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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.

Review of Square

Square by Mac Barnett; illus. by Jon Klassen Primary    Candlewick    40 pp.    g 5/18    978-0-7636-9607-8    $15.99 The Barnett-Klassen tag team is back with a companion book to Triangle (rev. 5/17), told through the collaborators’ signature meld of earthy, textured images and witty, thoughtful narrative. Square spends his days pushing square-shaped boulders from the bottom of […]

Review of The Journey of Little Charlie audiobook

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis; read by Michael Crouch Intermediate, Middle School    Listening Library Rev. 3/18    5 CDs    5.23 hrs.    978-0-8041-6802-1    $45.00 Twelve-year-old narrator “Little Charlie” Bobo is already the size of a man, and when his South Carolina sharecropper father dies in a freak accident, the sheriff suspects Charlie. Charlie […]

Review of The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation

The Brilliant Deep: Rebuilding the World’s Coral Reefs: The Story of Ken Nedimyer and the Coral Restoration Foundation by Kate Messner; illus. by Matthew Forsythe Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 5/18    978-1-4521-3350-8    $17.99 The same sentence — “It starts with one” — opens and closes this account of the threatened Florida Keys coral reefs and one […]

Review of The Itchy Book

The Itchy Book [Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!] by LeUyen Pham; illus. by the author; with additional illustrations by Mo Willems Primary    Hyperion    58 pp.    g 5/18    978-1-368-00564-7    $9.99 Pham’s early reader touches on herd-mentality and nonconformity in a make-believe prehistoric setting. A turtle snoozes in front of a rock etched with the words “Dinosaurs […]

Review of Stop, Go, Yes, No!: A Story of Opposites

Stop, Go, Yes, No!: A Story of Opposites by Mike Twohy; illus. by the author Preschool, Primary    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   32 pp.    g 8/18    978-0-06-246933-5    $17.99 The playful and energetic yellow dog from Twohy’s Geisel Honor–winning, alphabet-themed picture book Oops, Pounce, Quick, Run! (rev. 1/16) is back to create some more mayhem in this concept […]

Review of Dear Substitute

Dear Substitute by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick; illus. by Chris Raschka Primary    Disney-Hyperion    40 pp. 6/18    978-1-4847-5022-3    $17.99 With her regular teacher out sick (we glimpse a feverish Mrs. Giordano on the copyright page), a little girl in brown pigtails writes a series of letters throughout her school day, beginning: “Dear Substitute, / Wow. […]

Five questions for Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick

In new picture book Dear Substitute (Disney-Hyperion, 4–7 years), a little girl arrives at school to find her regular teacher out sick (“Dear Substitute, / Wow. This is a surprise. / What are you doing here?”). She works through the disorientation of her disrupted routine through a series of free-verse letters that are sometimes poignant, […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: High School

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo HarperTeen     361 pp 3/18     978-0-06-266280-4     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-266282-8     $9.99 Fifteen-year-old Xiomara, a self-described “brown and big and angry” Dominican girl from Harlem, finds peace in writing poetry. The slow-burning suspense of what will transpire when devoutly Catholic Mami discovers Xiomara’s clandestine relationship with a classmate is eclipsed only […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Intermediate

Stella Díaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez; illus. by the author Roaring Brook     202 pp. 1/18     978-1-62672-858-5     $16.99 Shy, artistic third grader Stella Díaz, who emigrated from Mexico to Chicago, is self-conscious about her accent and occasional English blunders. She’s also worried about being in a different class than best friend Jenny. Supportive […]

August 2018 Back-to-School Horn Book Herald: Middle School

March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine by Melba Pattillo Beals; illus. by Frank Morrison Houghton     214 pp. 1/18     978-1-328-88212-7     $16.99 As one of the Little Rock Nine, Beals helped integrate Central High School in 1957; here she recounts the childhood years that led up to that important step (described in the […]