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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 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: 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 […]

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: Picture Books

Lena’s Shoes Are Nervous: A First-Day-of-School Dilemma by Keith Calabrese; illus. by Juana Medina Atheneum     40 pp. 7/18     978-1-5344-0894-4     $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5344-0895-1     $10.99 Lena isn’t nervous to start kindergarten…but her shoes are. Lena enlists her headband (who is “a good listener”) to talk to them, and, with fears assuaged and a bit of reverse […]

Review of I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter audiobook

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez; read by Kyla Garcia High School    Listening Library    Rev. 3/18 8 CDs    9.7 hrs.    978-1-5247-8224-5    $60.00 When her older sister, Olga, dies, Julia discovers Olga was not the “perfect Mexican daughter” everybody thought she was. Julia, who longs to be a writer and leave […]

Review of One Day a Dot

One Day a Dot by Ian Lendler; illus. by Shelli Paroline and Braden Lamb Primary    First Second/Roaring Brook    40 pp. 4/18    978-1-62672-244-6    $17.99 The book’s tagline (“the story of you, the universe, and everything”) aptly captures the all-encompassing scope of this ambitious, whirlwind tour of the Big Bang, the formation of the solar system, and […]

From The Guide: Summer of Change

Summertime can be life-altering for young adults — preparing for work or college, travel, camp, summer jobs, etc. YA authors like Sarah Dessen, Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins, and Jennifer E. Smith have a way of capturing those quintessential coming-of-age experiences. Teens seeking read-alikes or the perfect beach or camping books might like these recent YA […]