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Creating Books

Writing a book for young people? Look here for information, advice, and inspiration.

“Waiting in the Deep”: A Character Development Workshop with Rita Williams-Garcia

When I first heard about the Kweli Journal’s annual Color of Children’s Literature Conference for writers (the 2018 conference marked its seventh year), I couldn’t wait to attend. A conference dedicated to books about children of color and the people who create those books? What an amazing opportunity! And a chance to meet and learn […]

Why Sensitivity Readers Matter: (And Why We Should Call Them Something Else)

Last year, one of the controversies that hit the headlines was the use of sensitivity readers in publishing. The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune covered the topic but chose to feature clickbait headlines that included words like outrage and censorship. This led to the usual cacophony of opposing views. Lee & Low Books […]

The Great American Read – revealed!

Earlier this week, PBS and WGBH (our local PBS station!) announced the results of its 2018 Great American Read: “To Kill a Mockingbird was voted by viewers as America’s #1 best-loved novel in The Great American Read.” Here’s more from The Horn Book about this American classic: A Second Look: The Long Life of a Mockingbird […]

Devoted to Diversity: Publishers with a Purpose

It’s no secret that mainstream publishing has gaps to fill. The Cooperative Children’s Book Center’s annual statistics show that the numbers of books published about people of color and First/Native Nations people are disproportionately low, and books by members of these groups are even lower in number. (See the July/August 2017 and March/April 2018 Horn […]

An Interview with Denene Millner

In 2016 Chicago-based Agate Publishing announced the launch of a new line under its Bolden Books imprint dedicated to the work of African American authors. Writer, editor, journalist, and founder of the parenting website MyBrownBaby.com, Denene Millner began her eponymous imprint at Agate as “a love letter to children of color who deserve to see […]

“Garth Williams: Illustrator of the Century” exhibit

Through July 31st, 2018, the Curtis Memorial Library in Brunswick, Maine, is hosting the children’s book exhibit “Garth Williams: Illustrator of the Century.” Curated by none other than children’s literature scholar (and Friend of The Horn Book) Leonard S. Marcus, the exhibit is “by far the largest Garth Williams retrospective ever assembled,” with over one […]

The Best Book I Ever Read

By Ann Durell This speech should probably be called the Patchwork Principle. I have been fretting about it for what seems a year, undergoing a whole range of anxiety from vaguely uneasy to acutely apprehensive, because I wasn’t assigned a topic. Without a topic, I gnaw and discard ideas, rather like my Siamese cat with […]

Ann Durell (1931-2018)

Renowned editor and publisher Ann Durell died May 6, 2018, in New York City. She was eighty-seven. She entered the children’s book field in the 1950s, first as an apprentice and secretary at Doubleday, then taking over as head of the Junior Literary Guild, then moving to Holt, Rinehart and Winston as a children’s book […]

The Writer’s Page: The Un-Hero’s Journey

My very first author presentation was in a library branch in my hometown, the Allen County Public Library’s Pontiac Branch in Fort Wayne, Indiana. My first book, The Rock and the River, had just come out and I was eager to get some experience in front of an audience. The library had a regular group […]

#NESCBWI18 recap

The 2018 New England SCBWI annual conference — with the theme “Dream. Explore. Create.” — was held in Springfield, MA, April 20th–22nd.  I’ve attended this conference most years since 2008, and was aware of some welcome new measures: attendees are now required to read the SCBWI anti-harassment policy before registering, and the (always large and […]