Subscribe to The Horn Book

Choosing Books

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

Review of Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born

Nine Months: Before a Baby Is Born by Miranda Paul; illus. by Jason Chin Primary    Porter/Holiday    32 pp. 4/19    978-0-8234-4161-7    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4213-3    $18.99 A pithy quintain describes the moment a fertilized human egg becomes a two-celled zygote: “Small. / Ball. / The point of a pin. / Then it divides… / Our story begins.” It’s the first […]

What’s So Funny, Mr. Scieszka? — The Zena Sutherland Lecture

The voice flew across the room and nailed me to the back of my seat. “What’s so funny, Mr. Scieszka?” The voice belonged to Sister Margaret Ann. And it had just flown across our fifth-grade religion class at St. Luke’s Elementary School to find me in what I had thought was the safety of the […]

Lift Every Voice: From One Book to Many

When I was in sixth grade, my elementary school hired a new librarian. I don’t remember her name. I only know that she was young, white, and had been a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa. This new librarian taught us African songs and dances, and would then put on music so we could show off […]

Review of With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo High School    HarperTeen    392 pp. 5/19    978-0-06-266283-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266285-9    $9.99 High school senior Emoni Santiago, whose “Puerto Rican side is as Black as [her] Black American side,” is many things — an aspiring chef, a proud North Philly native, a reserved student who keeps to […]

Two picture-book, read-alike suggestions for the new royal parents (it’s a boy!)

His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by David Roberts Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 9/17    978-0-7636-9793-8    $16.99 “Once upon a time, there was a Happy Family” consisting of a mother, father, daughter (shown with tights on her head simulating long, blonde, princess-y hair), and pet gerbil. Life was grand […]

Review of The Little Guys

The Little Guys by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Roaring Brook    40 pp. 4/19    978-1-62672-442-6    $17.99 The “strongest guys in the whole forest” are the Little Guys — small pastel-colored creatures with acorn-cap hats; red, nose-like appendages; and stick arms and legs. Together there is nothing they cannot conquer. For example, their […]

Let Our Rejoicing Rise: Celebrating Fifty Years of the Coretta Scott King Book Awards

The Coretta Scott King Book Awards originated as a response to the failure of the children’s literature establishment to acknowledge the talents and contributions of African American writers and illustrators. As late as 1969, forty-seven years after the first Newbery Medal had been awarded, and thirty-one years after the awarding of the first Caldecott Medal, […]

Review of His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Story

His Royal Highness, King Baby: A Terrible True Story by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by David Roberts Primary    Candlewick    48 pp. 9/17    978-0-7636-9793-8    $16.99 “Once upon a time, there was a Happy Family” consisting of a mother, father, daughter (shown with tights on her head simulating long, blonde, princess-y hair), and pet gerbil. Life was grand […]

Ramadan 2019

The Islamic month of Ramadan is a solemn holiday of fasting, charity, and additional prayer, culminating in the joyous feasting of Eid al-Fitr. Ramadan began last night at sunset. Ramadan mubarak to those observing! We’d like to call your attention to reading suggestions from our friends at KitaabWorld, who review and recommend children’s books with […]

Writer vs. Author — The Zena Sutherland Lecture by Linda Sue Park

“Writer vs. Author.” This dichotomy is one I deal with on a daily basis, sometimes on a minute-by-minute basis. I grew up in the age before social networking, so typing out words on a keyboard has long been a private activity for me. Even if the finished product was something I intended to share, there […]