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Preview July/August 2023 Horn Book Magazine: Special Issue: ALA Awards

Special Issue: ALA Awards Original cover art by 2023 Caldecott Medal winner Doug Salati. Presentation of “The MVP Award” to Martha V. Parravano as she retires from her position as book review editor. “The Year in Words and Pictures.” The Horn Book editors discuss the children’s book landscape in yet...

Getting There: Taking a Trip Through Queer Kidlit

“What is your critical axe to grind?” That’s the question our professor, without much preamble, asked the two of us in our first children’s literature graduate seminar together. She explained that our “critical axe” was the thing (and we’re paraphrasing here) about youth literature that had us in a chokehold....

Seeing Ourselves: Our Stories Could Fly: The Future of Books for Black Children

I own a well-read copy of Virginia Hamilton’s The People Could Fly: American Black Folktales. It’s a classic in many households, as it should be. It’s not just the stories that I return to over and over again; it’s the magical illustrations by the dynamic duo Leo and Diane Dillon....

A Publisher's Perspective: Three Decades of Inclusive Publishing

In 1991, when Lee & Low Books was founded, the state of diverse books was bleak. Children of color who grew up in the 1990s (or earlier) rarely saw themselves reflected in the pages of a book. Society’s lack of inclusivity led children of color to bend over backward to...

Seeing Ourselves: QTBIPOC in Abundance

I’ve always said that my wish for diverse books in the future, especially for LGBTQIA+ books — and even more so for QTBIPOC books — is that there will be so many of them that people can walk into a bookstore looking for the most specific niche and still be...

GTFOH with Magical Headaches: Chronic Pain in YA Fantasy

My medical records show frequent headaches and joint pain from the time I was able to articulate being in pain. When I was seventeen, a neck injury left me with a constant headache and more than fifteen days of migraine each month. It wasn’t until about six months ago —...

Seeing Ourselves: All Books for All

My hope for the future of diverse children’s literature is that one day, the segregating qualifiers will fall away for good. When my daughter was eight, I remember the two of us combing the library stacks, searching for an appropriate middle-grade book. At some point, a sympathetic librarian asked if...

Seeing Ourselves: Stories Worthy of Being Told

In January 2022, when We Need Diverse Books’s Walter Awards Judging Committee informed me that Red, White, and Whole had won the Walter Award for younger readers, I burst into tears. It was such an incredible honor, one I had never dreamed a book of mine would win. Growing up...

We Need Diverse Muslim and Jewish Books: An Update

In their March/April 2020 Horn Book article “We Need Diverse Jewish and Muslim Books: A Conversation,” Heidi Rabinowitz and Sadaf Siddique discussed the state of Jewish and Muslim books and the work being done to share them. They found a number of parallels in their approaches to showcasing Jewish and...
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