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Blowing the Horn: Toot and Shout

Happy Anniversary, Horn Book! It’s been pure joy to watch you grow over the years. I read you voraciously as I honed my writing craft. And now I jump for joy to see my books so thoughtfully reviewed by you. I learned so much from you as an aspiring kidlit...

The Writer's Page: Mapping My Path

How did I end up in the picture-book world? It was all because of Nicole Rubel, the brilliant illustrator of the Rotten Ralph books, among many others. I was a creative writing student at Emerson College, and I was still on parole after an unsuccessful attempt to smuggle a ton...

Blowing the Horn: Our World of Books

My son John, who is not only a voracious reader but has also had the opportunity to meet many writers, librarians, editors, and ­publishers, said to me once, “You know, Mom, how lucky you are. You get to work with the best people in the world.” I do know that,...

Blowing the Horn: Future and Past

"My hope is that in the future there will be more and more diversity in children's literature so that kids of all different backgrounds can see their cultures and histories depicted in the books they read." Illustration (c) 2024 by Duncan Tonatiuh. From the May/June 2024 special issue of The...

Blowing the Horn: the Benevolence of Crickets

As a wide-eyed debut author in the century before this one, I had a kind of breathless regard for The Horn Book Magazine. It was partly the trim size, which somehow gave it a booklike heft and purpose. It was also the infrequency of its appearances — just six times...

Blowing the Horn: The Gold Issue: (and why a glow-in-the-dark Horn Book is NOT a good idea)

It was a glistening gift that sparked an unforgettable celebration. In 2019, as the Coretta Scott King Book Awards approached their ­fiftieth anniversary, I called Horn Book Editor in Chief Roger Sutton with an idea: to create a commemorative issue solely devoted to the history, legacy, and future of the...

Blowing the Horn: An' they hollo'd, and they blew their horns...

"An' they hollo'd, and they blew their horns, and general book pandemonium ensued..." Illustration (c) 2024 by Barbara McClintock. From the May/June 2024 special issue of The Horn Book Magazine: Our Centennial. For more Horn Book centennial coverage, click here. Find more in the "Blowing the Horn" series here. Art...

Blowing the Horn: This Is MAJOR

With Scott Green, Colonial Williamsburg's "Benedict Arnold." Photo courtesy of Steve Sheinkin. Back in June 2011, well before I was making a living as a writer, I got an email from Deirdre Langeland, my editor for The Notorious Benedict Arnold, which had come out the previous fall. The subject line...

Blowing the Horn: A Gathering of Excellence

M. T. Anderson: The first time I went to the Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards, I was overwhelmed. I was a young man with only a couple of novels out, which had sold only a handful of copies, mainly to wincing relatives. This was back when YA was still considered the...
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