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Opinion

Gimlet-eyed and occasionally -addled views on what's wrong and right in the world of books for young people.

From the Editor – August 2018

It’s still summer, and we all should remain as relaxed as possible, so let me just take a moment to happily acknowledge how relaxed everybody is getting about book boundaries, especially when it comes to a book for beginning readers. As Shoshana and Cindy ask of Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories in […]

2018 Mind the Gap Awards: The books that didn’t win at ALA

Not all deserving books bring home ALA awards. The books that didn’t win. Shuttered Windows by Julia Denos, illus. by E. B. Goodale Silenced The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy, illus. by Eugene Yelchin Cracked Egg by Kevin Henkes Rained out A Perfect Day by Lane Smith Derailed Clayton Byrd […]

Reflections on Black Children’s Literature: A Historical Perspective

The ideas expressed below were originally written in response to an opinion piece written by publisher Denene Millner, which ran in The New York Times on March 10, 2018. Though most of the write-up below speaks to this particular opinion article, it has been slightly modified to address some of the expressed viewpoints in her […]

From the Editor – July 2018

We are back from the ALA Conference in New Orleans and have the Newbery, Caldecott, and Coretta Scott King Awards speeches for you over at hbook.com; Jackie Woodson’s Children’s Literature Legacy Award (formerly known as the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award) will come your way in September. My thoughts on the name change, Martha’s take on […]

Editorial: Some Best Books, and a Best Man

In this July/August issue we present our usual record of the American Library Association award winners’ speeches* as well as our annual “Mind the Gap” awards, the Horn Book editors’ choices of good books left out by ALA. We also announce the winners of the 2018 Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards. In all, that’s more than […]

From the Editor – June 2018

Elissa, Martha, and I are all headed south later this month to ALA in New Orleans and I do hope you will say hello. The Horn Book can be found at booth 1425 in the exhibit hall, and we’ll be giving away posters of Caldecott-winner Matthew Cordell‘s cover for the July/August Magazine, which itself will […]

The Book That Changed My Life: Write What’s Missing

It started in seventh grade, the day my best friend brought a beat-up paperback to school and asked me to hold it for her. Garla’s mom was very religious, so at times I found myself keeping stuff for her at my house, things her mother wouldn’t approve of, like her DeBarge and Prince records. That […]

The Book That Changed My Life: A Lifelong Journey

When I was a sophomore in college, I read the book that changed my life. I was considering a major in religious studies, and took the required foundation course. On our syllabus were books and articles looking at many different religions from various points of view: theological, psychological, historical, sociological, anthropological. One book caught my […]

The Book That Changed My Life: A Galloping Good Story

Dear Mrs. Henry: You probably don’t remember me. It’s been a long time — forty-five years, can you believe it? — since I last wrote you. I was in fourth grade then, and my teacher Mrs. Rouse (I’m pretty sure I wrote you about her last time) assigned the class your book Misty of Chincoteague. […]

The Book That Changed My Life: Why Do I Like This Story So Much?

It was spring of my freshman year of high school. While working crew for the spring musical I’d made a new friend, a sophomore named Sarah. (She would become a lifelong friend, my only daughter’s cherished godmother.) Sarah loved books the way I do and was shocked that I’d never read anything by her favorite […]