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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 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 […]

Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Year of the Dog! We wish all who are celebrating a new year full of joy and prosperity. we’ve updated our Lunar New Year reading list with fiction and nonfiction books featuring the holiday for preschool, primary, and intermediate readers. All of the titles below were recommended for by The Horn Book Magazine and […]

Five questions for Ilyasah Shabazz with Renée Watson

Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz presented a fictionalized account of her father’s young-adulthood in 2015’s X: A Novel (Candlewick, 14 years and up; written with Kekla Magoon). Her new book, Betty Before X (Farrar, 11–14 years), written with 2018 CSK Author Award winner Renée Watson, and with a younger audience in mind, explores the life […]

Books mentioned in the February 2018 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Ilyasah Shabazz & Renée Watson X: A Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon, Candlewick, 14 years and up. Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson, Farrar, 11–14 years. When the weather outside is frightful… Chirri & Chirra: The Snowy Day by Kaya Doi, trans. by Yuki Kaneko, Enchanted Lion, […]

Love, friendship, and fashion

For Valentine’s Day, here are some new YA stories featuring friendship, romance, purported space aliens, and fabulous fashion. See also Katrina Hedeen and Rachel L. Smith’s 2013 Horn Book Magazine article: “What Makes a Good YA Love Story?” Edan, star of Cecil Castellucci’s Don’t Cosplay with My Heart, is a devotee of the (fictitious) comic […]

Fantastic (graphic-novel) voyages

These engaging new graphic-novel adventures draw intermediate and middle-school readers in to fantastical worlds that are variously beautiful and bizarre. The Sand Warrior kicks off the 5 Worlds series, a sweeping, sci-fi/fantasy graphic-novel saga written by Mark Siegel and Alexis Siegel and illustrated by Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, and Boya Sun. Three kids from very […]

#HBBlackHistoryMonth18

Our commemoration of Black History Month continues with the following new picture books for older readers that recognize African American, Afro Caribbean, and South African trailblazers and pioneers. (And huge congratulations to all of this year’s Coretta Scott King Award winners!) Throughout February The Horn Book is highlighting articles, speeches, and reviews from our archive […]

When the weather outside is frightful…

A little imagination can go a long way towards alleviating snow-day cabin fever. These wintry picture books celebrate thinking outside the box (or, in one case, thinking a box into outer space), making them perfect companions to preschoolers’ indoor imaginative play. In their third outing, Chirri & Chirra: The Snowy Day, Kaya Doi’s rosy-cheeked (and, […]