Subscribe to The Horn Book

Reviews of the Week

Each week we publish four brand-new reviews of books people are — or should be — talking about. Look for recommended picture books on Mondays, fiction on Tuesdays, nonfiction on Wednesdays, and poetry and audiobooks on Thursdays.

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 […]

Review of I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon

I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul; illus. by Elizabeth Zunon Primary    Millbrook    40 pp.    g 2/19    978-1-5124-4914-3    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5415-4380-5    $19.99  Even as a young child Tantoh Nforba loves the rich soils of his native northwestern Cameroon, earning the nickname “Farmer” from his mocking classmates; […]

Review of The Bridge Home

The Bridge Home  by Padma Venkatraman Intermediate, Middle School    Paulsen/Penguin    194 pp.    g 2/19    978-1-5247-3811-2    $16.99  In a drunken rage, the father of eleven-year-old narrator Viji breaks her mother’s arm. Viji decides, “If I wanted a better future, I needed to change the life we had. Now.” The next morning, she and her sister Rukku […]

Review of Meet Miss Fancy

Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham; illus. by John Holyfield Primary    Putnam    32 pp.    g 1/19    978-0-399-54668-6    $17.99  Frank (an African American boy who looks to be about ten years old) already loves elephants, with “their flip-flap ears, their tree-stump feet and their swish-swish tails,” so when he hears that a circus elephant named Miss […]

Review of Let ’Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion

Let ’Er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson; illus. by Gordon C. James Primary, Intermediate    Carolrhoda    40 pp.    g 2/19    978-1-5124-9808-0    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5145-4180-1    $18.99 Nelson (Bad News for Outlaws, rev. 11/09) returns to the Old West for this engrossing picture-book biography of African American cowboy and bronc buster George […]

Review of Duck & Goose: A Gift for Goose

Duck & Goose: A Gift for Goose [Step into Reading] by Tad Hills; illus. by the author Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    32 pp. 1/19    978-0-525-64490-3    $4.99     Library ed.  978-0-525-64491-0    $12.99     e-book ed.  978-0-525-64492-7    $4.99  For certain kids, the box can be the best part of a gift — especially when it’s as enticing as the one […]

Review of Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight by Duncan Tonatiuh; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Abrams ComicArts    24 pp.  8/18    978-1-4197-2854-9   $19.99  “You don’t know our names but you’ve seen us.” The accompanying illustration is of Juan, an undocumented immigrant, with one hand raised in a fist and the other holding a megaphone from which the […]

Review of The Mad Wolf’s Daughter audiobook

The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras; read by Joshua Manning Intermediate, Middle School    Listening Library    Rev. 7/18 6 CDs    6.62 hrs.    978-0-525-53134-0    $50.00 Drest is determined to free her captured older brothers and father from Faintree Castle, where they soon will be hanged, and she means to use the young knight she rescued to […]

Review of Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet

Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet by Curtis Manley; illus. by Jessica Lanan Primary    Roaring Brook    48 pp. 1/19    978-1-250-15533-7    $18.99  The ever-fascinating idea that there may be life on other planets drives this smart discussion of the major advances in astronomy that have led to the discovery of exoplanets (officially, “extrasolar planets”), along with […]