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Choosing Books

Promoting good books for children and young adults is the heart of The Horn Book’s editorial mission.

Review of Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots

Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle; illus. by Rudy Gutierrez Middle School, High School    Atheneum    179 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-5344-0943-9    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0945-3    $10.99 In 1942 Los Angeles, after working all day at the canneries, teen sisters Lorena and Marisela can’t wait to put on their sharpest swing […]

Review of The Creativity Project

The Creativity Project edited by Colby Sharp Intermediate    Little, Brown    278 pp. 3/18    978-0-316-50781-3    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-316-50778-3    $9.99 It’s a good premise. Forty-four contemporary children’s book people each contribute a writing prompt. Then each one responds to someone else’s prompt. The result is a combination anthology and inspiring craft manual. It’s diverse all ’round, […]

Review of Be Prepared

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol; illus. by the author; 

color by Alec Longstreth Intermediate    First Second/Roaring Brook    256 pp. 4/18    978-1-62672-444-0    $22.99 Paper ed.  978-1-62672-445-7    $12.99 “This book is a true story. And also made up.” Brosgol’s (Anya’s Ghost, rev. 7/11; Leave Me Alone, rev. 9/16) fictionalized graphic memoir captures the ups and downs (let’s […]

Preview July/August 2018 Horn Book Magazine

Special Issue: ALA Awards. Original cover art by 2018 Caldecott Medal winner Matthew Cordell. Critics Monica Edinger and Roxanne Hsu Feldman (“The Year in Words”) and Julie Danielson and Travis Jonker (“The Year in Pictures”) discuss the books of 2017. Eloise Greenfield’s Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Award Acceptance speech. Erin Entrada Kelly’s Newbery Medal acceptance […]

From The Guide: Be an Everyday Un-Hero

Sometimes it feels like the average person can’t make much of an impact on the world. But in her Writer’s Page column, “The Un-Hero’s Journey”, Kekla Magoon says, “The key to making a difference is to be someone who participates, someone who tries hard to do the right thing. It is about effort, not magic. […]

Review of Alma and How She Got Her Name

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-7636-9355-8    $15.99 Spanish ed.  978-0-7636-9358-9    $15.99 Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela feels self-conscious about her long name until her father tells her about the family members she is named after. Use of the […]

Pollen in the Wind

By Ann Durell First I want to apologize for giving such an embarrassingly fancy title for such a plain little talk. But you know how it is when someone asks you to make a speech. You say “yes” with the comfortable assurance that you will either have been killed in a plane crash or have […]

Reviews of 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Picture Book Award Winner and Honor Books

Picture Book Winner They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki; illus. by the author Primary    Abrams    40 pp. 3/18    978-1-4197-2851-8    $17.99 A girl considers the wondrousness of the world around her, prompted by the colors she encounters throughout her day. While at the beach, she gazes across the water (“They say the sea is blue…But when […]

Reviews of the 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Nonfiction Award Winner and Honor Books

Nonfiction Winner Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero; illus. by Zeke Peña Middle School, High School     Getty     95 pp. 3/18     978-1-94744-000-5     $19.95 [review to come]       Honor Books The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater High School    Farrar    306 pp. 10/17    978-0-374-30323-5    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-374-30325-9    $9.99 It was late afternoon […]

Reviews of the 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Fiction and Poetry Award Winner and Honor Books

Fiction and Poetry Winner The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo High School    HarperTeen    361 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-06-266280-4    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266282-8    $9.99 Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, whose name means “one who is ready for war,” has been fighting her whole life. The self-described “brown and big and angry” Dominican girl from Harlem furiously confronts catcalling boys, […]