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A Note from Me (Mar 19, 2021)

Dear friends: Happy anniversary? This week marks a year now that the Horn Book has been working from home, and I remain grateful and amazed that we’ve done it at all, much less as well as we have, thanks to our determined editors, Our Al, and our coworkers from the...

Nonfiction Windows So White

Every reader of this magazine knows that Rudine Sims Bishop’s “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors” framework has become a central part of our vocabulary as we evaluate books for children and teenagers. Indeed it is a kind of organizing metaphor in the industry-wide push for a more representative literature...

Editorial: A Book of One's Own (March/April 2021)

March is Women’s History Month, and although we didn’t plan it this way, it turns out that our book review section has a mind of its own, including no fewer than thirteen new nonfiction titles devoted to the achievements of a diverse ­gallery of women, heroes every one. Historically, they...

Review of Poisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan, Fought for Their Lives and Warned the Nation

Poisoned Water: How the Citizens of Flint, Michigan, Fought for Their Lives and Warned the Nation by Candy J. Cooper with Marc Aronson Middle School, High School    Bloomsbury    243 pp.    g 5/20    978-1-5476-0232-2    $18.99 e-book ed.  978-1-5476-0233-9    $13.29 Imagine: a deadly health crisis hits and the government delays, makes light...

Review of Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism

Eyes of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalismby Marc Aronson and Marina BudhosHigh School    Holt    294 pp.3/17    978-0-8050-9835-8    $22.99e-book ed.  978-1-2501-0967-5    $10.99This passionate, sprawling, multilayered biography begins like a Robert Capa photograph: right in the middle of the action....

The Writer's Page: What Is Narrative Nonfiction?

It’s been a topsy-turvy time in the education world recently: Common Core and high-stakes tests; then pushback; and now states are revising, revisiting, and renaming their standards. The recently passed ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) encourages this trend toward local choice. But if you look closely at the new standards...

Review of The Skull in the Rock

The Skull in the Rock: How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins by Lee R. Berger and Marc AronsonIntermediate     National Geographic     64 pp.9/12     978-1-4263-1010-2     $18.95Library ed. 978-1-4263-1053-9     $27.90Paleontologist Berger, working in the fossil-rich hills near Johannesburg,...

Common Ground

As a historian, author, and longtime advocate for nonfiction, there are many things I like about the Common Core English/Language Arts Standards: their focus on historiography and authorial point of view, their mission of training young people to be problem-solvers, their validation of nonfiction-lovers’ passion for the genre. In this...

Five Questions for Marc Aronson

An experienced editor of books for young people (as well as the editor of A Family of Readers by Martha Parravano and me), Marc Aronson is also one of the genre’s most distinguished historians. His Sir Walter Ralegh and the Quest for El Dorado won both the Boston Globe–Horn Book...

New Knowledge

Once upon a time, there were two sure signs that a nonfiction book was aimed at young readers: it had illustrations, and the facts, ideas, and insights were securely based on existing adult research. Authors saw themselves as translators whose job was to take the work of adult writers —...

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