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Still Reading Together

Some grandparents remember their grandchildren’s early years as a kaleidoscope of blocks, plastic stacking rings, sticky highchair trays, and cars named Doc Hudson, Lightning McQueen and Flo. What I remember are book characters: Davy the sheep from Matthew Cordell’s Another Brother, the doleful rodent in Robert Kraus’s Whose Mouse Are...

Little Amal in Cambridge

"Little Amal has become an international symbol of compassion and of human rights. She carries a message of hope for displaced people everywhere, especially children who have been separated from their families." (From Last week, my family was able to "meet" Little Amal as she made her walk through...

Back-to-School 2023 (redux)

When I wrote this editorial for July's issue of Notes from the Horn Book, my own kids were still weeks away from back-to-school. Now the time has come! In solidarity with all late-starters: re-read our recommendations for school stories for all age groups, along with Five Questions interview with Kerascoët about...

Mother's Day 2023

Not breaking news, but motherhood is hard (fatherhood, too; check back next month). Of course it's also all the good stuff — rewarding, gratifying, exhilarating, heartwarming — but easy it is not; and, to borrow from The Princess Bride, "anyone* who says differently is selling something." Mother's Day is this Sunday, May...

Teacher Appreciation 2023

The late, beloved Robin Smith's rocking chair. May 2, 2023 is National Teacher Day, with Teacher Appreciation Week falling next week, May 8-12 (it's a weird year!). Please #ThankaTeacher — including teacher librarians, if your district is lucky enough to have them — and remember the extreme difficulties, unique challenges, and seeming near-impossibilities that...

Día 2023

April 30 is El día de los niños / El día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day), a "celebration of children, families, and reading...that emphasizes the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds." This year marks the twenty-seventh anniversary of Día — read about its history here and find resources...

2023 Summer Reading Recommendations

Right on the heels of School Vacation Week (a.k.a. Spring Break) here in Massachusetts, we bring you the Horn Book’s annual Summer Reading list! Parents and other caregivers, we suspect you’re saying, “SUMMER reading?!” But bookmark this list or download the PDF — you’ll thank us later. And librarians, teachers,...

More thoughts about virtues

I’m back again with further thoughts about the virtues my grandsons’ school district assigns each month, and that grandparents (or reasonable facsimiles thereof) discuss in classroom sessions. I’ve described the fun of reading to a group of first graders who are invariably thrilled to see me. While they're putting away their...

Patriots' Day and School Vacation Week

Today is Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, a state and regional holiday that commemorates the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the beginnings of the Revolutionary War. It's the day the Boston Marathon is traditionally run, and the start of Spring Break for the public schools.  To keep the little ones busy,...
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