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Recommended Books

Promoting good books for children and young adults is the heart of The Horn Book’s editorial mission. Archived here are annotated lists of recommended titles.

Review of Beware of the Crocodile

Beware of the Crocodile by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Satoshi Kitamura Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-7636-7538-7    $16.99 Heeding the old adage “when introducing a topic to children, start with what they know,” Jenkins initiates his discussion of crocodiles with their most prominent feature: those fascinating and intimidating teeth, which Kitamura depicts in all […]

Review of Dealing in Dreams

Dealing in Dreams by Lilliam Rivera High School    Simon    328 pp.    g 3/19    978-1-4814-7214-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-7216-6    $10.99 Rivera (The Education of Margot Sanchez) presents an action-filled dystopian novel about loyalty, power, and losing and finding oneself. Nalah, a.k.a. Chief Rocka, is the leader of the all-girl gang Las Mal Criadas, which owns the […]

Earth Day 2019

Today (as every day should be!) is Earth Day, and this year’s theme is:  “Protect Our Species.” The books below celebrate our precious planet, educate about the crises it faces, and offer age-appropriate models for environmental activism. The list includes both fiction and nonfiction titles for a range of ages, all recommended by The Horn […]

Review of Poetree

Poetree by Shauna LaVoy Reynolds; illus. by Shahrzad Maydani Primary    Dial    32 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-399-53912-1    $17.99 To celebrate the end of winter, young poetry lover Sylvia writes a poem about spring and ties it to a birch tree in the park. The next day her poem is gone; in its place is another that […]

Review of The Undefeated

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander; illus. by Kadir Nelson Primary, Intermediate, Middle School     Versify/Houghton     40 pp.    g 4/19     978-1-328-78096-6     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-05761-1     $12.99 Alexander and Nelson honor the achievements, courage, and perseverance of ordinary black people as well as prominent black artists, athletes, and activists. The free-verse poem begins: “This is for the unforgettable. / […]

Review of Two Brothers, Four Hands: The Artists Alberto and Diego Giacometti

Two Brothers, Four Hands: The Artists Alberto and Diego Giacometti by Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan; illus. by Hadley Hooper Primary, Intermediate    Porter/Holiday    64 pp.    g 4/19    978-0-8234-4170-9    $21.99 e-book ed.  978-0-8234-4224-9    $16.99 Experts at accessibly describing art and exploring the often-complex lives of its creators, Greenberg and Jordan (most recently Meet Cindy Sherman, rev. […]

Review of The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St. James by Ashley Herring Blake Intermediate, Middle School    Little, Brown    373 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-316-51553-5    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-51550-4    $9.99 After receiving a heart transplant, twelve-year-old Sunny decides it’s time for a “New Life” with specific components — including finding a boy to kiss and finding a new best […]

Review of Carl and the Meaning of Life

Carl and the Meaning of Life by Deborah Freedman; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Viking    48 pp.    g 4/19    978-0-451-47498-8    $17.99 Carl is an earthworm, always moving under the ground, digesting leaves and “turning hard dirt into fluffy soil.” When a field mouse asks him why he does that, […]

Review of Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott High School    Houghton    191 pp.    g 3/19    978-1-328-98759-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-358-04915-9    $9.99 In this verse novel, “voices” refers to Joan of Arc’s messages from the saints; to the various people who testified for and against her; to Joan herself; and to the objects […]

Review of Dogs in Space

Dogs in Space by Vix Southgate; illus. by Iris Deppe Primary    Kane Miller    32 pp. 3/19    978-1-61067-824-7    $14.99 With a happier ending than that of their legendary predecessor Laika, dogs Belka and Strelka became, in 1960, among the first animals to return, alive, from orbital flight. That does not, however, deny the suspense with which […]