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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.

Strong women making an impact 2019

For Women’s History Month, here are four new memoirs and biographies of women who have made a lasting impact in their respective fields. See also our Five Questions interview with Laurie Halse Anderson in this issue; our list of new picture-book bios; the tag women’s history; and KidLitWomen* for more stories of amazing and inspirational […]

New for New Readers: What (Exactly) IS an Easy Reader?

Why are high-quality books for emerging readers so challenging to find? I ask this question as a parent of an emerging reader, as well as in my professional capacity as an elementary school librarian. I’m also asked this same question by teachers, other parents, and professional colleagues. After ruminating about easy readers for years (and […]

Review of On the Come Up

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    453 pp.    g 2/19    978-0-06-249856-4    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-249857-1    $12.99 If reading The Hate U Give (rev. 3/17) was like listening to 2Pac, intent on capturing the emotional impact of injustice, On the Come Up is more like Biggie, focusing on the experience […]

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

Five questions for Laurie Halse Anderson Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Farrar, 12–16 years. SHOUT by Laurie Halse Anderson, Viking, 14 years and up. Speak: The Graphic Novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, illus. by Emily Carroll, Farrar, 12–16 years. Strong women making an impact 2019 Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket […]

Review of Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks

Olive & Pekoe: In Four Short Walks by Jacky Davis; illus. by Giselle Potter Preschool, Primary    Greenwillow    40 pp. 3/19    978-0-06-257310-0    $17.99 Pekoe is a large yellow puppy with energy and enthusiasm to spare; Olive is a small older dog with a much more subdued (one might even say jaded) outlook on life. Despite their […]

Review of Fresh Ink audiobook

Fresh Ink edited by Lamar Giles; read by various artists Middle School    Listening Library    Rev. 9/18 4 CDs    5.08 hrs.    978-0-525-59565-6    $38.00 Giles opens this anthology of twelve short works with a foreword containing this message: “I hope you find [a hero] who looks like you, or thinks like you, or feels like you. If […]

Review of Soaring Earth

Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle Middle School, High School    Atheneum    160 pp.    g 2/19    978-1-5344-2953-6    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-2955-0    $10.99 In this companion verse memoir to Enchanted Air (rev. 7/15), Engle provides a glimpse into her high school years in Los Angeles and early adulthood as a Cuban American person coming to an understanding of […]

Review of Sweeping Up the Heart

Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes Intermediate, Middle School    Greenwillow    184 pp.    g 3/19    978-0-06-285254-0    $16.99 Library ed.  978-0-06-285255-7    $17.89 e-book ed.  978-0-06-285257-1    $9.99 The elegiac spirit of Emily Dickinson’s poem “The Bustle in a House” (from which this book’s title is taken) reverberates throughout Henkes’s story of people struggling to cope with love, […]

Review of The Home Builders

The Home Builders by Varsha Bajaj; illus. by Simona Mulazzani Preschool    Paulsen/Penguin    32 pp.    g 2/19    978-0-399-16685-3    $17.99 This picture book invites children to observe nature for themselves as a variety of creatures busily create their homes: “Do you see the home builders?” The builders work “under the earth, / Below […]

Books for Black Future Month

This February, as in previous years, we’ve been commemorating Black History Month by highlighting articles, speeches, and reviews from The Horn Book archive that are by and/or about Black authors, illustrators, and luminaries in the field. New additions this year include “’To Be Great, Heroic or Beautiful’: The Enduring Legacy of The Brownies’ Book” by […]