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Opinion

Gimlet-eyed and occasionally -addled views on what's wrong and right in the world of books for young people.

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, everybody. I hope you got some good reading done over the holidays. Me, I shuttled among Tim Mohr’s Burning Down the Haus (a history of punk rock in East Germany), Ruth Ware’s The Death of Mrs. Westaway, and Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, those latter choices, each about a poor cousin come to […]

Editorial: Technicolor Dreams

The January/February Magazine is a good metaphor for the new year, with its ruminations on What Came Before and an eye toward the future. In October we celebrated the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, where Elizabeth Acevedo performed a powerful original poem; Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña shared their origin story as collaborators; Celia C. Pérez […]

From the Editor – November 2018

As award-speculation season begins, don’t forget you can join in the chatter about the Caldecott Medal on our Calling Caldecott blog, and about the Newbery on the Heavy Medal blog over at SLJ. We are in the midst of reading and discussion for Fanfare, the Horn Book’s own choices for the best books of the […]

Editorial: Into the Hundred Acre Wood

I was saddened to hear of the death of librarian and storyteller Ellin Greene in August. Ellin was my professor of children’s library work at Chicago, and taught me a core practice of the profession I hold as dear as any of Ranganathan’s Laws: “Get down on your knees,” she told us, in order to […]

From the Editor – October 2018

We presented the 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards on October 5th, and, as far as anyone has told me, a good time was had by all. Please look at our online BGHB coverage for photos of the event and for more about this year’s winners. Roger Sutton Editor in Chief

From the Editor – September 2018

As a subscriber to Notes from the Horn Book you also receive Talks with Roger, a series of interviews with authors and illustrators of new books, sponsored by their publishers. You can find the archive here — including my first-ever live Talks, with newly minted National Book Award long-lister Jarrett J. Krosoczka, from earlier this […]

Editorial: The Right to Read by Yourself

In choosing to rename the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award the Children’s Literature Legacy Award, the Association for Library Service to Children did the right thing. The new name is bland but accurate, describing exactly what the award is for: to honor an author or illustrator whose books over the years have made, to quote the […]

From the Editor – August 2018

It’s still summer, and we all should remain as relaxed as possible, so let me just take a moment to happily acknowledge how relaxed everybody is getting about book boundaries, especially when it comes to a book for beginning readers. As Shoshana and Cindy ask of Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories in […]

2018 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn’t win at ALA

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. The books that didn’t win. Shuttered Windows by Julia Denos, illus. by E. B. Goodale Silenced The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy, illus. by Eugene Yelchin Cracked Egg by Kevin Henkes Rained out A Perfect Day by Lane Smith Derailed Clayton Byrd […]

Reflections on Black Children’s Literature: A Historical Perspective

The ideas expressed below were originally written in response to an opinion piece written by publisher Denene Millner, which ran in The New York Times on March 10, 2018. Though most of the write-up below speaks to this particular opinion article, it has been slightly modified to address some of the expressed viewpoints in her […]