of men and boys, and those of beauty […]

On Madelyn Travis’s “Thank Heavens for Hugo, or When Size Matters” (from 2011)

In “Thank Heavens for Hugo, or When Size Matters,” children’s literature scholar Madelyn Travis wrote about her efforts to encourage her then-seven-year-old son to “love reading” and her worry that “if he doesn’t, he will miss out on one of life’s great joys.” Lordy, do I get it. Though my kids were toddlers when I […]

When life gives you The Lemonade War

What do you do when life (or your second-grade teacher*) gives you Jacqueline Davies’s The Lemonade War? If you don’t have lemonade, you grab an open bottle of grape juice from the fridge and half-empty bag of Goldfish crackers from the cupboard and wait for the customers to line up. To my surprise, they did! […]

2018 Summer Reading Recommendations

Pie Is for Sharing, as our Five Questions interviewees remind us, and so is this special issue of Notes from the Horn Book, which presents our 2018 Summer Reading list. We’ve selected our top ten suggestions, including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, for all age ranges — fifty books in all — for beach reading or […]

2018 Summer Reading List

For a handy take-along list of titles, download our printable PDF. Picture Books Suggested grade level for all entries: PS–2 Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut by Derrick Barnes; illus. by Gordon C. James (Millner/Bolden/Agate) Windows by Julia Denos; illus. by E. B. Goodale (Candlewick) How Are You? / ¿Cómo estás? by Angela Dominguez […]

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: High School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Intermediate

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Middle School

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Picture Books

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]

2018 Summer Reading from The Horn Book: Easy Readers and Primary Grades

Need suggestions for beach reading or books to bring to summer camp? Here are our top ten books for different age ranges — including fiction, nonfiction, and poetry — all published 2017–2018 and ideal for the season. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion. For a handy take-along list of […]