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Choosing Books

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

Review of The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog: And Other How-To Poems

The Proper Way to Meet a Hedgehog: And Other How-To Poems selected by Paul B. Janeczko; illus. by Richard Jones Primary    Candlewick    48 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-7636-8168-5    $17.99 The thirty-three poems in this “how-to” collection range from the whimsical, such as Monica Shannon’s “How to Tell Goblins from Elves,” to the very practical, such as […]

Review of Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump

Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump by Martha Brockenbrough Middle School, High School    Feiwel    416 pp. 11/18    978-1-250-30803-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-30804-7    $9.99 Brockenbrough opens her critical biography of Donald Trump with a sampling of events leading up to the surprising (to most) results of the 2016 presidential election. She then takes readers back to […]

Review of Internment

Internment by Samira Ahmed High School    Little, Brown    304 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-316-52269-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-52266-3    $9.99 Xenophobic fear-mongering, book burnings, terrified families rounded up in the middle of the night to be thrown into internment camps — all painfully familiar elements of America’s past and present — descend upon Layla Amin’s near-future dystopian […]

Review of Lubna and Pebble

Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour; illus. by Daniel Egnéus Primary    Dial    32 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-525-55416-5    $17.99 Wide-eyed Lubna befriends a pebble when she and her father arrive by boat at an unspecified refugee settlement she calls “a World of Tents.” She personalizes the small stone by drawing a happy face on it, telling […]

Review of No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse

No More Poems!: A Book in Verse That Just Gets Worse by Rhett Miller; illus. by Dan Santat Primary, Intermediate    Tingley/Little, Brown    48 pp. 3/19    978-0-316-41652-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-41649-8    $9.99 Miller, lead singer/songwriter of the alt-country band Old 97’s, knows how to grab an audience’s attention. This collection of twenty-three kid-pleasing poems opens with […]

Pi Day 2019

Today is Pi Day (get it? March 14? 3/14? 3.14…?). To celebrate, here are two recent picture books about pie (and sharing and social justice and community and…). March being Women’s History Month, check out these two recommended booklists about women in STEM and computing; this Notes from the Horn Book piece highlighting Strong women making an […]

Picture-book biographies of pioneering women 2019

March is Women’s History Month, but we believe women’s history and empowerment are important topics to talk about with kids all year long. (And at every age — check out this onesie I was stoked to find for a friend’s baby!) The following recent picture-book biographies of amazing women can be a part of the […]

Review of SHOUT: A Poetry Memoir

SHOUT: A Poetry Memoir by Laurie Halse Anderson High School    Viking    290 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-670-01210-7    $17.99 “This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one.” So opens Anderson’s three-part autobiographical collection of dynamic, mostly free-verse poems that serves as a potent poetic endnote for her landmark […]

Brave girls in audiobooks

These audiobooks starring brave and resilient female protagonists will appeal to middle-grade fans of historical fiction featuring strong and lively young women. March is Women’s History Month. See also our Five Questions interview with Laurie Halse Anderson and the “Strong women making an impact 2019” section in this issue of Notes from the Horn Book; […]

Embracing friendship and community

The following picture books provide models for warmth, friendship, community-building, and inclusivity in ways that very young children can understand and embrace. David Soman’s inviting How to Two is a counting book that could also serve as a set of inclusivity instructions. A lone boy plays on a slide (“how to one”); when he joins […]