Welcome to the Horn Book's Centennial landing page, where you'll find articles, interviews, history, events, videos, trivia, contests, and more related to 100 years of The Horn Book Magazine. We've been blowing the horn for fine books for young people since 1924 (learn more about Our Story), and this year we'll be "exploring the past, present, and future of children's literature" as we honor this milestone.


Our anniversary celebration includes six mini-themes
in our 2024 Magazine print issues.

January/February = Picture Books
March/April = Poetry & Folklore
May/June = Nonfiction & HB History
July/August = Awards
September/October = Middle Grade
November/December = Young Adult Books

And in the sections below, you will find tailored content
expanding on each of these mini-themes.


We'll also be looking back at each decade of the publication in our resurrected Virtual History Exhibit, which will include newly digitized articles from our archives that we think will be of interest to readers.


We hope you'll join us for this year-long party (and another 100 years!) by checking back on this page regularly for new content, subscribing, and following us on Facebook (Facebook.com/TheHornBook), Instagram (@thehornbook), and X [formerly Twitter] (@HornBook).




The Horn Book Inc. and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art presented: "Cover to Cover with Jarrett J. Krosoczka and Jack Wong" on Thursday, January 18, 2024 at 7pm ET.





The Horn Book Inc. and The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art presented: "Cover to Cover: Reimagining Familiar Stories with Different Faces" with Kristen Joy Emack, Marva Hinton, and Elissa Gershowitz on Wednesday, March 27, 2024 at 7pm ET.





Horn Book History

To create this Horn Book museum without walls - and no closing hours, admission fees, or gift shops - we gathered articles about our earliest years, rare artifacts from our archives, and the voices of some of the best-loved writers and illustrators.

Q: Who likes trivia?
A: Horn Book editors do!
(And we hope you do too!)

As part of our centennial celebration in 2024, we'll be quizzing our readers on Horn Book trivia every Tuesday.

Our own version of March Madness — celebrating Magazine cover art and artists during our one-hundredth anniversary year!

Picture Books

The Horn Book Magazine’s own very notable beginning came one hundred years ago, in 1924 Boston. Bertha Mahony Miller, already owner of The Bookshop for Boys and Girls, took pen to paper — and The Horn Book Magazine was born, named both for an early educational reading tool and in homage to Randolph Caldecott’s art.

by Esther Averill from Caldecott Medal Books: 1938–1957 edited by Bertha Mahony Miller and Elinor Whitney Field; published by The Horn Book, 1957 The time has come to attempt a critical appraisal of the twenty books which have won the Caldecott Award for their illustrators.
In the course of the last thirty years or so, American picture books have become a mainstay of American life — and items of merchandise — without altogether extinguishing the individual creative voice.
Poet Theodore Roethke said that poetry was an act of mischief.



Poetry has so much to offer young readers: beautiful language, musical rhythms, creative formats, powerful emotions, and so much more. Yet, when it comes to award recognition, poetry has rarely had a place at the Newbery table. Just sixteen books of poetry have been recognized with Newbery Medals or Honors in the award’s one hundred years.

I might be working with kids labeled disadvantaged or gifted; it might be librarians or English teachers (also disadvantaged or gifted).
A couple of weeks ago, at a dinner with several poets, one of them said, “You’re lucky, Marilyn: you know how to write poems for the young adult audience.

A poem may indicate a Black speaker or theme, but the poem as felt poetry is open to any voice. This stimulating freedom of poetry should be exploited in order that the work of the Black American poets may reach the widest possible audience. The non-Black reader should not hesitate to cross the color line in pursuit of a poem.



In our Book Reviews section, between Fiction and Nonfiction, you can often find reviews of Folklore and/or Poetry. This is an “and/or” because we don’t always have both, and sometimes we have neither. Our coverage tends to ebb and flow, as do the trends in books being published. In our earliest days, for example, and throughout various past decades, the Magazine spent more space on both poetry and folklore (for these purposes, and per The Horn Book Guide’s classification, the ­latter expanded to encompass folktales, myths, legends, and nursery rhymes).

Richard Dorson, the late dean of American folklorists, had a word for folklore that was not authentic, not the voice of the people.

I’m fond of reminding people that Greek mythology isn’t a compendium of dead narratives about long-dead people and distant places, pulled from a dusty old book or scroll. What we now call Greek mythology is what remains of a past culture’s most sacred beliefs — a collection of living stories, a body of tales that were constantly evolving, expanding, and growing over the centuries.

There really are no valid excuses in my mind why more adaptations shouldn't be intentionally multiracial, particularly because fairy tales (by nature) have been proven to stand the test of time (and they're also required to be taught in school curricula across the country).



by James Cross Giblin There are now in Europe about ten thousand public and private vehicles that are self-moving.

For as long as I can remember, I have had three loves: jazz, poetry, and history. Those passions merged in my 2000 nonfiction title The Sound That Jazz Makes — a manuscript that was rejected more than a dozen times. The book’s first review was so negative that I cried. But then it won the Carter G. Woodson Book Award from National Council for the Social Studies — my first national honor. I had arrived!

I love chocolate. I love fruit. But I prefer to enjoy them separately. If, on the off chance, I do bite into a clever combination of the two, it is generally after I’ve been given some kind of heads-up — perhaps one as simple as the label on the inside cover of a box of assorted chocolates. When it comes to nonfiction, I feel the same way. Give me facts, or give me fiction...

Between songs, Arlo Guthrie likes to strum his guitar and tell a story he learned from his father, Woody Guthrie.


Middle Grade

Graphic novels for middle graders have a unique position for some readers, situated between picture books and non-illustrated works and straddling subject matter suitable for their developmental position between young childhood and young adulthood. 

Bad things were done to me when I was small.
Memoir is a genre that often gets subsumed under the big banner of biography.


Young Adult

Incredible as it sounds, at least to me, I have been involved with young adult literature for thirty-three years now, which makes me and the genre almost exact contemporaries.

It’s a simple formula. Boy meets girl (or, more often, girl meets boy. Or, less frequently, boy meets boy or girl meets girl). Boy and girl fall in love. One loses the other, or some other conflict arises. Then comes the happy ending. This plot, or some variation of it, is one we’ve read over and over again.

by Anita Silvey Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier is being published by Knopf on April 21, 1985.

In the introduction to Worlds of Childhood: The Art and Craft of Writing for Children (1990), William Zinsser wrote, “This gift — to get good language into the ear of children at a very early age — is what children’s literature has in its power to bestow…to write well it is necessary to grow up hearing how other people have written well: to get into one’s metabolism the grandeur, the playfulness, and the narrative strength of the English language.” But from my observation, fewer and fewer children are being read to these days.



The most prestigious honors in children’s literature, the Newbery and Caldecott medals, were awarded to Dave Eggers for The Eyes and the Impossible and Vashti Harrison for Big on January 22, 2024, at the American Library Association’s LibLearnX conference in Baltimore, Maryland.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing.