Subscribe to The Horn Book

Obituaries

Death notices and remembrances of children's-book people.

In Memoriam: Remembering Julius Lester

When I contacted Julius Lester (1939–2018) in 2014 to ask if he would join us at my gallery to accept the seventh annual Reader to Reader Norton Juster Award for Devotion to Literacy, he said he was pleased to be celebrated and would get back to me after checking the football schedule. I wasn’t surprised. […]

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 […]

Richard Peck (1934-2018)

We were very saddened to hear from Roger about the death of Richard Peck late last night. Winner of the Newbery Medal (in 2001 for A Year Down Yonder), the Margaret A. Edwards Award “for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature,” the Scott O’Dell Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award, and many others, […]

Alice Provensen (1918-2018)

Author and illustrator Alice Provensen died April 23, 2018, in San Clemente, California. She was ninety-nine. With her late husband and collaborator Martin Provensen, she illustrated more than forty children’s books, including The Glorious Flight: Across the Channel with Louis Blériot, winner of the 1984 Caldecott Medal, and A Visit to William Blake’s Inn: Poems […]

Russell Freedman (1929-2018)

We were sad to learn that Russell Freedman passed away earlier this week. The prolific nonfiction author — winner of the 1988  Newbery Medal for Lincoln: A Photobiography — wrote over sixty books, beginning with Teenagers Who Made History and including Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor; Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life […]

Ursula K. Le Guin (1929–2018)

Author Ursula K. Le Guin, who challenged the male-dominated fantasy and science fiction fields starting in the 1960s, died January 22, 2018, in Portland, Oregon. She was eighty-eight. Her YA novel A Wizard of Earthsea (which explored the struggle of good versus evil as an internal struggle, not an external one) won the 1969 Boston […]

Julius Lester (1939-2018)

We were terribly saddened to hear of the death yesterday of Julius Lester at age seventy-eight, author of such touchstone books as To Be a Slave (illustrated by Tom Feelings), a Newbery Honor winner; Long Journey Home: Stories from Black History; When the Beginning Began: Stories About God, the Creatures, and Us (illustrated by Emily Lisker); […]

Reviews of Selected Books Edited by Iona Opie

I Saw Esau: The Schoolchild’s Pocket Book edited by Iona and Peter Opie; illus. by Maurice Sendak Of Interest to Adults     Candlewick     160 pp. 6/92     1-56402-046-0     $19.99 Generously embellished with illustrations ranging from full-page compositions to vignettes illuminating individual verses, this newly reissued edition of the book which first appeared in […]

Iona Opie (1923-2017)

British folklorist Iona Opie died October 23, 2017, in Hampshire, England, at the age of ninety-four. With her late husband Peter Opie she was “one of the world’s greatest experts on the folklore, games and beliefs of childhood,” as the London Telegraph obituary put it. The Opies’ first publication was I Saw Esau in 1947; […]

Robin Smith (1959-2017)

Teacher, picture book expert, and reading advocate Robin Smith died June 22, 2017, at the age of fifty-seven. A second-grade teacher at Ensworth School in Nashville for the last twenty-four years, she was a longtime Horn Book contributor and reviewer and a founding co-author of the Calling Caldecott blog. She also reviewed for BookPage and […]