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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.

Caribbean American Heritage Month 2018

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month — which celebrates “the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the United States” — and this week (June 18-22) is the twentieth annual Caribbean American Legislative Week in Washington, DC. You can find lots of great information, book recommendations, and resources at this […]

Review of The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soar

The Flying Girl: How Aída de Acosta Learned to Soar by Margarita Engle; 

illus. by Sara Palacios Primary    Atheneum    40 pp. 3/18    978-1-4814-4502-3    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-4814-4503-0    $10.99 In this slightly fictionalized account (with brief invented dialogue) Engle and Palacios introduce readers to Aída de Acosta (1884–1962), who defied the sexist attitudes of her era […]

Review of I Have Lost My Way

I Have Lost My Way by Gayle Forman High School    Viking    258 pp.    g 3/18    978-0-425-29077-4    $18.99 A chance meeting leads to intimate connections for three struggling nineteen-year-olds in Forman’s (If I Stay, rev. 7/09; I Was Here, rev. 1/15) latest novel. Freya is an up-and-coming singer who has lost her voice, to her controlling […]

“To Be Great, Heroic or Beautiful”: The Enduring Legacy of The Brownies’ Book

Heretofore the education of the Negro child has been too much in terms of white people. All through school life his text-books contain much about white people and little or nothing about his own race. All the pictures he sees are of white people. Most of the books he reads are by white authors, and […]

Review of Goldfish on Vacation

Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones; illus. by Leo Espinosa Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp.    g 4/18    978-0-385-38611-1    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-385-38612-8    $20.99 Three city-dwelling siblings, goldfish owners, feel sad for the derelict, once-magnificent fountain at the end of their street. Then a sign appears on the fountain: “COMING IN TWO WEEKS! CALLING ALL […]

Recommended reading for Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr

The Islamic month of Ramadan, a solemn holiday of fasting, charity, and additional prayer, culminates in the joyous feasting of Eid al-Fitr — which begins tonight at sunset. Eid mubarak to those celebrating! We’d like to call your attention to reading suggestions from our friends at KitaabWorld, who review and recommend children’s books with a […]

Review of Libba: The Magnificent Musical 

Life of Elizabeth Cotten

Libba: The Magnificent Musical 

Life of Elizabeth Cotten by Laura Veirs; 

illus. by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh Primary    Chronicle    48 pp. 1/18    978-1-4521-4857-1    $17.99 In this picture-book biography of 
folk musician Elizabeth Cotten (1893–1987), a straightforward narrative describes her modest upbringing in rural North Carolina, where “Libba” taught herself to play her brother’s right-handed guitar despite having […]

Five questions for Jessica Love

In Jessica Love’s picture book Julián Is a Mermaid (Candlewick, 4–7 years), the little-boy protagonist daydreams about becoming a mermaid. Left to his own devices, he fashions a mermaid costume from household items and applies a coat of lipstick…but what will Abuela think? 1. This is the best type of “message book” in that its […]

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

Five questions for Jessica Love Julián Is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, Candlewick, 4–7 years. Summer lessons No Swimming for Nelly by Valeri Gorbachev, Holiday House, 2–5 years. Saturday Is Swimming Day by Hyewon Yum, Candlewick, 4–7 years. Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin Kheiriyeh, Scholastic/Levine, 4–7 years. The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier, illus. […]

Summer lessons

The following new summery picture books for preschoolers and up touch on themes of overcoming fears, making new friends, defining home, and persevering, all in light-and-breezy summertime-friendly ways. For more recommended summertime reads, check out our Summer Reading list. See also our new Five Questions interviews with Julián Is a Mermaid author/illustrator Jessica Love and […]