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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 The Third Mushroom

The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm; illus. by Tad Carpenter Intermediate    Random    230 pp.    g 9/18    978-1-5247-1980-7    $16.99 Library ed.  978-1-5247-1981-4    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5247-1982-1    $10.99 Grandpa Melvin returns in this sequel to The Fourteenth Goldfish, still stuck in the body of a teenager (thanks to his earlier anti-aging experiment) and ready to help […]

Review of A Gift from Abuela

A Gift from Abuela by Cecilia Ruiz; illus. by the author Primary    Candlewick    32 pp.    g 8/18    978-0-7636-9267-4    $15.99 Ruiz elevates a standard tale about the loving bond between a grandmother and granddaughter with historically significant and culturally relevant detail (the book is set in 1980s Mexico City). The beauty of Abuela and Niña’s quotidian […]

Review of The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems

The Ghostly Carousel: Delightfully Frightful Poems by Calef Brown; illus. by the author Primary    Carolrhoda    32 pp. 8/18    978-1-5124-2661-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5415-2468-2    $17.99 Brown (Soup for Breakfast, rev. 3/09; Hypnotize a Tiger, rev. 3/15) gives his quirky, funny verse and art a spooky twist here with seventeen poems celebrating ghosts, witches, demons, and even […]

Review of Hey, Kiddo

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka; illus. by the author Middle School, High School    Graphix/Scholastic    320 pp.    g 10/18    978-0-545-90247-2    $24.99 Paper ed.  978-0-545-90248-9    $14.99 e-book ed.  978-0-545-90249-6    $9.99 Krosoczka offers a graphic memoir that is altogether more mature in style, theme, and content than his previous work for younger audiences (the Lunch Lady series; […]

Girls, ghosts, and ghouls

In four new shiver-inducing middle-school and YA novels perfect for the Halloween season, young women come face-to-face with the restless dead, who are variously mindless and hungry or self-aware and in need of assistance — and not so different from their living counterparts. For more, see this recommended YA reading list, and don’t miss these […]

Poetry with pictures

These illustrated poetry collections touch on a variety of topics — from the everyday to the prehistoric to the supernatural — but all provide inviting ways to introduce primary readers to poetry. In Did You Hear What I Heard?: Poems About School, thirty-five poems follow the months of the school year, from “Bus Stop” to […]

Finding home

Four novels for middle-grade readers feature memorable and likable protagonists who face economic hardship, homelessness, and prejudice in addition to the usual challenges of growing up. For an author’s perspective on narratives of children finding — or making — home, read E. Lockhart’s Horn Book Magazine Writer’s Page article “On Home, Empathy, and Voice.” In […]

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

Five questions for Kate DiCamillo Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo, Candlewick, 8–11 years. Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo, Candlewick, 8–11 years. Finding home Front Desk by Kelly Yang, Scholastic/Levine, 8–11 years. Just Under the Clouds by Melissa Sarno, Knopf, 9–12 years. Why Can’t I Be You by Melissa Walker, HarperCollins/Harper, 9–12 years. No Fixed Address by […]

Review of The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty Intermediate    Levine/Scholastic    380 pp.    g 10/18    978-1-338-25584-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-338-25585-0    $10.99 In this highly entertaining and brilliantly plotted fantasy, orphaned ten-year-old Bronte must embark alone on a multi-kingdom visit to her many aunts, a trip minutely scripted by the terms of her parents’ will. […]

Indigenous Peoples’ Day 2018

It’s Indigenous Peoples’ Day! We urge you — today and all year — to seek out and share books respectfully representing and honoring the multitude of indigenous North American peoples and cultures. We look forward to announcement of the American Indian Library Association‘s American Indian Youth Literature Awards — for the first time! — at […]