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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 Penderwicks at Last audiobook

The Penderwicks at Last by Jeanne Birdsall; read by Susan Denaker Intermediate     Listening Library     Rev. 7/18 7 CDs     8.37 hrs.     978-0-525-59559-5     $55.00 This closing volume in the beloved Penderwick series, featuring two sisters’ marriages and one’s heartbreak, is told from the point of view of eleven-year-old Lydia, the youngest Penderwick half-sister. Denaker voices […]

Review of Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist

Path to the Stars: My Journey from Girl Scout to Rocket Scientist by Sylvia Acevedo Intermediate, Middle School     Clarion     311 pp. 9/18     978-1-328-80956-8     $17.99 e-book ed. 978-1-328-52690-8     $9.99 Spanish ed. 978-1-328-53481-1     $18.99 Acevedo defied expectations as a girl growing up in a working-class Mexican American family in 1960s and 1970s Las […]

Horn Book Fanfare 2018

Here is Fanfare, the Horn Book’s annual list of the books we really loved the most. I wish I could tell you there was some more objective criteria, but there isn’t: these are the books the Horn Book editors, in consultation with our reviewers, are happiest to have read. They are books that both confirmed […]

Review of Harbor Me

Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson Intermediate     Paulsen/Penguin     179 pp.     g 8/18     978-0-399-25252-5     $17.99One day, Ms. Laverne gathers her small class of fifth and sixth graders and walks them over to the old art room, where she invites them to talk to one another — without her. Every Friday at two o’clock, narrator Haley […]

Review of The Wall in the Middle of the Book

The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee; illus. by the author Preschool     Dial     48 pp. 10/18     978-0-525-55545-2     $17.99 Unlike Richard Byrne’s This Book Just Ate My Dog! (rev. 1/15), wherein the book’s gutter did service as a chasm to be negotiated by the characters, here it is […]

Review of Rebound audiobook

Rebound by Kwame Alexander; read by Ron Butler Intermediate, Middle School    Recorded Books    Rev. 7/18 3 CDs    3.5 hrs.    978-1-5019-4909-8    $30.75 In this prequel to Alexander’s The Crossover (rev. 5/14), twelve-year-old Charlie Bell (future father of the first book’s twin protagonists) is sent to stay with his grandparents for the summer after his own father’s […]

Review of Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story

Hammering for Freedom: The William Lewis Story by Rita Lorraine Hubbard; illus. by John Holyfield Primary    Lee & Low    32 pp.    g 9/18    978-1-60060-969-5    $17.95 William “Bill” Lewis (1810?–1896) was born into slavery in Tennessee on a plantation owned by Colonel Lewis. As a boy toiling alongside his mother, aunt, and siblings in the fields, […]

Review of On a Sunbeam

On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden; illus. by the author High School    First Second/Roaring Brook    537 pp. 10/18    978-1-250-17814-5    $32.99 Paper ed.  978-1-250-17813-8    $21.99 This serial webcomic turned epic graphic novel tells Mia and Grace’s story in two alternating, far-future timelines, each initially distinguished by a different limited palette. In the first timeline, depicted in […]

Review of All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah by Emily Jenkins; illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky Primary    Schwartz & Wade/Random    40 pp. 9/18    978-0-399-55419-3    $17.99 Library ed.  978-0-399-55420-9    $20.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-55421-6    $10.99 “When darkness comes, it will be the first night of Hanukkah, 1912.” This original picture book based on Sydney Taylor’s beloved characters serves as a perfect standalone […]

Holiday High Notes 2018

Deck the halls! It’s time for our annual selection of fa-la-la-lots of new (and one reissued) holiday books, with reviews written by the Horn Book staff. Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey High School    Swoon/Feiwel    284 pp.    g 10/18    Paper ed.  978-1-250-17487-1    $10.99 e-book ed.  978-1-250-17486-4    $7.80 In 1817 England, eighteen-year-old Kate Darby, lady’s maid […]