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Choosing Books

Promoting good books for children and young adults is the heart of The Horn Book’s editorial mission.

Books mentioned in the January 2019 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

General knowledge 13½ Incredible Things You Need to Know About Everything Gr. 4–6, middle school     176 pp.     DK     2017 Trade ISBN 978-1-4654-6112-4 DiPiazza, Francesca Davis  Fandom: Fic Writers, Vidders, Gamers, Artists, and Cosplayers Middle school, high school     120 pp.     Twenty-First Century     2018 Trade ISBN 978-1-5124-5049-1 Ebook ISBN 978-1-5124-9887-5 Esbaum, Jill  Little Kids First Big Book […]

Graphic biographies and memoirs

Agrimbau, Diego  Anne Frank Illustrated by Fabián Mezquita. Gr. 4–6     80 pp.     Capstone Agrimbau, Diego  Leonardo da Vinci Illustrated by Diego Aballay. Gr. 4–6     80 pp.     Capstone Graphic Library: Graphic Lives series. These graphic novels detail the lives of the titular historical figures, with emphasis on events that garnered each the most notoriety. The comic-book […]

Weather and climate

de Seve, Karen  Little Kids First Big Book of Weather Gr. K–3     128 pp.     National Geographic A comprehensive, age-appropriate exploration of hot, cold, windy, cloudy, and rainy weather, with activities and games to reinforce the concepts at the conclusion of each chapter. An eclectic mix of appealing color photographs augments the text, and sidebars throughout […]

Exploring our oceans

Cottman, Michael H.  Shackles from the Deep: Tracing the Path of a Sunken Slave Ship, a Bitter Past, and a Rich Legacy Gr. 4–6, middle school     127 pp.     National Geographic The ship Henrietta Marie transported enslaved Africans from 1698 until its sinking in 1700. The African American author traces the ship’s path from port to […]

General knowledge

13½ Incredible Things You Need to Know About Everything Gr. 4–6, middle school     176 pp.     DK This browsable compendium serves up random trivia on eighty wide-ranging subjects. Each busy, colorful double-page spread focuses on a topic, including earth science, plants, animals, communication, water, philosophy, ancient civilizations, movies, helicopters, and much more. Crisp photos compete for […]

Review of Max & the Midknights

Max & the Midknights by Lincoln Peirce; illus. by the author Intermediate    Crown    280 pp.    g 1/19    978-1-101-93108-0    $13.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93109-7    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-101-93110-3    $8.99 It’s the Middle Ages, and redheaded Max is Uncle Budrick’s troubadour apprentice. Max longs to become a knight, but there’s just one problem: Max is a girl, a […]

Review of The Stuff of Stars

The Stuff of Stars by Marion Dane Bauer; illus. by Ekua Holmes Primary    Candlewick    40 pp. 9/18    978-0-7636-7883-8    $17.99 From darkness, we experience the Big Bang, the birth of the universe, and the emergence of life on Earth. Holmes, known for her striking collage art (Voice of Freedom, rev. 9/15; Out of Wonder, rev. 5/17) […]

Review of Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh by Uma Krishnaswami Intermediate    Tu/Lee & Low    276 pp.    g 5/17    978-1-60060-261-0    $16.95 “Don’t let it stop you, honey. Don’t you let nothing stop you. Promise me.” In World War II California, women like protagonist Maria’s beloved auntie, Tía Manuela, are working in factories, and in elementary schools […]

Why Stop at Windows and Mirrors?: Children’s Book Prisms

It has been twenty-nine years since Rudine Sims Bishop’s seminal essay “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” was published. Speaking to the lack of children’s books with African American characters and themes, the essay called for books to act as windows and mirrors that would allow all children to see themselves and the experiences of […]

Review of Checked audiobook

Checked by Cynthia Kadohata; read by John Kroft Intermediate, Middle School     Recorded Books    Rev. 5/18 7 CDs     7.75 hrs.     978-1-5019-8278-1 $20.99 Conor MacRae’s life is consumed with elite hockey. Nothing can overtake his obsession — not his growing concerns about his elderly neighbor Mr. Reynolds, not the strained relationship […]