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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 Monday’s Not Coming

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson Middle School, High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    440 pp. 5/18    978-0-06-242267-5    $17.99 e-book ed. 978-0-06-242269-9    $9.99 It’s the end of the summer before eighth grade, and Claudia can’t wait to see her best friend, Monday. When she doesn’t hear from Monday in the days leading up to school, Claudia is […]

Review of Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise; illus. by Paola Escobar Primary     Harper/HarperCollins     40 pp. 1/19     978-0-06-274868-3     $17.99 In her native Puerto Rico, a young Pura Belpré retells folk stories to children under a tamarind tree; when she visits Nueva York in 1921 and decides to stay, obtaining […]

Review of The Wicked King

The Wicked King [Folk of the Air] by Holly Black High School     Little, Brown     325 pp.     g 1/19     978-0-316-31035-2     $18.99 e-book ed. 978-0-316-31033-8     $9.99 A mortal raised in the realms of Faerie by the devious General Madoc, Jude Duarte has learned to play games of politics and intrigue quite well. By manipulating her […]

Review of Chicken Talk

Chicken Talk by Patricia MacLachlan; illus. by Jarrett J. Krosoczka Preschool, Primary    Tegen/HarperCollins     32 pp. 1/19     978-0-06-239864-2     $17.99 In this slight but charming tale, a farm family’s chickens discover the power of the written word. (It’s not an original conceit, of course; see earlier exemplars of farm-animal empowerment […]

Review of The Night Diary audiobook

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani; read by Priya Ayyar Intermediate, Middle School    Listening Library    Rev. 7/18 5 CDs    5.92 hrs.    978-0-525-53044-2    $45.00 Twelve-year-old Nisha, whose mother was Muslim and father is Hindu, begins writing a diary in the form of letters to her mother, who died when Nisha and her twin Amil were born. […]

Review of Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival

Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival by Lindsay Moore; illus. by the author Primary     Greenwillow     48 pp.     g 1/19     978-0-06-279128-3     $17.99 A polar bear wanders alone through icy northern landscapes and across the seasons in search of food, her survival practices described as she hunts seals and paddles past sharks, narwhals, and whales. […]

Non-snoozy storytimes

Need some inspiration for a new year of storytimes? Learn how to shake things up with Julie Roach’s classic tips for reading aloud, then choose one of these lively new picture books and invite participants to vroom, roar, bark, and awoooooooo along. The latest of Kate and Jim McMullan’s things-that-go books, I’m Tough!, stars a […]

Schemers, sleuths, and spies

The familiar characters and structures of these early-chapter-book series entries will help emerging readers build confidence; plots featuring mysteries and madcap plans will keep them turning pages. The Infamous Ratsos return in Project Fluffy. BMOC Chuck Wood seeks Louie Ratso’s advice in winning over his crush, Fluffy Rabbitski. Thrilled by Chuck’s attention, Louie outlines a […]

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

Five questions for Caroline Cala Best Babysitters Ever by Caroline Cala, Houghton, 10–12 years. Non-snoozy storytimes  I’m Tough! by Kate McMullan, illus. by Jim McMullan, HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, 3–5 years. Bigger Than You by Hyewon Kyung, Greenwillow, 3–5 years. Bark Park! by Trudy Krisher, illus. by Brooke Boynton-Hughes, Simon/Beach Lane, 3–5 years. Lost and Found […]

Eye-opening history

The following works of narrative nonfiction for middle schoolers and high schoolers focus on events that may be overlooked by school curricula but can help make history come alive. In 1873, a mob of armed white men massacred more than one hundred black “freedmen” in the town of Colfax in central Louisiana. In his book […]