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Review of Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler

Star Child: A Biographical Constellation of Octavia Estelle Butler by Ibi Zoboi Intermediate, Middle School    Dutton    128 pp.    g 1/22    978-0-399-18738-4    $16.99 e-book ed.  978-0-399-18739-1    $9.99 A biography that’s as unique in form and content as the groundbreaking sci-fi/fantasy author herself. Zoboi (The People Remember, rev. 11/21) came to this...

Punching the Air: Ibi Zoboi's 2021 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Honor Speech

Firstly, I always have to thank my co-author, Exonerated Five member Yusef Salaam, for extending such warmth and grace throughout our process of drafting, revising, publishing, and promoting Punching the Air, a story inspired by Yusef’s experiences as a wrongfully incarcerated teen. We can never truly understand Yusef’s journey. However,...

Review of The People Remember

The People Remember by Ibi Zoboi; illus. by Loveis Wise Primary, Intermediate    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins     64 pp.    g 9/21    978-0-06-291564-1    $19.99 Through art and words, with the framework of the seven principles of Kwanzaa, Zoboi (American Street, rev. 3/17; Black Enough, rev. 1/19) and Wise beautifully “sew together a...

Why the Hell Don't More Holiday Books Win the Caldecott?

Today on Calling Caldecott, a conversation between Elisa Gall and Jonathan Hunt about holiday books and the Caldecott Award. (This is an entry in their why-the-hell Calling Caldecott series. Previous posts include discussions about the Caldecott and photography; board books; the Newbery Award; and "didactic intent.") – J.D. and M.V.P.  ELISA...

BGHB 2021: Punching the Air

Fiction and Poetry week continues in our month-long virtual Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards celebration.   Today, judge Nicholl Denice Montgomery introduces the 2021 BGHB Fiction and Poetry Honor Book Punching the Air:   The 2021 Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book Award for Fiction and Poetry is presented to authors Ibi...

Publishers' Preview: Debut Authors and Illustrators: Five Questions for Loveis Wise

This interview originally appeared in the July/August 2021 Horn Book Magazine as part of the Publishers’ Previews: Debut Authors and Illustrators, an advertising supplement that allows participating publishers a chance to each highlight a book from its current list. They choose the books; we ask the questions. Sponsored by Novelist...

Review of Punching the Air

Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi with Yusef Salaam; illus. by Omar T. Pasha High School    Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins    400 pp.    g 9/20    978-0-06-299648-0    $19.99 e-book ed.  978-0-06-299650-3    $10.99 Sixteen-year-old Amal Dawud Shahid (who is African American) knows he didn’t throw the punch that left Jeremy Mathis (who is white)...

A Fine Bookshelf

I once taught a rites-of-passage class to a group of African American and Caribbean American teenage girls. The workshops included lessons in history, self-care, and literacy. These classes weren’t supposed to be like school. I was there to help deepen their understanding of their world and their place in it.I...

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