Subscribe to The Horn Book

Horn Book Magazine

Review of Bird Builds a Nest

Bird Builds a Nest [A First Science Storybook] by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Richard Jones Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-7636-9346-6    $16.99 Striking mixed-media illustrations, collage-like and muted with earth tones, depict a burnt-orange sun rising in the east and a bird perched on a tree branch, perfectly representing the opening sentence of […]

Review of Truly Devious

Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson High School    Tegen/HarperCollins    418 pp.    g 1/18    978-0-06-233805-1    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-233807-5    $9.99 Aspiring sleuth Stevie Bell has just started her junior year at Ellingham Academy — an artsy Vermont enclave for offbeat students founded in the 1930s by eccentric philanthropist Albert Ellingham — when disaster strikes. One of her […]

Review of Buster and the Baby

Buster and the Baby by Amy Hest; illus. by Polly Dunbar Preschool    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 12/17    978-0-7636-8787-8    $15.99 In a rhythmic text and lively art, a classic friendship story plays out through an extended game of hide-and-seek between a baby and a small white dog named Buster. Buster carefully determines the best hiding places […]

Review of A Sky Full of Stars

A Sky Full of Stars by Linda Williams Jackson Middle School    Houghton    307 pp.    g 1/18    978-0-544-80065-6    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-1-328-82907-8    $16.99 In this sequel to Midnight Without a Moon (rev. 1/17), thirteen-year-old Rosa Lee Carter, part of a struggling sharecropper family in segregated mid-1950s Mississippi, continues her search for self. In the first book, […]

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind

Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon; illus. by Lee White Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 2/18    978-1-101-93479-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-1-101-93480-7    $20.99 This ecologically friendly picture book opens quietly, but it soon pivots from its lulling beginning (“The man lived all alone in the creaky house on the tip-top of […]

Review of The United States v. Jackie Robinson

The United States v. Jackie Robinson by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen; illus. by R. Gregory Christie Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    40 pp. 1/18    978-0-06-228784-7    $17.99 “Long before anyone had heard of Rosa Parks, a guy named Jack refused to move to the back of the bus.” So begins the story of baseball star Jackie Robinson…before he was […]

Review of A Skinful of Shadows

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge Middle School, High School    Amulet/Abrams    415 pp. 10/17    978-1-4197-2572-2    $19.99 Hardinge’s (The Lie Tree, rev. 5/16) latest tour de force is set during the reign of King Charles I against the backdrop of the 1600s English Civil War and is, as unlikely as it sounds, something of a […]

BGHB at 50: Amber and Essie and Vera and Me

In celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, established in 1967, we will be publishing a series of appreciations of BGHB winners and honorees from the past. This is the sixth in the series to be published in The Horn Book Magazine (see Gregory Maguire’s article on Jill Paton Walsh’s Unleaving; […]

From The Guide: Family Matters

Julie Roach’s “BGHB at 50” column, “Amber and Essie and Vera and Me” (January/February 2018 Magazine) looks back at Vera B. Williams’s classic Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart, about “two sisters who take care of each other while missing their incarcerated father and overworked mother.” Williams offers readers an “intimate look at sisterhood,” as […]

Review of Grace for Gus

Grace for Gus by Harry Bliss; illus. by the author Primary    Tegen/HarperCollins    40 pp.    g 2/18    978-0-06-264410-7    $17.99 Bliss’s nearly wordless book, told mainly through panel illustrations (and “with thanks to colorist Frank Young”), is a love letter to NYC, to creative bespectacled schoolchildren, and to guinea pigs; per the dedication page, it’s based on […]